The Indywood movie theater will be a sort of laboratory in which we can experiment with online theatrical distribution.
To movie theater owners, the words “digital” and “online,” are words of bain and strife. Over the past five year, theaters have been forced to switch to digital projection. The switch costs upwards of $100,000. Sadly, the dawn of the digital age has forced many independent movie theaters out of business.
On top of that, websites like Netflix and Hulu now enable viewers to watch films online, which only creates more competition for theatrical ticket sales.
However, any industry that hopes to thrive in the 21st century cannot shy away from what is online and digital.
At Indywood, we are hoping to explore a new interpretation of digital, online technology in the theatrical context.
Consider this perspective: It is not theaters, but distribution companies who should be fearing the words “digital” and “online.” Though we morn the loss of the analog beauty of celluloid film, since the inception of the cinema, the high cost of developing and distributing reels of film has give distribution companies a choke hold on the film economy.
Now that all these theater have switched to digital projection, it is feasible for filmmakers to send digital film files directly to theaters over the internet—cutting the cost of distribution to next to nothing!
Digital, online distribution has the potential to revolutionize how movie theaters get content to screen. In the not so distant future, theaters will be able to connect directly with filmmakers—making it so theaters and filmmakers can share tickets sales.
As of now, these are all just ideas. But after spending some months researching the state of the industry, we are confident that these are ideas that will work. At the same time as we are establishing our movie theater, we will be developing online tools for filmmakers to be able to send their films to us over the internet. We’re going to prove that these tools work at our own theater. Once they’ve been proven, we’ll allow any other movie theater out there to take advantage of them.