Technology

  • January 14, 2010

    Will “Avatar” be to 3D what “The Jazz Singer” was to sound?

    NEW YORK, NY — In a recent article in the New York Times, writer Dave Kehr looks at the history of 3D and discounts the notion that “Avatar” in and of itself will establish 3D as the common mode of theatrical film presentation. He believes that if Hollywood can convince audiences that viewing just about any film in 3D should be the norm, then this time 3D might take its place alongside sound, widescreen, and color photography. He sees potential for 3D if it is used to connect moviegoers to the characters and immerse them in the world of the film rather than simply creating the illusion that things are being thrown at them.

    If 3-D takes hold, it won’t be the exclusive doing of “Avatar,” but the result of a long series of small technological steps and tiny adjustments in audience expectations. The process is far from over, and its outcome is by no means clear.

    The dream of producing 3-D movies goes back to the very beginnings of the cinema. Pioneers like Thomas Edison and the Lumière brothers aspired from the first to make movies with sound, color and depth, and the basic technology (the separation of a scene into left-eye and right-eye images, brought back together when the spectator looks through filtered glasses) had been around since the magic-lantern days. Experimentation with 3-D films continued through the ‘20s, and at least one feature-length film — the now lost “Power of Love” (1922) — was produced but not released.

    The whole article is here.

  • January 7, 2010

    Four manufacturers of 3-D glasses vying for supremacy

    NEW YORK, NY — As the number of screens equipped for 3-D expands and as the number of 3-D productions also increases, the vendors of the special glasses needed to see the dimensional effects are in a contest for market share. A recent article in the New York Times discusses the issue and compares the products of the four companies competing for adoption by film producers and theater owners.

    The battle over what glasses patrons wear is a big deal because exhibitors are convinced that 3-D, while seeming like a gimmick now, will lure movie lovers away from their crisp high-definition widescreen TVs at home and back to the theater. But Maria Costeira, the chief executive of XpanD, believes the sky’s the limit: “Eventually, we’ll see 3-D movies on airplanes as well.”

    The fight over the glasses may well intensify because TV makers are now pushing 3-D TVs for the home as a way to increase their sales of more expensive sets.

    Despite the marketing effort, when it comes down to choosing a 3-D system, many exhibitors are making a decision based on one factor: Do they want to be in the cleaning as well as the movie business?

    More here in the New York Times.

  • January 4, 2010

    A Guide to seeing “Avatar” in several formats

    With all the different versions of “Avatar” out right now, it’s a little confusing as to which provides the best experience.

    This article in the Los Angeles Times goes over the pros and cons of each format.

    You might have opened the newspaper to find a two-page spread advertising “Avatar” in its many theater formats and wondered what the heck the difference is. There’s the standard non-3-D version (pass!), RealD, Dolby Digital and IMAX. The final three are the leading competitors in the battle to add depth dimension to movie theater screens.

  • December 31, 2009

    5 Movies to watch for in IMAX 3-D

    Check out this article at MovieTickets.com that discusses some of the current and upcoming major IMAX-3D releases.

  • December 18, 2009

    Ebert’s take on Avatar

    Read the review here….Sun-Times Link

    Notice near the end that Ebert went to see it in Digital 3D and not Liemax 3-D and says he wants to see it in true IMAX.

    Cameron promised he’d unveil the next generation of 3-D in “Avatar.” I’m a notorious skeptic about this process, a needless distraction from the perfect realism of movies in 2-D. Cameron’s iteration is the best I’ve seen — and more importantly, one of the most carefully-employed. The film never uses 3-D simply because it has it, and doesn’t promiscuously violate the fourth wall. He also seems quite aware of 3-D’s weakness for dimming the picture, and even with a film set largely in interiors and a rain forest, there’s sufficient light. I saw the film in 3-D on a good screen at the AMC River East and was impressed. I might be awesome in True IMAX. Good luck in getting a ticket before February.

