This question is directed at those who have already made the switch to digital. We have discussed all aspects of the transition to digital, and while we may disagree on just how soon one must make that transition, I think most of us agree that it must be done if we plan on remaining in this business.
What I have not seen discussed is the impact that being digital will have on our ability to control the content and makeup of our presentations. Having talked to another exhibitor that has made the switch here in my area, I find that I am somewhat dismayed having learned that show makeup is somewhat restricted when compared to what we can do with film. Being that I am a 2nd run theatre complicates the situation even further.
Currently I can make up my show to include a trailer(s), a cartoon if I want, possibly a short… all with appropriate daters, then my feature presentation snipe followed by the feature. While I’m sure all the needed daters such as Prevues of Coming Attractions, Our Next Attraction etc., etc. will be or are available in digital format from Filmack or others… trailer editing will be impossible. If you are 2nd run or any run that doesn’t open on the national break you know how frustrating it is to run a trailer that says: Opens Christmas Day when you’re opening it in mid January. Now with film, it’s fairly easy to edit out those inappropriate dates. I’ve gotten rather good at it, even editing out the sound portion as well. But what will we do when it’s a digital trailer? Even worse than that is the practice of the studios placing a trailer of their next film in front of their current feature. If you’re a first run multiplex and you probably will play it, it’s not a problem, but if you’re a single screen (or just a few screens), or if you’re 2nd run, there is a good chance that you won’t be playing it, so you don’t want that trailer misleading your patrons into thinking that you will. Also, if you’re one of the few who go out of your way to include old time showmanship in your presentation and close the curtain and reopen it for the feature, you’re out of luck as well. Where do you place your “Feature Presentation” snipe? I doubt that you can place it somehow between that “unwanted” studio trailer and the feature, and if you put it after your own trailers, but before the studio attached trailer… it makes you look pretty dumb if you advertise the beginning of the feature and then have another trailer shown.
All of this I have based on talking to just one theatre owner who now has digital. Maybe some systems are different. I am therefore asking those of you who have changed over, or even if you have not, are knowledgeable on the subject to inform the rest of us here what the limitations are on digital show makeup?
If in fact, if what I have heard is true, that would be in itself a good reason for me to hold out as long as possible using 35mm film. I can afford to make the change today if I wanted to, but I don’t want it to destroy my ability to give a first class presentation.
I've been digital for just over a year now. I think digital has helped us put on a more professional show then we used to with 35MM. We have not had a studio place a trailer onto the feature. We have had some trailers included with the feature but they were not mandatory to play, just suggested. We have more control over cues then we used to. Getting trailers has never been easier. No scratches, audio pops or anything short of crystal-clear-as-the-author-intended video. We use www.cinetize.com to get all sorts of prevues of coming attractions snippets and policy trailers, etc. You can get all sorts of customized trailers as well and they'll never wear out. I've even heard of some people who've got software to make their own customized trailers. There are lots of things to fear with digital cinema but your ability to make a good presentation shouldn't be one of them, imho
"What a crazy business"
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