BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Entertainment  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Thursday, 12 September, 2002, 13:06 GMT 14:06 UK
Minister welcomes digital film report
Phantom Menace
Phantom Menace: One of the first films shown digitally
Minister for Film Kim Howells has welcomed a groundbreaking report which emphasises the importance of digital technology in the film industry.

The report was produced by Screen Digest, a monthly publication which reports on audio-visual media, for the Department for Culture, Media And Sport (DCMS).

It is hoped that the report's findings will encourage action from the film industry, backed by government support.

It's vital that we have this debate to ensure the UK film industry keeps up with the pace of new technology

Dr Kim Howells

Its recommendations include:

  • Speeding up access to digital cinema either by converting existing cinemas or building new screens
  • Creating websites to showcase British films
  • Establishing a dedicated digital film festival

    The report also seeks to promote the use of DVD technology to create multi-lingual master copies of films for use in foreign markets.

    "The film industry has undergone a quiet revolution with the development of digital technology," said Dr Howells.

    "Yet not everyone in the industry has sat up and taken notice.

    Kim Howells
    Kim Howells: "Report an excellent starting point"
    "That's why it's so vital that we have this debate now to ensure that the UK film industry keeps up with the pace of new technology."

    Dr Howells added that the report was "an excellent starting point for discussions, both in the industry and further afield".

    Clearer films

    So far about 50 theatres worldwide are equipped with digital systems, with each projector costing up to $200,000 (139,130). But the expense of switching to digital projection has deterred cinema owners from making the switch.

    Toy Story 2
    Toy Story 2 was shown at some cinemas in digital format
    Digital projectors work by reading an image that has been scanned into a computer. The projector then transforms the computer code into moving pictures on the screen.

    The projectors promise clearer, sharper films that will not deteriorate no matter how many times they are shown or copied.

    Copies of the films themselves are cheaper to make, because they can be stored on a computer instead of on expensive celluloid.

    The first major blockbuster to be shown through a digital projector was 1999's Star Wars prequel The Phantom Menace.

    Toy Story 2 and Star Wars Episode II: Attack Of The Clones are among those that have also received digital screenings in selected cinemas.

  • See also:

    28 Dec 01 | Entertainment
    05 Dec 01 | Entertainment
    03 Apr 02 | Entertainment
    24 May 99 | Science/Nature
    Internet links:


    The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

    Links to more Entertainment stories are at the foot of the page.


    E-mail this story to a friend

    Links to more Entertainment stories

    © BBC ^^ Back to top

    News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
    South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
    Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
    Programmes