  • Southeast’s Georgia Theaters select Christie’s DLP Cinema Projectors

    CYPRESS, CA — Christie, the digital cinema leader with 70% of all installations worldwide, announced that Christie’s CP2000-ZX DLP Cinema projectors will be purchased by Georgia Theatre Company, a cinema chain with over 270 screens in 27 locations, including Georgia, Florida, South Carolina and Virginia. Part of Cinedigm’s (NASDAQ: CIDM) Phase 2 digital cinema deployment program, Georgia Theatres plans to install over 250 Christie projection systems exclusively throughout their circuit. Currently, a total of 40 Christie systems are installed and operating, with additional installations taking place ahead of the holiday theatrical releases and the eagerly anticipated James Cameron’s “Avatar” movie in 3D, as well as throughout 2010.

    “Service and experience with digital equipment installations are two major factors in our selection of Christie digital projectors and Christie Managed Services,” noted Aubrey Stone, president of Georgia Theatre Company. “We tested their units for a year and we were very impressed. The picture on the screen was excellent. Along with their technology and lowest cost of operation, Christie’s track record of installing thousands of screens worldwide was also an important consideration in our decision.”

  • December 10, 2009

    Sony to broadcast World Cup matches in 3D next year

    According to Engadget, Sony is teaming up with FIFA to broadcast 25 matches of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in 3D in theaters around the world, excluding North America.

    Thankfully Sony will release a Bluray of highlights of the cup in 3D for 3d Bluray players later that year.

  • December 8, 2009

    Christie’s DLP Cinema notches another customer win

    CYPRESS, CA — Christie, the world leader in digital cinema projection, was selected by Movie Palace, Inc., as the exclusive digital cinema provider for its new all-digital Studio City Stadium 10, a 10-screen classic multiplex theatre in Casper, Wyoming. It is the second Movie Palace theatre in Casper to use Christie digital projectors. The company has also installed the Christie CP2000 series projectors — the world’s most popular digital cinema projector — in its other locations in Cheyenne and Rock Springs, Wyoming.

    “We chose Christie based on three key criteria: reliability, brightness and customer service. Since we built our reputation on presenting high quality images on the screen and providing the best service in the community, we depend on the flawless performance and customer care that Christie products and their staff provide us,” remarked Randy Pryde, president of Movie Palace.

    Pryde noted that Movie Palace plans to equip all their locations with Christie DLP Cinema projectors. “Offering the brightest and most reliable products in the industry, Christie greatly enhances our customers' movie viewing experience,” he observed.

  • November 17, 2009

    Motion Picture Heritage liberates Hollywood Theater

    DORMONT, PA — The Hollywood Theatre. was in danger of being mothballed when local councilman John Maggio had an idea. He reached out to Motion Picture Heritage who had just finished re-fitting a drive-in in Shelbyville, Indiana to come on board to bring the Hollywood back to life. MPH had just done the unthinkable, they had implemented a low cost digital projection system for use in a drive-in, total cost $10,000. The principals of MPH fell in love with the Hollywood, a 400 seat theatre in the green South Hills of Pittsburgh. August 1st, the theatre came to life again featuring over 6 new titles every week.

  • September 24, 2009

    Up to 15,000 additional screens slated to get digital 3-D

    At a “3-D Entertainment Summit” held in Los Angeles on September 16, major exhibitors were heartened to hear that financing was being made available to equip thousands of additional screens for digital 3-D films over the next five years. Currently, there are about 2,700 screens equipped for digital 3-D exhibition, a number which exhibitors believe seriously limits their profits from the increasing number of 3-D films studios are releasing. Still, some theater owners were skeptical that that the number of 3-D venues would increase as rapidly as projected.

    To date there are only 2,700 3-D screens in North America, limiting the potential returns that studios can reap from the higher ticket prices from 3-D releases (moviegoers typically must pay an extra $3 to see 3-D films). With the new financing, that number is expected to grow by 4,000 by the of the year, or nearly 10% of all screens in North America.

    Here’s the rest of the story from the L.A. Times.