The End of the Silver Screen?
Cinema is full of contradictions. It is high-tech and old-fashioned at the same time. Today’s films are full of digital sound and computer-generated special effects. Yet they are still stored on 100 years old celluloid film. They are also displayed with projectors and screens that seem to belong to our great grandparents’ generation.
Now that we are in the second century of cinema, there are moves to bring the medium right up to date. This will involve revolutionizing not just how films are made but also how they are distributed and presented. The aim is not only to produce and prepare films digitally, but to be able to send them to movie theatres by digital, electronic means. High-resolution digital projectors would then show the film.
With such a major technological revolution on the horizon, it seems strange that the industry is still not sure what to call itself. This may appear a minor point, but the choices, ‘digital’ cinema and ‘electronic’ cinema (e-cinema), suggest different approaches to, and aspects of, the business. Digital cinema refers to the physical capture of images; e-cinema covers the whole chain, from production through post-production (editing, addition of special effects and construction of soundtrack) to distribution and projection.
And, what about the effects of the new medium? The main selling point of digital cinema is the high resolution and sharpness of the final image. But those who support the old-fashioned approach to film point to the celluloid medium’s quality of warmth. A recurring criticism of the digital video is that it may be too good: uncomfortably real, rather like looking through an open window.
Even the money-saving aspect of e-cinema is doubted. One expert says that existing cinemas will have to show the new material and not all of them will readily or rapidly furnish themselves with the right equipment.
This view has prompted some pro-digital entrepreneurs to take a slightly different approach. HD Thames is looking at reinventing the existing cinema market, moving towards etheatre, which would use digital video and projection to present plays, musicals, and some sporting events to the public.
1. Answer the questions in complete sentence/s:
a. What century-old feature is still existing in cinemas now a day?
b. How is ‘e-cinema’ a broader term than ‘digital cinema’?
c. What is a persistent opinion going against the digital video?
d. Why is the money saving aspect of e-cinema doubted?
e. In which way/s is the idea of an e-theatre different from a conventional theatre?
2. Write for the statements according to your evaluation of them as True or False or
a. Projectors and screens are technologies of this current generation.
b. The second century of cinema is revolutionizing the post-production phase of films as well.
c. E-cinema is a more inclusive term than digital cinema.
d. Old-fashioned cinema technologies had no criticisms.
e. E-theatre is a relatively new move in the film industry.