It has never been harder for a cinema owner to make decisions on how to move forward. Going digital and the VPF (Virtual Print Fee) has taken a lot of the control out of the cinema owners hands. You want to move with the times, but cannot afford to miss out on the VPF. How does a cinema owner deal with this labyrinth?
A recent article on Broadcast TV Faces Struggle to Stay Viable Its a great read, I recommend it.
A point to take from this is that larger productions like ER and friends are no longer viable for that industry. In reality we should consider how this will also be effecting the life blood of the cinema industry. The film makers.
Going digital is to the advantage of the distributors. That is what the VPF is all about. However, the world moves forward and new issues are surfacing. The decision to go digital is no longer a matter of the distributors saving/making more money. We need to consider some new developments.
In the article I mention above there is an indication that the production of premium content is becoming harder for TV. This indicates that the big and popular blockbusters, the life blood of cinema exhibition, are also likely to be less viable.
Going digital, at some stage, is going to reduce film distribution costs and in the long run let film makers make better films with less money. In effect making them more viable. Feeding us good premium content that patrons will enjoy coming out to see again and again.
Every year thousands of used polyester films are dumped into land fill. These films need large amounts of water and electricity to make while also introducing unfriendly chemicals into the environment. If the cinema industry is to move forward with the times it needs to turn over a new GREEN leaf and move to digital. The use of reusable hard drives could be a great thing to do for our planet.
By no means do I make an excuse for the distributors to pay less on a VPF. In reality I do not think they have done enough. However, it is no longer time to sit on the fence to see what happens. If the opportunities arrives it is time to move forward and embrace digital.