Distribution : Paramount stops releasing major movies on film by Andrew Heard

Andrew Heard

Paramount stops releasing major movies on film

Paramount stops releasing major movies on film
Paramount stops releasing major movies on film
Roll credits. For more than a century, Hollywood has relied on 35-millimeter film to capture its fleeting images and deliver them to the silver screen. Now, in a historic move, Paramount Pictures has…
Henry Rivers

Andrew, Thanks for the Story It was a matter of Time, Massive Savings, direct distribution to the consumers, Anti- Piracy has been cut, has great potential for greater profits, for everyone involved. Anyone who attempts to Pirate, The Film can be directly link to the thief by their account. Bad News for Distributors, Retailers, Movie Theaters...

Simon © Simon

Have you heard? Andrew Heard. You always dig up good stuff man.

Simon © Simon

Oh... "Those theaters are at risk of going out of business if they can no longer obtain film prints of movies. More than 1,000 theaters, about half of them independently owned, have not converted to digital. Some are turning to their communities to raise funds for digital equipment." Maybe if they charged 7 bucks for 12 cents of popcorn? LOL!

Andrew Heard

I am glad so many people enjoy the stuff I find.

Michelle Klein-Hass

I am upset about this. End of an era. There is much to be said for seeing a movie ON FILM rather than a digital scan of the film. However, if you look at it like a bean counter, there is no comparison. It's cheaper to send a hard drive than it is to send a bunch of reels of film. I'm concerned about the survivability of movies that are "born digital." Right now the only archival solution seems to be shuffling the data around a series of RAID arrays that are always on. I fear we will lose as many movies from the digital age as we have from the pre-"safety film" era.

Richard "RB" Botto

Here's a really good article about some filmmakers with product shot on film at the Sundance Film Festival: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/sundance-a-world-gone-digital-672528

Simon © Simon

Well Michelle, There is the argument of the Theaters not affording a DCP, (a projector that plays encrypted movies via satellite key authorization to thwart piracy) for those who did not know why that over a BluRay. However with a BluRay that file can be saved and is virtually able to last forever. No degrading or antiquating. One can actually park the software needed in a folder on that same disc where the player and the file is available to edit, play, etc. As far as visual, that is like arguing at a wine party the wine being served, with all the labels being removed. Your film is color corrected and tightened up digitally.

Michelle Klein-Hass

No, Blu-Rays are not immortal. Neither are CDs or DVDs.

Simon © Simon

For storage they are...

Eoin O'Sullivan

What amazes me is that the film industry has been unable to clamp down on piracy from inside the business. How many 'screeners' are pirated pre awards season? All of these are uploaded by someone with access to a hard copy and viewing that hard copy for award consideration.This is where the security needs to be enforced first. Find and fine the person that uploads.

Linda Sans

I love the look of 35mm so much… that I can only hope that the look of digital keeps improving until it reaches a similar quality…

Andrew Sobkovich

Linda, there is a difference between shooting on film and screening on film. Properly shot electronic images probably slip by you unnoticed all the time. A little to do with the tools, but really its that skill, artistry, experience, and knowledge thing. A decade ago I shot some car commercials that were part 35mm and part HD. Even when people were told there was a mix, they could not pick which shots were which. The outcome surprised everyone. I’ve seen a demonstration projection of a reel of a motion picture projected in a theater followed by the same part of that picture electronically projected on the same screen immediately after. While I might miss the nostalgia, the image quality was excellent on the electronically projected material. Plus electronic projectors are just getting better and better. The death of the film release print business will significantly quicken the end of film raw stock availability.

Michelle Klein-Hass

Simon: CD-R, DVD +/- R and BD-R media is hardly immortal. I have had all four types of media "go south" on me in a matter of years. I try to stick with brands like Verbatim and Taiyo Yuden, but even they can go bad. Dye fades, burns aren't optimal, you end up with coasters. The only media guaranteed to have at least a 50 year shelf life is MAM–A Gold Discs, and it's only the CD-Rs with that kind of shelf life. Pressed DVDs and BDs aren't immortal either. Really, it's a more complicated situation than you might think.

Andrew Heard

It's true that CDs/DVDs, etc. isn't immortal, it's certainly cheaper to replace when they "go south".

