Monthly Archives: March 2013

What significance does the continuing development of digital media technology have for media institutions and audiences?

What significance does the continuing development of digital media technology have for media institutions and audiences?

The continuing development of digital media technology has a huge significance on media institutions and audiences. The film industry is constantly changing and adapting in order to find new ways to distribute their product. For instance, in recent years companies have been introducing an online streaming platform, which gives the viewer the option to purchase the movie and stream or download that film directly to their computer at home, or even to their smartphone or device. This has saved distributors millions as instead of sourcing materials for packaging for a large fee, then going through the production stage of creating the actual media disc, they can just send out a single file from a computer and still release and sell their product to the same amount of people as they would off with a physical Digital Disc release. This is the same with new cinema releases as now distributors don’t need to process a reel of film, they just send the production file computer to computer, this also removes the limit on distribution distance as in the past, a dozen film reel would have been shared and posted around the country. Now all they need to receive a new release is an internet connection and a computer. This pushes the view that “old” media such as DVD’s are in decline as the large push towards new viewing platforms are slowly diminishing the need for old media. This could be agreed and disagreed with the older generation, however the younger generation would believe that old media is in decline as they have found different, more convenient platforms in which to purchase or view media productions.

This “wave” of new technology which companies are adopting is pushing the old media out of the industry effectively making it de-funct. This example can be applied to the Pixar and Disney’s history and use of 2D to 3D animation. Disney released popular productions such as Dumbo with all of the animation being created by traditional hand drawn animators rather than more modern medians such as computer animations. 2D animation had been used by Disney as it was the industry standard in animation, the move to 3D or CG animation or graphics started during the 70’s as traditional animation had reached a standstill, this is where technology such as CG animation had taken over. The introduction of new editing platforms such as Tween and RenderMan brought along shorts like Tin Toy, The success of these Pixar shorts gave Disney belief in the commercial validity of CG animation as early productions from Pixar had yielded an incredibly positive response from the public, Disney couldn’t avoid the fact that the public wanted to see animated films which used the new technology, Which was a huge motive for Disney when they had decided they wanted to pair with Pixar to create full length feature films, with everything being animated with CG animation. This is a good example of successful convergence as both companies benefit from each other’s existence. With Disney’s strong corporate background, Pixar could use Disney’s distribution resources to fully make the most of Disney’s name, and Disney can reap the benefits of Pixar’s natural success capitalize their own financial gains from each successful Pixar release.

 

The natural example of synergy is also apparent when you look at Pixar and Disney’s convergence as Pixar gets the artistic and creative credit which further reinforces their name in the industry, and Disney can gain from Pixar’s success as the release of another hit from a production which bears the Disney brand name really boosts Disney’s publicity as they are now always associated with Pixar and its success.

New technology isn’t always welcomed in the media industry as it does sometimes forces a company to re-invest millions to reach the same level as their competitors, this financial risk can affect a company’s future, if the investment doesn’t reap overall profit the company has lost most of their money in a dead technology. An example of a company not taking this risk can be seen in Disney’s history as they had produced Tron, a short CG animated film which was a staff production which was never destined to be released to the public, as it was only a test to see what CG animation could bring to the world of animation. An early pioneer in CG animation John Lasseter, had pitched the idea to Disney to create a full length feature film created with CG animation, Disney didn’t see financial validity in the use of CG animation and had shunned the very idea that CG would take over the use of traditional animation. But as further developments and productions show, the public wanted CG in the animation industry, as it was something new and revolutionary in the world of animation and even media. Disney even goes back on its word and pairs with Pixar in a new world animation deal. This re-investment in new technology however did benefit Disney in the end, as they now see 3D animations financial worth and trust Pixar to develop new versions of RenderMan, which is the software that produces all of the new releases created by Pixar.

This surge of new technology has made the process of creating a new production cheap and fast, which is in the best interest of a big conglomerate like Disney, they can even reduce the cost of distribution as they can release a production straight to online streaming, cutting out the need for a physical object like a tape or disc. New technology has also made it incredibly easy for the public to start producing independent media productions; even with highbrow software such as RenderMan, such highly renowned software created directly from Pixar is available for public release, anyone with a half decent computer can download this software for a small fee and create their very own animation which would could be rendered to produce same aesthetic quality as a Pixar production. This is also the case with film productions as technology like cameras are getting better and cheaper at a staggering rate. A camera that would have been considered “high-end” in the 1980’s, a quality equivalent is now used on a modern smart phone for a fraction of the price, even editing software like Sony Vegas and FinalCut can be purchased for public use. Even recently, a simpler version of editing software can now be purchased as an app on a smartphone or smart device, this type of technological convergence is now used in most cameras and smart devices, which makes it incredibly easy for the public to create their own production. Even distribution of their production isn’t a difficult process as viral video sites like YouTube, Vimeo and DailyMotion are now an incredibly effective and flexible way of releasing a production to the world. This has essentially “levelled the field” as a single person can create something of similar aesthetic quality for a fraction of the price of a feature film.

