What's Up, Doc?

By Baselinemag  |  Posted 2006-10-02 Print this article Print

The entertainment industry is rushing to replace an outdated film production and distribution system with a nimble digital supply chain.

What's Up, Doc?

Now that the digital repository initiative is well underway, Warner is accelerating its effort to digitize the 6,000 or so movies, many of them made in the late 1930s, in its film library, using digital technology to restore the original quality of the Technicolor photography. In August, it also announced an online Web initiative that will enable fans of various cartoon shows such as Looney Tunes to download new interactive content, related games and flash animations of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and the like.

"We found that consumers wanted to do things with our content—cut up Looney Tunes, for example—create content of their own and post it on their Web sites for others to see," Dages explains. Were it not for rights issues, Warner could offer the same kind of interactive offering for its live action movies.

At this point, it's far too early to talk about return on investment, though the company's technology group already generates revenue by making its process available to outside clients.Ultimately, though, Warner's ability to fully realize the potential of its content, exploit its assets globally, and capitalize on new distribution channels and emerging technologies is what will drive the company's future success.

For Warner, there's much more to come, or to paraphrase Looney Tunes' longtime porcine star, "That's not all, folks."

At A Glance: Warner Bros. Entertainment

Headquarters: 4000 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91522
Phone: (818) 954-6000
URL: www.warnerbros.com
Business: Film, television, home video, game and consumer products.
Technology chief: Chris Cookson, chief technology officer and president, Warner Bros. Technical Operations
Financials in 2005: Revenue of $11.9 billion.

NEXT PAGE: Digital Supply Chain Then and Now


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