A few months ago when I went to one of the big, refurbished, cinema complexes (which I usually avoid in favour of cheaper venues), it looked to me as if they must have gotten into digital projection. The bright looking result looked pretty good to me, and I assumed that it must indicate that Australian cinemas were finally following the US trend I had been seen mentioned on the 'net over the last couple of years.
The big attraction for studios is that digital distribution saves an enormous amount of money in printing copies of movies on film and couriering them all over the country.
Yet, I had also read that Spielberg (amongst other directors) does not want to shoot on digital cameras. His films are still shot on film and then converted to digital format. But increasing, I think, films (especially special effects heavy ones) are made with digital cameras too.
Anyway, the changes this all means to the movie making business are all set out in interesting detail in the above article.
One of the most surprising things is that, as with computer file format wars generally, the movie industry doesn't have its act together on this yet:
And even after the films are converted to digital, Jan-Christopher Horak, director of the UCLA Film & Television Archive, calls the challenges of preserving them "monumental." Digital is lousy for long-term storage.
The main problem is format obsolescence. File formats can go obsolete in a matter of months. On this subject, Horak's every sentence requires an exclamation mark. "In the last 10 years of digitality, we've gone through 20 formats!" he says. "Every 18 months we're getting a new format!"
So every two years, data must be transferred, or "migrated," to a new device. If that doesn't happen, the data may never being accessible again. Technology can advance too far ahead.
Anyhow, I just found the whole article a good read.