Part I. Introduction
The Role of Information and Communication Technology in the Area of Arts, Culture and Heritage: Digital Cinema
Eloisa May P. Hernandez
Philippine cinema, in general, has been benefiting from advances in information and communication technology in the country. Major film studios such as ABS-CBN’s Star Cinema , Regal Films and VIVA Films have their own websites to aid in the marketing of their films and the promotion of their talents. These websites also has forums where fans can discuss about the films. An important section is the complete filmography of the major studios. Films produced and distributed by these studios are also available for sale on the internet. Some films have their own official websites such as Zsazsa Zaturnnah , Mano Po 5 , and Kasal Kasali Kasalo . The internet has become a major site for marketing and distribution of films produced by major studios.
Mobile phone networks have been used by film studios to send promotion messages to its subscribers. ABS-CBN owns a cable TV channel, Cinema One, dedicated primarily to Philippine films. Filipinos abroad continue to enjoy Filipino movies through ABS-CBN’s The Filipino Channel (TFC) and Cinema One Global, international cable channels. Viewers abroad can even vote for their favorite contestants in ABS-CBN’s local reality shows such as Pinoy Dream Academy through the website of TFC giving them a sense that they are still involved in their favorite entertainment shows even if they are outside of the country.
Digital filmmakers, most of them independent from major studios, do not have the marketing and distribution machinery that major studios have. Filipino digital filmmakers have embraced the information and communications technology and rely heavily on them to distribute their works. One of the integral reasons for the development of digital cinema in the Philippines is the parallel growth of information and communications technology in the country.
Information and Communication technology or ICT is a loosely defined concept that commonly refers to technologies such as the internet, mobile phones, AND cable TV. It has transformed the field of digital cinema in the Philippines by opening and creating distinct and varied avenues of distribution and circulation of digital films. Consequently, ICT enables digital films to be more accessible to the public. This paper will focus primarily on the internet, an integral component of ICT, with particular attention on electronic mailing lists (more popularly known as e-groups), blogs, forums, personal websites and the role that they play in the circulation and distribution of digital cinema in the Philippines. Other ICT components such as cable TV and mobile phones, and its potential integration, will also be explored.
Part II. DIGITAL CINEMA IN THE PHILIPPINES to follow.
Commissioned by DOST, presented at the ICTD4 Roundtable Discussion, Vigan, Ilocos Sur, January 30, 2007. Published in the book The Role of Information and Communication Technology in Digital Cinema. Information and Communication Technology in Philippine Art, Heritage and Religion. Department of Science and Technology in 2008.