What significance does the continuing development of digital media technology have for media institutions and audiences?

What significance does the continuing development of digital media technology have for media institutions and audiences?

The continuing development of digital media technology has a huge significance on media institutions and audiences. The film industry is constantly changing and adapting in order to find new ways to distribute their product. For instance, in recent years companies have been introducing an online streaming platform, which gives the viewer the option to purchase the movie and stream or download that film directly to their computer at home, or even to their smartphone or device. This has saved distributors millions as instead of sourcing materials for packaging for a large fee, then going through the production stage of creating the actual media disc, they can just send out a single file from a computer and still release and sell their product to the same amount of people as they would off with a physical Digital Disc release. This is the same with new cinema releases as now distributors don’t need to process a reel of film, they just send the production file computer to computer, this also removes the limit on distribution distance as in the past, a dozen film reel would have been shared and posted around the country. Now all they need to receive a new release is an internet connection and a computer. This pushes the view that “old” media such as DVD’s are in decline as the large push towards new viewing platforms are slowly diminishing the need for old media. This could be agreed and disagreed with the older generation, however the younger generation would believe that old media is in decline as they have found different, more convenient platforms in which to purchase or view media productions.

This “wave” of new technology which companies are adopting is pushing the old media out of the industry effectively making it de-funct. This example can be applied to the Pixar and Disney’s history and use of 2D to 3D animation. Disney released popular productions such as Dumbo with all of the animation being created by traditional hand drawn animators rather than more modern medians such as computer animations. 2D animation had been used by Disney as it was the industry standard in animation, the move to 3D or CG animation or graphics started during the 70’s as traditional animation had reached a standstill, this is where technology such as CG animation had taken over. The introduction of new editing platforms such as Tween and RenderMan brought along shorts like Tin Toy, The success of these Pixar shorts gave Disney belief in the commercial validity of CG animation as early productions from Pixar had yielded an incredibly positive response from the public, Disney couldn’t avoid the fact that the public wanted to see animated films which used the new technology, Which was a huge motive for Disney when they had decided they wanted to pair with Pixar to create full length feature films, with everything being animated with CG animation. This is a good example of successful convergence as both companies benefit from each other’s existence. With Disney’s strong corporate background, Pixar could use Disney’s distribution resources to fully make the most of Disney’s name, and Disney can reap the benefits of Pixar’s natural success capitalize their own financial gains from each successful Pixar release.

 

The natural example of synergy is also apparent when you look at Pixar and Disney’s convergence as Pixar gets the artistic and creative credit which further reinforces their name in the industry, and Disney can gain from Pixar’s success as the release of another hit from a Pixar release which bears the Disney trademark really boosts Disney’s publicity as they are now always associated with Pixar and its success.

New technology isn’t always welcomed in the media industry as it does sometimes forces a company to re-invest millions to reach the same level as their competitors, this financial risk can affect a company’s future, if the investment doesn’t reap overall profit the company has lost most of their money in a dead technology. An example of a company not taking this risk can be seen in Disney’s history as they had produced Tron, a short CG animated film which was a staff production which was never destined to be released to the public, as it was only a test to see what CG animation could bring to the world of animation. An early pioneer in CG animation John Lasseter, had pitched the idea to Disney to create a full length feature film created with CG animation, Disney didn’t see financial validity in the use of CG animation and had shunned the very idea that CG would take over the use of traditional animation. This re-investment in new technology however did benefit Disney in the end, as they now see 3D animations financial worth and trust Pixar to develop new versions of RenderMan, which is the software that produces all of the new releases created by Pixar.

This surge of new technology has made the process of creating a new production cheap and fast, which is in the best interest of a big conglomerate like Disney, they can even reduce the cost of distribution as they can release a production straight to online streaming, cutting out the need for a physical object like a tape or disc. New technology has also made it incredibly easy for the public to start producing independent media productions; even with highbrow software such as RenderMan, such highly renowned software created directly from Pixar is available for public release, anyone with a half decent computer can download this software for a small fee and create their very own animation which would could be rendered to produce same aesthetic quality as a Pixar production. This is also the case with film productions as technology like cameras are getting better and cheaper at a staggering rate. A camera that would have been considered “high-end” in the 1980’s, a quality equivalent is now used on a modern smart phone for a fraction of the price, even editing software like Sony Vegas and FinalCut can be purchased for public use. Even recently, a simpler version of editing software can now be purchased as an app on a smartphone or smart device, this type of technological convergence is now used in most cameras and smart devices, which makes it incredibly easy for the public to create their own production. Even distribution of their production isn’t a difficult process as viral video sites like YouTube, Vimeo and DailyMotion are now an incredibly effective and flexible way of releasing a production to the world. This has essentially “levelled the field” as a single person can create something of similar aesthetic quality for a fraction of the price of a feature film.

