Blackmagic Buys Cinetel

By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)

You’d think that in this digital age, that putting your treasure into a film scanning company would be a bit of a way to look backwards, rather than forwards.  But Blackmagic may be onto something as they’ve recent did just that in buying Cinetel.

“This is a very exciting acquisition for Blackmagic Design. Cintel products are the most trusted names in the film scanning business, and the incredible design expertise that has been built into every one of the Cintel products is amazing,” said Grant Petty, CEO, Blackmagic Design.

The acquisition of Cinetel gives BlackMagic control over all intellectual property pertaining to film scanning products including  the Cintel diTTo and dataMill digital scanners lines, URSA, C-Reality, DSX, and Millennium telecine lines as well as imageMill data management products.

And the move shows that BlackMagic is not only seeking to future proof the vast array of films that have yet been digitized, but also understands that there are still filmmakers out there, like Christopher Nolan, who still prefer to shoot on the film medium. But on the other side, there are traditional film pros, like Martin Scorsese, that see the handwriting on the wall. As such, the gap between film and digital is closing rapidly.  Last year, nearly 80% of movies were shot on film.  But as more and more movie theaters begin to make the transition to digital projection, the costs of providing film prints will rise.  Right now, it costs $1500 per print to distribute on film.  But digital is nearly one tenth that cost for a reusable hard drive.

But the fact of the matter is, that by 2015, only 17% of movie theaters will be projecting traditional film.  And considering that Panavision, Arri, and Aeton have all ceased production of 35mm film cameras to concentrate on their digital lines, and that companies like Kodak and Fuji are scaling back on film production altogether, although Kodak executives don’t see ever stopping the production of movie film …

“I don’t see a time when Kodak stops making film stock,” noting the year-on-year growth in 65mm film and popularity of Super 8mm. “We still make billions of linear feet of film,” he says. “Over the horizon as far as we can see, we’ll be making billions of feet of film.” - Chris Johnson, Director of New Business Development, Entertainment Imaging, Eastman Kodak

This acquisition gives Blackmagic Design the ability to combine our vision and expertise with Cintel technology to provide the best technology for artists using film, more efficient and affordable ways to bring film into a digital workflow and better ways to archive and restore existing archive film worldwide.” – Grant Petty, CEO, Blackmagic Design.

And what Blackmagic sees is that even when a movie is shot on film, it’s usually finished digitally, and that means needing film scanning.  So it makes plenty of sense to shore up their asset portfolio so they can be a leader in that part of the industry.  And what BlackMagic sees is that even when a movie is shot on film, it’s usually finished digitally, and that means needing film scanning.

This acquisition gives Blackmagic Design the ability to combine our vision and expertise with Cintel technology to provide the best technology for artists using film, more efficient and affordable ways to bring film into a digital workflow and better ways to archive and restore existing archive film worldwide.” – Grant Petty, CEO, Blackmagic Design.

And when you consider that Blackmagic is making a serious push into digital filmmaking themselves with the BlackMagic Cinema Camera, it seems that they’ll have Hollywood coming and going for the foreseeable future.

Source: Studio Daily, Creative Cow

About James DeRuvo

James has a multi-faceted career that spans radio, film and publishing. A writer about the technology in the video industry for nearly 20 years, James is also an award winning film director, having garnered a Telly Award for his short film Searching for Inspiration. He's also worked as a producer of many talk radio programs in Los Angeles with topics ranging from entertainment to travel to technology.

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