Christie Downplays Avatar Rumors

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Fri, 06/30/2017 - 11:34 -- Nick Dager

Christie is downplaying widespread reports that the sequel to James Cameron’s Avatar will be released in a glasses-free 3D format.Stopping short of calling them inaccurate, Christie is downplaying widespread reports that the sequel to James Cameron’s Avatar will be released in a glasses-free 3D format. A spokesman said the speculation of a single blogger started the rumor and labeled it “theorizing.”

When asked directly about the rumors, David Paolini, Christie’s manager of media and public relations told Digital Cinema Report, “The specifics of Christie’s development work with [Cameron’s company] Lightstorm are confidential and those parts that are public are contained in the Christie-issued press release of March 30. The blogger who started this speculation was theorizing that no-glasses 3D was part of the work we are doing and we are not prepared to speak to this.”

In that press release, which was issued during CinemaCon 2017 in Las Vegas, Christie and Lightstorm announced that they had “renewed an exclusive, five-year agreement that sees these two industry leaders sharing know-how and ground-breaking technology to propel the future of immersive cinema experiences.”

In the release, Cameron said, “To push the boundary of digital cinema, one needs visionary, like-minded collaborators and that description fits Christie to a tee, given its long cinema heritage and impressive list of industry firsts in the projection and visual display realms. Several years ago we began our relationship, which has worked well, so I’m pleased to be forging ahead again with Christie at my side.”

Under the terms of that agreement, Christie will equip Lightstorm with a variety of current and planned projection systems including the first of a new RGB laser projection series now under development – one that boasts much higher efficiencies than lasers utilized in current cinemas. The units will be spread across Cameron’s production facilities and come with 24/7 access to the Christie Network Operations Center, call center support, and replacement parts as per Christie’s warranty services to all exhibitors.

Paolini said the final paragraph of that release might have been what helped start the rumors. “In exchange for knowledge sharing, equipment and services, Lightstorm will share with Christie its own findings into 3D, HFR and high-dynamic range enhancements, as well as formatting and color space requirements, for achieving the optimal viewing experience,” the release said. “This knowledge in turn will aid Christie in creating market-leading projectors, media servers and tool kits for a variety of applications including cinema exhibition, location-based entertainment and post-production markets.”

In addition to that, said Paolini last October Cameron spoke before the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers’ Centennial Gala and was quoted as saying: “I'm going to push. Not only for better tools, workflow, high dynamic range and high frame rates — the things we are working toward. I’m still very bullish on 3D, but we need brighter projection, and ultimately I think it can happen — with no glasses. We’ll get there.”

Christie Digital Systems USA