René Roland Hansen

wow

Michelle Klein-Hass

Andrew, this is true. It is trivial to use that .ISO you used to make your BD-R in the first place and make another copy when your copy dies. Even 100TB quad-layer BD-Rs are cheaper than the huge hard drive arrays that cinema-quality media uses for final storage of the original media that gets put together to make a Digital Cinema Package, or DCP, the current media of choice for theatrical presentation. And so far nobody's made media other than hard disks and hard disk arrays that can hold the huge quantities of data generated at 4K and 8K. RED is working on it, there's something called "REDRay" coming out that will have enough capacity, and I'm sure other storage media companies are furiously working on something cheaper and less fragile than those huge Storage Area Networks. But the fact remains that the "born digital" movies that are being made right now are in a more precarious place, for preservation purposes, than at any time since the introduction of Safety Film, vinegar syndrome notwithstanding. Right now, for archival purposes, the big studios are printing to three-strip black and white film, because black and white, silver–bearing film is the gold standard (pun intended) for preservation. But yes, when we run out of film stock and labs to process film stock, where will be be? The bits get moved from array to array on a schedule every year. But how many IT geeks are the studios, or the Academy, or the Library of Congress, or any other preservation facility going to be able to afford to employ, as the number of "born digital" movies accelerates? How long can shifting from storage network to storage network be sustained? It is likely we are going to wind up losing a lot of movies from this era. Consider how many movies we lost to Nitrate degeneration and to fires. 90 percent of all American silent films made before 1929 and 50 percent of American sound films made before 1950 are lost films. True fact. We could lose a similar percentage of "born digital" movies.

Andrew Heard

I get the 1920s film or 1950s television reference to losing "born digital" copies of films, but I think the comparison falls apart in one area. The amount of copies that exist. Back in the 1920s during film's early years, there was only one or at least a limited number of copies of the various films and in the 1950s studios were taping over copies of their old episodes because they didn't think anyone would want it later. Now, however with the invention of digital copies, you have thousands possibly millions of copies going out to all kinds of people on an almost daily basis. The quantity of copies is huge compared to the early days of film and television. Yes, there is a risk of losing the original copy of the film if it's "born digital" but if you're producing millions of copies plus you have pirated versions out there, the likelihood of losing "born digital" films that can't be replaced is nearly impossible.

Andrew Sobkovich

Currently the usual long term archiving medium we are using is LTO-5 or the newer LTO-6 standard. 1.5TB and 2.5TB storage respectively. The mass dissemination of copies will increase the chances of finding a playable version in the future, however those generally distributed versions are normally at a much lower quality than the deliverables were. With satellite distribution for theatrical release gaining usage along with anti-piracy coding, the number of full quality copies is limited. The playback equipment will also have to be kept operable.

Michelle Klein-Hass

Exactly. Just as a fair amount of "saved" silent films were saved on 16mm and 8mm film, often in highly edited form, in versions for home projection, there will likely be a lot of "born digital" content that will be "saved" as low-end reductions of release quality. Imagine if Life Of Pi only survives as a highly compressed MP4 at 720p? That's not preservation, IMHO. We need to somehow preserve the best quality versions of films, and guarantee they can be played. You can't do that with proprietary, highly encrypted formats like DCP. There needs to be an Open Source means of preservation that will guarantee a digital file can be reconstructed and replayed even 200, 300 years after initial release. Remember, even DVD has encryption, trivial as it is, BD has stronger encryption, and DCP has encryption that's even stronger than what the US Military uses. Even if that digital file must be entrusted to a trusted organization like the Library of Congress or the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, those full-rez versions should be preserved for future generations.

Simon © Simon

Michelle you are stating that if I burn a file on a disc an park it on a shelf the file will degrade? That is what it reads like from my end. I never stated that a disc lasts forever if you play it with laser. As a matter of fact that is peeve of mine on DRM, for those who buy should be able to copy and recopy for personal use. Where the original can be imported on a drive and burned to watch at my leisure until that disc starts to skip. All while having the original sitting in a box un used and preserved. Hence the disc lasting forever....

Michelle Klein-Hass

I have had backups die just sitting on a shelf, Simon. It's not fun. This is why I backup to HD now.

Michelle Klein-Hass

And now Deluxe is closing their Hollywood lab... http://www.laobserved.com/archive/2014/03/deluxe_laboratories_to_cl.php

Simon © Simon

Wait a minute Michelle, you are stating that you have had a file that was checked / tested after burning it onto a disc. To then return to that disc and find it had degraded?

Michelle Klein-Hass

Yes. Exactly. More likely to happen with crappy Chinese media, but it's happened even with good discs.

Simon © Simon

Michelle, Wow that is amazing, it degrades like a tape would. You are the first to have ever mentioned it (to me anyways). According to your statements, I guess a disc could be as volatile as film.. Maybe more. Since they are not 75 yrs old yet? I know Flash drives randomly go kaput! I am going over to Tom's Hardware and ask that in a post where there is at least 500,000 IT guys over there from all over the world and get a consensus on their experiences. 500,000 times last 10 years.

Andrew Sobkovich

A new format for archival storage. http://www.pcworld.com/article/2106260/sony-panasonic-develop-300gb-opti... LTO was and is the current standard used in our industry for archiving.

Simon © Simon

Great read Andrew. I had post a Toms Hardware although my responses were little the consensus was from some real IT guys, the same as the article written was or is: “As a type of archival media, optical discs have numerous advantages over current mainstream HDD and tape media, such as their ability to be stored for a long time while still maintaining readability,” a Panasonic spokesman said. “We hope to develop demand for archives that use optical discs.”

Jon S. Alon

Thanks. Good info.

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