Lecture at the Saint Petersburg Economic Forum in 2010.
Eduard Pichugin, Project Manager of KINOCLUB: Culture, Education, Communication, initiated by the YEDYNAYA ROSSIYA Party, addressed the public at the Saint Petersburg Economic Forum.
It will not be possible to modernize the Russian cinema industry without creating a modern film distribution infrastructure, announced Eduard Pichugin, Project Manager of KINOCLUB: Culture, Education, Communication, initiated by the YEDYNAYA ROSSIYA Party, during a Round Table discussion at the Saint Petersburg Economic Forum: “The Cinema Industry: A Business Model for the Future”.
“The first digital movie projector was installed in our country in 2006. Today, there are 501 digital movie theaters operating in Russia according to information available as of June 1, 2010. I would like to mention that just one and a half years ago, at the beginning of 2009, there were fewer than a hundred digital movie theaters (92 theaters in all). Such fast growth is mainly due to the release of 3D movies. What do digital technologies mean for movie theaters? There are three important advantages to installing digital equipment in movie theaters:
First and foremost, it is most important for movie theaters (especially in small and middle-sized cities) and producers to have motion-picture prints, screen premieres on the actual day of the film’s release. Today, only a very limited number of movie-print copies are released in our country, and, as a rule, each copy costs more than a thousand dollars. A digital copy is worth ten times less … In fact, this represents only the cost price of the medium, whereby the movie is transferred to the movie theater. At the best, movie prints reach small and middle-sized cities two weeks after the official release date. By introducing new digital movie theaters, companies will have more screens, box-office sales will rise, and the level of piracy will decrease.
Second, the movie theater has become an interesting and popular place to visit. Digital technologies allow showing alternative contents. I refer, of course, to live broadcasts of soccer games, star performances, and other interesting or important events. These kinds of movie theaters can be used for organizing festivals, showing other movie genres, such as “unformatted” films, conducting educational programs for school children and students, etc. The movie theater becomes an interactive area. Thanks to digital equipment in present-day movie theaters, visitors can participate in cyber-sport matches, space bridges, presentations, lectures, and forums.
Alternative contents and interactive events constitute single events, which have a definite social impact, thanks to which visitors will remain interested in a Cineplex; thus, these cinema complexes become centers of special events.
Third, the government has become actively concerned with the development of a domestic cinema industry. Of course, it will not be possible to promote domestic movies if infrastructures related to film distribution and screenings are not developed. There are 2,000 movie screens in the country today. According to independent specialists, twice as many movie theaters should be built in the country. The introduction of new technologies will have a powerful impact on our society. New screens in small and middle-sized cities and renovated movie theaters will generate a unified cultural and information space in the country. A contemporary cinema complex situated in a small town represents a modern and interesting place to visit. It will attract young people and socially-active individuals. Digital multi-media cinema complexes are not mere movie theaters. They should become modern Palaces of Culture. On May 4, 2010, the KinoClub project: Culture, Education, Communication was given the status of a project of the Yedynaya Rossiya Party.
In the last three years, we have developed the project for creating a network of multi-media educational and cinema centers. The project has been named KINOCLUB: Culture, Education, Communication. It represents a tremendous project aimed at creating cultural, educational and intellectual centers in all the regions of Russia. Each KinoClub will be equipped with multi-media movie theaters, an Internet Club, and different leisure activities and associations for young people; movies will be shown, exhibitions will be displayed, and various presentations will be programmed here.
Digital technologies will enable distributors to release movie premieres simultaneously all over the country, broadcast educational programs, sports events, and concerts. KinoClub premises will also be an ideal place to conduct conferences and forums.
Digital movies are rapidly replacing film-type techniques. Digital technologies represent greater and greater advantages: not only are they more economical, but they have a significant social impact on the community, namely they contribute to raising the cultural level of our citizens, especially those who live in small towns.”