 

Alex Lee

New Technologies, Distribution and Production

New Technologies, Distribution and Production
1) What is film distribution?
Film distribution is the procedure between a production company and the film exhibitor; the exhibitor will negotiate an agreement concerning finance and level of distribution of the film. Film distribution includes the shipping/distribution of the film around the world however; distribution has recently been aimed at the digital market, as more contemporary methods are being used, physical film distribution will continue to diminish.
2) What are the main things a film distributor is responsible for?
A film distributor is an independent company which is responsible for negotiating an agreement with the exhibitor on distribution through theatres, as well as theatrical distribution the film distributor will also handle physical and digital distribution of the product (film)
3) How has digital distribution changed the actual process of getting films into cinemas?
Digital Distribution has changed the way distribution is carried out, as it is cheaper, faster and easier for the distributor to send a digital copy of the film to theatres, rather than having a main reel of film that had to be shared between groups of cinemas.
4) How did the original Hollywood studio system work? What is the economic term for this style of ownership?
The Hollywood studio system was when one company would own all of the sectors needed to create and distribute a film. With the company controlling both production and distribution there is no need to control or negotiate with the distributors, making it easier for the producers and distributors to release their product. The economic term for this is Vertical Integration.
5) What led to the end of the studio system?
In 1938 a federal antitrust suit known as the “Paramount case”. The US Federal Government had set a consent decree in 1940, with conditions that would stop or limit the “Big Five” from block booking short and feature films. 3 years later, the “Big Eight” had not met the consent decree’s requirement which forced the government to re-instate the law suit; the suit went to trial in 1945 leading the case to the US Supreme Court in 1948. The Supreme Court’s verdict voted against the studios, forcing the eight major studios to sell/strip themselves of their movie theatre chains, therefore ending the Hollywood studio system.

6) What are the losses to society by using this sort of system?
The problem that vertical integration can cause is the monopolization of the market, which causes a rigid governmental and hierarchal structure which has much of the same limitations as a socialist economy. Monopolization of the intermediate components of an industry can lead to a throwaway society heavily influenced by consumerism
7) How will the development of new technologies hurt a company that uses vertical integration? What are the benefits of vertical integration?
New technology will damage companies that use vertical integration as the company is forced to re-invest in its substructures in order to keep up with the competition. This has sometimes damaged a company as the pre-existing company has had to our mass amounts of money having to re-design their production/distribution structures. The benefit of vertical integration is the stability gained by controlling all processes of production and distribution, another benefit to the company could be the ability to monopolize the market throughout the chain by market foreclosure, which does benefit the company although this can effectively “close” the market.
8) How do big studios today work with distribution companies?
Studios tend to work with distribution companies by financing their production and distribution expenses, this can be a temporary partnership or can lead to a full time agreement causing an integration of two companies.
9) 10 facts about new digital technology…
DVD vs. VCR
Many people think that when it comes to picture quality, DVD would rule over a VCR However, A one-hour video in digital format would use up about 21GB of space. A DVD of the same length would be less than 4.7GB and any time you compress an image, there will always be a loss of quality. In simpler terms, a 2-hour high quality video tape would actually look better than a 2-hour DVD. And when it comes to durability, tape wins. You had to be careful handling DVDs as they could be easily scratched and be rendered useless whereas a video tape was always contained within a plastic case, which provided a good amount of protection – it was usually the video player that destroyed a video tape. However when it comes to playing durability, a DVD typically lasts longer,

10) How have low-budget independent films benefited from changes in technology and distribution?
More independent films can now release cheap productions with the same quality video and audio as the silver screen productions as new advancements in technology creates better and cheaper cameras, a generic phone camera would most likely be of better quality than a top end film camera used by a production company 50 years ago. The same can be applied to editing software, as anyone with an average computer can purchase the same editing programmes used by the highbrow production companies and create their films in their bedroom. This has “levelled” the playing fields. As far as distribution goes, once they have edited their film, they can then upload their production onto viral video sites like YouTube and Vimeo; these are now such well known media viewing platforms highbrow companies use these as an advertising base as the audience they can reach through online viral video sites is vast.
11) What was the first independent film released on HD DVD?
One Six Right on November 1, 2006, Directed and produced by Brian J. Terwilliger
12) What was the first computer animated film to be created by one person?
Flatland animated by Ladd Ehlinger in 2007