V. Senthil Kumar, co-founder of Chennai-based Qube Cinema Technologies that pioneered digital cinema concepts in India and provides digital cinema technologies and solutions worldwide, has received the honour of being invited to be a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. In an interview to G.C. Shekhar, he discusses the future of post-Covid cinema, the impact of OTT and future technology that will bring people back to theatres.
Are you the first technology person from India to receive this honour?
I will fit into the category of ‘members at large’, who are associated with the film industry but do not get film credit. Since we are in the technology side of cinema, like creating a movie in the correct digital format, delivering it to theatres and giving them the keys to play it, we have been chosen under the ‘members at large’ category.
The movie industry, like others, is reeling from the impact of corona. No movies are being produced, distributed or screened. Even those waiting for theatre release are going the OTT way. How do you see the industry recovering from this setback?
Optimistically, by mid-August theatres will open and start screening old movies. If audiences feel comfortable, by mid-September new movies could release and if the trend continues Diwali could be a bumper occasion. On the pessimistic side, if cases continue to grow people will be scared and we may see a reopening by March or April in 2021, when a vaccine might be available.
Will OTT overtake theatre releases, since it costs money to build and maintain cinema halls and multiplexes?
I don’t think so. Anything at home is under your control, so your attention is not as high as in a theatre. You know that if...