In The Wall Street Journal, director Christopher Nolan opined on the future of film in a digital world.
Nolan took to the WSJ to write his feelings on where film is headed in a world where digital is taking over. This op-ed came just a few months after Nolan made an appeal to theater owners during an appearance at CinemaCon.
The distributor or theater owner (depending on the vital question of who controls the remote) would be able to change the content being played, instantly. A movie’s Friday matinees would determine whether it even gets an evening screening, or whether the projector switches back to last week’s blockbuster. This process could even be automated based on ticket sales in the interests of ‘fairness.’
It’s already bad enough that quality indie films are fighting for screens when blockbusters are playing on up to five screens, including IMAX or XD 3D, Real 3D, and Digital Cinema screens.
Movies only have a small run in the theaters before they get released on DVD. While some still wait the six months or so before a Bluray or DVD release, others are coming out on DVD as quick as three months after their film release.
The theatrical window is to the movie business what live concerts are to the music business — and no one goes to a concert to be played an MP3 on a bare stage.
It’s true. I often see a film on the big screen. I have an attention span at the movie theaters that I just don’t have while at home. At home, I’m tempted by my phone while at the movies, I am not tempted the least bit unlike a number of other film-goers who believe that they can pay $10 or more per ticket, spend close to $20 on food, and still bother me with their using a cell phone for even 30 seconds during the film. I’m looking at you, texters.
For Nolan, the digital revolution has not reached the point in time that would make him prefer choosing digital over the 35mm filmmaking that Nolan has used for sometime now.