THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY
Director Chris Munch (The Hours and Times) sent the below comment in regarding Ted Hope’s post, below, on start-up online film distributor Jaman. While applauding the company’s goals and its economical price points, Munch wonders whether all the enthusiasm for digital film distribution means that we are being conditioned to accept lower image quality when it comes to viewing our favorite movies.
Will the price ever rocket, though? Will producers and filmmakers benefit if it does? Jaman seems like a good idea at a good price point. I’m astonished how “content delivery trend predictors” have been proven wrong time and again: while the public embraces and gobbles up low-fi, low-rez stuff online (even theatrically!), what I and others have been waiting for — HD DVD rollout — founders, and the quality of cable HD delivery only seems to worsen. Is this attributable to too much greed on the part of cable and satellite operators, trying to squeeze too much programming through their bandwidth? In any case, most of the audience doesn’t seem to care or they would demand something better. They don’t seem to care that what comes through their 50 inch plasma screens is of poorer quality than the analog cable broadcasts of 20 years ago. This country really fucked up broadcast HD in a big way, just like it fucked up by allowing its 70mm infrastructure in theatres to languish in disuse. But, alas, the days in which the latter can be lamented are numbered as affordable 4K capture via Red has become a reality, and the rollout of DCI continues to widen. Bottom line is we now live with the best and the worst of D-cinema and E-cinema and everything in between. And the best is truly something to reckon with.