Digital film: One more chance to blow it?

Forgive our cynicism. In fact, we are quite optimistic as we write this. We’re just not optimistic that the mighty Motion Picture Association of America will get it right with digital-film standards.

They’ll get a lot of it right. Picture and sound will be just fine and dandy, presumably. But we don’t trust unilingual American engineers – who, in fairness, do not constitute all those working on the project – to get the details right. Details like metadata, accessibility, and multilingualism.

For online distribution – seen by everyone as a sweet plum – this stuff’s gotta work for more people than just Americans with NT boxen and good eyes and ears.

[Beating of vegan dead-horse substitute] Previous coverage: Opening up accessibility; Metadata.

You’ve got to be able to sit there and watch the Spanish dubbed version of The Itchy & Scratchy Movie if you want to. Who’s minding that store, exactly?

Couple of issues:

Want to lay odds that people are gonna get all this right?

If the topic seems abstract, far-off, and irrelevant to you, maybe it truly is. Or maybe someday you’ll want to search for the scene in which Itchy juliennes Scratchy with the red, blood-stained axe and no other axe.

En tout cas, a WGBH source confirms that two of its operatives are at work on the D-Cinema committee. So maybe we shouldn’t despair.

Digital online film? It can be done. Kind of.

Posted on 2000-10-28