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July 28, 2005

More-with-Less Innovation: Films without film

The movies you see will soon look better, and cost a lot less money and energy to get to the theater.

Every week trucks roll out of film labs carrying big heavy boxes. These boxes hold feature films that have to be transported to thousands of movie theaters all over America. This is expensive in terms of both money and energy. And the visual quality of the films these boxes contain starts to degrade the moment the films are run through a projector for you to see.

This is about to become a thing of the past. Movie production companies have banded together to create standards for transmitting films to theaters digitally. And venture capitalists are accumulating $3 billion to convert all of America’s theaters to this new system.

We used to be told that government was needed to create standards, because competing businesses could never agree to get together on their own to do it. But it’s happening every day now. We used to be told that only government could pay for multi-billion dollar improvements in infrastructure. But it’s happening every day now with no involvement from government. We are constantly told that big business wants to rape the environment, and that only government can prevent this. But every day businesses are developing new ways to do more-with-less, placing a smaller burden on the planet, and improving our quality of life.

So don’t worry. Be happy. And the next time government does something wasteful, stupid, or destructive, consider doing something to lower your blood pressure. Go see a movie.

Meanwhile, you can learn more about the new method for distributing movies here.

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