News - newspaper articles: January 2006 Archives

The NYTimes (registration required) has a nice article about a new practical emphasis at the USC film school (what a concept!):

Twenty-seven-year-old Rain Breaw is determined to become a movie director, so despite the prevailing wisdom, she is going to film school.

"The general opinion is if you want to be a filmmaker, you'd be better off taking a production assistant job, and learn by doing," Ms. Breaw said during a break from classes at the University of Southern California's School of Cinema-Television, where she is in the final year of the three-year master's program. "But if you're not a child with connections or have parents who can fund you, your only choice is film school."


Given the odds, Ms. Daley explained, it is unrealistic for the school to focus on training great filmmakers. Hollywood, just a half-dozen miles away, is eager for educated young people to fill the many needs of the entertainment machine — editors, cinematographers, producers, agents and executives.

"If you want to make the great American film — how long will that take any individual to get where they want to be?" she asked. "Who knows?"

Lawrence Turman, head of the school's producing track, is equally blunt. "I treat it a little like a trade school," said Mr. Turman, a producer of "The Graduate," "American History X" and a score of other films. "Because the school is located in Los Angeles, I try to make it practical. Where do you find material? How do you develop it? Where do you get the money? How do you make it? How do you sell it?"

When it rains, it pours.... Konica-Minolta has just announced its withdrawal from the camera and photography business -- including digital photography. They are transferring most of their camera assets (including their digital Maxxum SLR series) to Sony. It's not surprising given that they lost JPY7,300 million on revenue of JPY117,000 million in FY2005 in their camera business.

Cameras: In camera business, we have reached an agreement with Sony Corporation(Sony), having numerous image sensor technologies such as CCD and CMOS, to jointly develop digital SLR cameras in July 2005. In order to continue to have our customers use Maxxum/Dynax lenses, and to maximize possibilities of the optical, mechanical and electronics technologies accumulated through development of SLR cameras in the years to come, we came to the conclusion that it was best to transfer assets concerning camera business to Sony. Since then, we have been negotiating with Sony, and as a result, we have reached an agreement with Sony to transfer a portion of assets regarding digital SLR camera system to Sony*1. In this relation, we have decided to withdraw from camera business*2, such as film cameras and digital cameras, within Konica Minolta Group as of March 31, 2006.

Sony is planning to develop digital SLR cameras compatible with Maxxum/Dynax lens mount system, so that the current Maxxum/Dynax users will be able to continue to use them with Sony’s digital SLR cameras. In addition, we will consign camera service operations for Konica Minolta, Konica,Minolta brand cameras and related equipment to Sony.

Photography: In today’s shrinking photographic market represented by color film and color paper, we have been considering to scale back and to continue photo business at an appropriate size; however, when we foresee the photographic market, it is quite difficult to maintain profitability in this field, and we have decided to withdraw from photo business. As schemed below, we will, as much as possible, avoid causing any inconvenience in providing products to our worldwide customers in the course of withdrawal.

Konica was Japan's oldest camera and photographic supply company. Minolta was one of the stars of the postwar camera boom. It will be sad to see both leave the market.

In other news, Pentax is merging with Samsung.

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This page is a archive of entries in the News - newspaper articles category from January 2006.

News - newspaper articles: November 2005 is the previous archive.

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