‘Digital Cinema in Transition’: Preliminary Research Results

Title‘Digital Cinema in Transition’: Preliminary Research Results
Publication TypeConference Paper
Author(s)Baltruschat, D., and E. Mathijs
Affiliation (1st Author)University of British Columbia, Canada
Section or WGAudience Section
DateThurs 27 June
Slot CodeAUDT4a
Slot Code (Keyword)AUDT4a
Time of Session16:00-17:30
Session TitleGlobal Audiences for Cinema
Submission ID6672

Digital Cinema in Transition is a research project that investigates the circuit of digital media production and reception. This paper presents preliminary results of the study with regards to a selection of digital media texts (e.g. ‘The Hobbit’, ‘Cosmopolis’, etc.) and their reception by audiences in Canada and countries around the world. In particular, it details how audiences today experience, negotiate and interpret digital cinema in a wide variety of ways and settings, from purchasing tickets on-line, to viewing content on mobile screens, creating Internet fan fiction and investing in the development of new feature film production (e.g. through Kickstarter). These experiences and engagements with digital content by audiences and fan communities are increasingly blended into everyday interactions with multi-media; thus becoming normalized in the process. In researching the transition from ‘traditional’ to digital cinema, we seek to capture the moments that point towards, and possibly identify, how digital cinema may be transformative, or even act as a catalyst for accelerating and intensifying the development of viewing communities and fan cultures. In order to obtain comprehensive insight into digital cinema as it develops, unfolds and becomes part of the overall digital movie experience, we sought answers through on-line audience surveys, interviews with producers and attendance of trade forums for media professionals in the field. This resulted in a combination of production and audience reception studies, which highlighted the importance to investigate the entire production circuit of digital cinema, especially with regards to the creative destruction of previous film production and audience reception modes, and their reinvention in the form of multi-media and transmedia production and interaction. This paper presents the findings of Digital Cinema in Transition with a view towards continuing surveys and investigations into the transformations of cinema on an international scale.

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