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October 28 at 9:52am

The Next 100 Years Are Safe! Exhibition Is Not Under Threat From Netflix

by Russ Collins

Why Theatrical?

1)     Aesthetic mandate – for the film to have its full impact or be fully appreciated it must be perfectly presented on a BIG screen in a beautiful darkened room full of strangers full of artistic anticipation and cultural curiosity – the ART demands it. It is also why we go hear live music concerts, live stage and dance performances at theaters and actual paintings, sculptures and other visual art works in museums and galleries and have real art, not reproductions, hanging in our own homes.  Art authenticity is a virtue!

2)     Marketing godsend – [...]

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June 18 at 11:00am

The Cinema Giants Agree: The Film Biz As We Know It Is OVER. Now What?

Perhaps this blog is now obsolete (now wouldn’t that be excellent!).  Or maybe blogging just doesn’t work the way I hope it would (man, that would be a real shame!).  Perhaps change in the film business just about impossible. I am growing afraid it might well be — at least the kind that comes from positive and strategic influence as opposed to spontaneous or reactionary disruption (that kind of change that always is constant).  So what is the next step? And why the bleep do I have to ask?

What is going on in this world when everyone agrees that something is totally f*cked but no one with power appears to be doing anything substantial to improve it?  Are there secret plansof a new cultural infrastructure hatching and  [...]

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June 18 at 8:16am

Close Encounters Of The Implosion Kind

By Russ Collins

Gary Meyer wrote: I do not like to be a doom and gloom guy but I think there are big changes afoot for commercial cinemas, but not the scenario predicted here.  Steven Spielberg Predicts ‘Implosion’ of Film Industry

Like Gary, I am not a doom and gloom guy. However, it is tempting for older cinema artists (like Steven Spielberg and soon to retire artists like Steven Soderbergh or maybe it’s just filmmakers named Steven!) to see gloom in clouds of change. Change is hard. It frequently makes us feel discouraged or unfairly challenged. The shifting sands of change can cause us to see threats everywhere and feel the world as we know it will end.  However, maybe we feel this way because it’s true. The world as we know it will indeed come to an end because change is the only constant, and creativity in art, business and all things is frequently born from what might appear to be destructive forces brewed from dynamic change. It is a defining story of living; a baseline truth, an ever repeating cycle of human existence that the Hindu religion represents so effectively in the story Shiva, whose joyous dance of destruction celebrates the cycle of creation, preservation and dissolution.
Movie attendance at theaters in the USA by the late 1940s appeared stable at 4 BILLION admissions per year.  By the early 1960s movie attendance at theaters had fallen dramatically and re-stabilized at around 1 billion admissions per year – the theatrical audiences was just 25% of what it had been 16 years earlier. It’s hard to imagine. [...]

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January 28 at 8:30am

The Brave New American Art House

Art House Convergence Welcome Address

by Russ Collins, Director

(Ted’s note: I have participated in the AHC three times now.  Over the last 6 years, the American Art House Exhibitors have gotten organized.  Their mission of instituting best practices for community theaters is lifting our culture.  I have found it incredibly inspiring and exciting.  Filmmakers everywhere should take note as to what’s afoot.)

January 15, 2013 – for the Art House Convergence conference, Zermatt Resort, Midway, Utah

Welcome to the Art House Convergence. Welcome as we celebrate the Brave New American Art House. Thank you for taking the time and trouble to gather here in Utah with colleagues and friends and, with strangers who will soon be friends, to execute the mission of the Art House Convergence.

The mission of the Art House Convergence is to increase the quantity and quality of Art House cinemas in North America.  We hope you will help us pursue this mission by: 1) constantly improving your own Art House; 2) helping colleagues make their Art Houses better places for audiences to experience cinema art and 3) working to make all Art Houses serve as highly effective community cultural centers.

This conference would not be possible without the hard work of a dedicated group of volunteers. Thanks to the Art House Convergence Conference Committee – if you participated in one or more of those Friday calls that happen throughout the year as we plan the Art House Convergence, stand and be recognized.

It is wonderful to see so many of you here! How many are here for the first-time?  Wonderful, welcome to Utah to the Art House Convergence.  How many of you are staying, for at least a day or two to go to Park City and check out the Sundance Film Festival?

I see a lot of friends; friends that have grown from the 25 brave souls who came to the first Art House Convergence to this year, with nearly 350 registered delegates, the sixth annual gathering of community-based, mission-driven cinema operators.

The strong theme of this year’s conference is The Brave New American Art House. So, what’s the Brave New American Art House?

The Brave New American Art House is a set of ideals that looks something like this: [...]

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January 18 at 4:00pm

The Rise Of Theatrical-On-Demand: What’s Working

By Scott Glosserman

A year ago I was having breakfast with Ted Hope, but I didn’t know it.

Attending Sundance’s Art House Convergence Conference in Midway, Utah, (a coming together think tank of progressive art houses and independent theatres), I found myself sitting at a communal breakfast table, conversing with Ben Galewsky, a co-op expert who was applying his preferred model to a small theatre in Champaign, Illinois.

The collective mood at the conference was cautious and guarded. Theatre owners commiserated over Fox Searchlight’s recent letter vowing to end shipments of 35mm prints, essentially requiring indie houses to retrofit for digital projection or to get used to solely showing repertory titles. Yet, sales reps for VPF’s (Virtual Print Fees) weren’t revealing their deal structures. Indie exhibs were looking for answers, but little at the time were understood, much less given. [...]

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January 22 at 3:02am

Arin Crumley Responds To Art House Convergence Keynote

Four-Eyed Monsters’ Arin Crumley commented on my recent speech over at IndieWire.  I reprint it here for your reading pleasure:

Great Talk Ted!

So here are the big picture to-do items from this talk:

• We need a third party entity to handle payments between exhibitors and filmmakers. (Note this is a very delicate thing as it has the potential to be totally corrupt if it’s not a non-profit organization or some how decentralized.)

• We need a repository of information that filmmakers share with each other. (workbookproject.com is the start of this.)

• Exhibitors need to get digital projection and digital delivery systems installed. There are some missing standards still since DCI seems like overkill. But it is possible to have dual systems, DCI for big films and plug another cable in to bypass that system to play back WEB delivered HD content.

• We need to protect the open freedom we currently have on the internet so that it can be used build social connections around film and so it can be used to get HD files to the theaters. We made a video about this you can see here:

• We need the mechanism in which exhibitors and filmmakers can mine audiences and know who sees your film or comes to your movie theater.
In my mind this is simple, we just allow people to bookmark films they want to see and review films they’ve seen and have all that data be structured along with geo stamps. That way anyone online knows the films in each city people want to see. Then those people could ask to be notified based on variables they define. So they could set a service up that looks at the films they want to see and the local calendars and they could set an alarm that goes off when the two synchronize.

All of these ideas have been part of the think tanks we’ve been doing with From Here to Awesome and DIY DAYS and are simply awaiting sponsorship or funding to actually build the above missing components. Anyone who wants to jump on board with this effort should email fromheretoawesome (at) gmail (dot) com with your thoughts and what you can contribute and lets make this happen.

Ted can give us hope, but only if we all work together can we make these ideas a reality.

Arin Crumley
From Here to Awesome
Four Eyed MOnsters
As THe Dust Settles

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January 17 at 12:40am

If Words Were Not Enough

The video of almost all my keynote address from the Art House Convergence just got posted.

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