The Gaff #004: Future of the Cinema-going Experience


Sams & Luke debate the future of the cinema-going experience as they discuss new release, on-demand platform ‘The Screening Room’, other subscription services, high frame rate (HFR), 3D and even virtual reality.


Luke recounts seeing Brian Wilson at the Sydney Opera House. Sam encourages him to check out the biopic Love & Mercy. We take a couple of short detours into covering our opinion on 10 Cloverfield Lane’s originally intended ending and Sams rants about Bait 3D.

The boys talk about the upcoming Stan Original series ‘Wolf Creek’ and its first full trailer. We also talk about silent home invasion indie horror ‘Hush’, ‘Everybody Wants Some’ Richard Linklater’s spiritual successor to Dazed and Confused, and ‘Search Party’ the latest comedy from Hangover director Todd Phillips.



Sean Parker’s The Screening Room promises day-and-date on-demand viewing of new release films at home for US$50 for a 48-hour rental window, on a US$150 set-top box.

We cover a lot of ground here; studios and filmmakers who support/oppose the idea, the cost vs value of the whole proposition, Sams’ belief in the cinema as a cathedral, fancy options when it comes to venue or premium tickets, standard Australian ticket pricing, the forming of UNISPHE as a home entertainment distributor, large format screens such as IMAX, the atmosphere and collective reaction of an audience, special event screenings with Q&As and special guests, streaming bandwidth and quality issues, notion of movies as disposable entertainment and the rise of high production value cable TV shows.

As we move on to talk about the evolution of cinema, we focus on the current iteration of 3D and whether it enhances the experience. We weigh up the differences between shot in 3D vs post-conversion and staged depth vs gimmick pop-up effects. Luke even tries on active, home use 3D glasses on-air for your amusement as we talk about good and bad examples of the format.

Beyond 3D, we talk about high-frame rate (HFR) and if it enhances or detracts from the viewing experience. In the case of fantasy against reality, do we need HFR? How does it combine with 3D.

Finally we touch on VOD options, piracy, subscription services, convenience, escapism, the importance of a screening space, film vs digital and audience participation.


On the next episode of The Gaff we had intended to talk about extreme films such as Requiem for a Dream, American History X and Trainspotting. Instead you’ll find we settle on the Walking Dead S6 finale. Make sure you watch before listening in next ep!

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