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Boeing and talent agency team up on film technology

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LOS ANGELES — Boeing Co. will team up with Creative Artists Agency, a major talent and literary agency based in Beverly Hills, to launch its direct-to-cinema movie delivery system.

The technology, called Boeing Digital Cinema, aims to transmit movies, concerts, sporting events, advertising and corporate events directly to audiences by satellite. It uses some of the same techniques Boeing has used for years to deliver encrypted national security information to the Air Force, the company said.

CAA, which represents some of the biggest names in Hollywood, will advise Boeing on its business and marketing of Boeing Digital Cinema, the two firms said Monday.

Movie studios see the potential for big cost savings from digital delivery of their content, which plays back to audiences on digital projectors. The cost of traditional film prints can range from $1,500 to $2,000 each, and as many as 4,000 copies are required for a major release.

The industry also boasts that the technology improves quality by eliminating the scratches, pops and hairs that mark film prints. But most theater owners have balked at spending $150,000 to $200,000 for new digital projectors, when conventional projectors cost about $35,000.

Chicago-based Boeing already has run some direct-to-cinema pilot projects. In March 2001, the company worked with Dimension Films to digitally transmit and project the premiere of "Spy Kids." In November 2000, Boeing and Miramax Films presented a digital version of "Bounce" in New York City.