Monthly Archives: February 2011

Apollo Gets More From Sony and Vista

Apollo Cinemas More Campaign

Over the past week Apollo Cinemas has decided that more is… well, more. The United Kingdom’s sixth largest exhibition chain is partnering with Sony Digital Cinema to bring more 3D alternative content to its customers and they have selected Vista Cinema Software to increase their overall operational effectiveness.

Apollo launched the More campaign to offer content from partners such as The Royal Opera House, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and the English National Opera. Performances will be offered in what is being described as “super high definition live 3D” using Sony’s 4K projectors. The circuit is also planning to show sporting events such as rugby, football and tennis, as well as concerts and music festivals.

Apollo has held their first live 3D event earlier this month when pop star Avril Lavigne debuted her new album at the chain’s cinema in London’s Piccadilly Circus. Lavigne was on-hand for a question and answer session after the video screening. In March, Apollo will be showing a 3D film version of the opera “Carmen”. The George Bizet opera was filmed during performances at the Royal Opera House.

The deal seems somewhat inevitable since Apollo signed up with Sony as their digital cinema deployment entity in 2009. The theatre chain’s press release didn’t specifically detail how Sony was enabling them to bring 3D alternative content into their theatres beyond providing the equipment that makes it all possible. In fact, Nicole Oakley, Marketing Manager at Apollo Cinemas said just that:

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Kodak Gets FDA Approval For Laser Projection Technology

Kodak Laser Projection System

Kodak Laser Projection System

Kodak’s plans to create a light engine for digital cinema projectors that can compete with Texas Instruments DLP chip reached a crucial milestone earlier this week. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the variance application clearing the way for the commercialization of Kodak Laser Projection Systems which feature Kodak Laser Projection Technology.

Maybe, like me, you’re wondering what the FDA has to do with regulating anything that isn’t a food or a drug. Don’t they have eggs to inspect and clinical trials to oversee? Well yes, they do, however they also oversee any manufactured device that emits radiation. For the most part that means lots of medical equipment and x-ray machines, though laser light displays also fall into this category.

Much in the way pilots and drivers need licenses, a federal license demonstrating basic laser knowledge and safety is required to operate high powered laser systems. For instance, night clubs with laser light shows need to obtain variances for their lighting equipment. I’m not sure exactly what kind of variance Kodak applied for, but according to Les Moore, Kodak‚Äôs chief operating officer for Digital Cinema:

“The FDA variance serves as a template to be followed by manufacturers that we license to incorporate this new laser technology.”

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Theatre Patron Killed For Eating Popcorn Too Loudly

Natalie Portman In Black Swan

Natalie Portman in "Black Swan"

Make a mental note – the next time you happen to be seeing a movie in Latvia, you might want to go with Raisinettes at the concession stand rather than popcorn.

Reports surfaced earlier this week that a 42-year-old moviegoer was shot and killed Saturday evening at a multiplex in Riga, the capital of Latvia. Police arrested a 27-year-old man and charged him with the murder.

According to witnesses, both individuals were sitting through a showing of the Oscar-nominated film “Black Swan”. During the course of the screening the suspect had argued with the deceased over how loudly he was chomping away at his popcorn. The assailant waited for the film to end before shooting the victim.

While “Black Swan” is a suspenseful, psychological thriller, it’s hard to believe that the nature of the content is to blame for the incident.

When Polish Movie Posters Were Works Of Art

Cabaret One-Sheet (Polish Version)Hollywood movies are shown all over the world. In fact, American films are cited by some as one of the country’s biggest exports. So I wasn’t exactly surprised to find out that American made flicks are quite popular in Poland. However, I recently stumbled across PolishPoster.com, a cache of Polish promotional one-sheets for popular Hollywood releases which, for me, was a welcome discovery.

In an effort to align their marketing with the cultural taste of Poland’s moviegoers, distributors have turned to local artists throughout the years to customize the one-sheets for American movies. The end result was the creation of hundreds, if not thousands, of movie posters that rival modern art masterpieces.

Apparently there was an art movement in Poland beginning in the mid-1960s and lasting through the 1980s known as the Polish School of Poster Art or the Polish Poster School. The country was the epicenter for a style referred to as “wall and board” art. Artist Henryk Tomaszewski is credited with being the founder of the movement in the 1950s.

The style proved so popular that during the Cold War the government used the unique posters for propaganda campaigns. Ironically the most widely recognized image from such political posters is the iconic banners used by Lech Wa??sa during rallies for the anti-government trade union Solidarity.

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Omnilab Media Lands Its First VPF Deal While Fighting Legal Dispute

Christopher Mapp of Omnilab Media

Omnilab's Christopher Mapp

Do you ever have days where you’re sorry curiosity got the better of you? Back on February 1st Omnilab Media Cinema Services announced that it had signed a virtual print fee agreement with Paramount Pictures. I decided not to post anything about it at the time believing that news of deals with additional studios would shortly follow.

It is highly unusual for a deployment entity to make public announcements about VPF deals unless they include three or four studios. In fact, some studios won’t allow press releases to be published unless an integrator has signed agreements with minimum number of studios. There are several reasons for this, not the least of which is that financing for most third-party rollouts can not be accessed until deals with several studios have been completed.

Apparently, I wasn’t alone in thinking we’d quickly be hearing about Omnilab’s additional VPF deals. The company’s managing director, Christopher Mapp, stated:

“The negotiation process with distributors for VPF contracts has been long and complex, however, with the excellent cooperation of the major distributors we are set to sign several more agreements imminently. We are in the final stages of our negotiations with other major studios and are also intending to contract with many Australian independent distributors.”

This last bit is a given since any distributor wishing to play content on equipment deployed by Omnilab under a VPF agreement would be need to pay a VPF as per the the studio’s strict contracts. The issue of independent distributors probably relates more to Omnilab being selected last September as the preferred digital cinema integrator by the Independent Cinema Association of Australia (ICAA).

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