Real Image Technologies clarify

Real Image Technologies clarify Digital cinema service provider Qube, a division of Real Image Media Technologies, today refuted the allegations made by Tamil Nadu Film Producers Council (TNFPC) and termed them as incorrect.

In a statement here today, Real Image said they were a pioneer in cinema technology and has greatly helped the
Indian movie industry over the last three decades by introducing computer based editing with Avid, digital
sound with DTS and digital cinema with Qube, a technology for end-to-end digital cinema that was entirely developed
in India and has been sold around the world.

Real Image is the company largely responsible for helping the Indian film industry rise above the competition from satellite television in the 1990s by providing the tools to achieve slick editing and crystal clear surround sound and thus bring audiences back to theatres.

In rolling out digital cinema at a time when no theatre was willing to invest the money, Real Image has risked huge capital invested by reputed international companies such as Nomura, Intel, Cisco and Streetedge and created a win-win model that has benefited producers, distributors, exhibitors
and most importantly, audiences.

The release said producers have benefited because Real Image does not charge for converting a movie into the digital cinema format unlike in the rest of the world where such digital cinema mastering was a cost for the producer.

”Producers also benefit from the strong anti-piracy features such as the unbreakable encryption and the invisible forensic watermarking in digital cinema that helps us accurately identify the source of piracy by analysing the pirated copy with our software”, it said.

Stating that the entire overseas market was now opened up for Tamil cinema at a very low cost because of digital cinema, it said most importantly, Distributors and Producers have both benefited from the much lower cost of release today - as low as Rs 325+tax per show and the flexibility to release much more widely and thus offset the ill effects of piracy.

Referring to the TNFPC demand seeking payment on cinema advertising, the Real Image said it was not theirs in the first place. The TNFPC claims that Qube/UFO have been charging very high rates to the producers and have been earning in crores.

Qube has not changed its digital print fee rates for many years, a fact highlighted to the Council in a letter to
TNFPC in March. It said Qube has only introduced additional flexibility to aid producers and distributors, especially of smaller films, by bringing out weekly and per-show rates.

”Currently, a film can release at a cost of merely Rs 325+tax per show subject to a minimum of seven shows.
When compared with the Rs 60,000 to rs 80,000 per film print that producers paid in 2005, we have only helped the
industry enormously, especially in Tamil Nadu”, it added. In fact, there were barely 80 Tamil films released in
2005 when digital cinema was introduced. But in 2014, there were over 300 Tamil films produced. This amazing increase has happened mainly in smaller films and clearly shows how digital cinema has democratised the film industry and allowed many more talented people to make films, the release said.

On the TNFPC claim that Qube/UFO earn about Rs 400 crores through advertising revenue from playing their films and that they have refused to give this revenue to the producers, the release said from the beginning, the advertising rights have always belonged to the theatre. In 2005, Real Image decided to enter the cinema advertising business apart from the digital cinema business. Using our patented centrally controlled advertising technology, we have built this into a growing business and benefited theatres across the country by improving their advertising revenues.

”We contracted legally with theatres for advertising which has historically been their right and if producers disagree that the advertising rights belongs to theatres, then they should discuss this question with theatres and arrive at a suitable conclusion”, it said. Real Image could not suddenly be coerced in this fashion
to part with the advertising by the TNFPC when its business has been built on the basis of advertising rights that it had legally contracted from theatres.

Though it was true that audiences come to the theatre to watch movies, but that does not mean everything that the theatre earns belongs to the producers. Theatres have multiple revenue streams including advertising,
food sales and parking. All these revenue streams depend on audiences coming to the theatre but legally, these revenue streams belong to the theatre and the theatre compensates the producer and distributor by sharing their ticket sales revenue as agreed contractually between them.