Empire Expands Number of Theatres with Extras

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Mon, 05/30/2011 - 20:00 -- Nick Dager

Empire Theatres a Canada-wide film exhibition company will be introducing Empire Extra a revolutionary new digital cinema experience to five additional locations this year. Empire Extra provides guests with a heightened sensory experience in a special auditorium custom-designed to offer dynamic sound screen and seat quality. Empire Extra boasts a proprietary custom-designed multi-channel sound system for the ultimate audio experience; stunning digital presentation on a massive wall to wall wrap-around screen; and reserved seating in comfy high back rockers. Empire Extra was first introduced to the new Empire Theatres Waterloo complex in Waterloo Ontario which opened in November 2010. Due to its success and positive guest feedback it will now be introduced to the following locations over the next few months: Empire Theatres Dartmouth Crossing Dartmouth Nova Scotia Empire Theatres Empress Walk  Toronto Ontario Empire Theatres MacLeod Trail  Calgary Alberta Empire Theatres Crystal Palace Dieppe New Brunswick Empire Theatres Orleans Orleans Ontario Empire Extra has been a hit with guests in our Waterloo Ontario location ” says Dean Leland vice president studio relations and media. “They love the outstanding movie-going experience so we have decided to introduce it to a few other locations in time for summer.” ,2443
Making Gnomeo & Juliet,2011-05-31, When Starz Animation Toronto needed a storage solution that would fit the high standards of production for the animated film Gnomeo & Juliet the company turned to Globalstor Data Corporation and the company provided two 32-drive ExtremeStor-DI servers to support the stereoscopic 3D work and stereo streams for the film which was already in production. Released by Touchstone Pictures Gnomeo & Juliet is an animated film loosely based on the classic Romeo and Juliet stage production by William Shakespeare. Instead of traditional swords and beasts the film’s main characters - average household garden gnomes - face-off with lawnmowers and pink flamingo garden decorations. The film has been a box office success earning more $170 million worldwide and is still in some international theatres. Used for the initial assembly of the reels for Gnomeo & Juliet Starz purchased the ExtremeStor-DI servers after discovering that the previous storage solutions did not provide enough IO bandwidth to supply full resolution uncompressed stereo streams of production. The ExtremeStor-DI features PCI-Express x16 video bus support and NVIDIA Quadro 6000 SDI by PNY graphic board in the Optical Sandwich configuration the dual-Quad Core tower-based workstation with optional RAID hardware capable of 3400 MBps of sustained data throughput with RAID 5 capabilities. These features allowed the Globalstor system to exceed the bandwidth needed to supply the stereo output for the Starz screening room.  “We have three Scratch systems in house so Assimilate referred us to Globalstor with whom the company has a long-standing partnership ” says Terry Dale vice president operations for Starz Media Canada. “The folks at Assimilate referred knew that Gnomeo & Juliet had just gone to stereo production and that we needed a system capable of performing with high enough throughput to be able to do stereo streams.” Prior to purchasing the ExtremeStor-DI servers Starz sent several Gnomeo & Juliet frames to Globalstor to ensure the server could get the necessary throughput with the files being used for production.  “Everyone at Globalstor was awesome in getting us off the ground ” says Dale. “The team was willing to bend over backwards to make sure that its product was going to deliver what we needed it to deliver. We sent Globalstor the frames; its team ran it no problem and sent us back the results. It was performing way better than anything we’ve ever had so we ended up buying two units.” Globalstor Data Corporation www.globalstor.com Starz Animation www.starz.com ,2445
HPA Awards Announces Call for Entries,2011-05-31, The Hollywood Post Alliance has announced the call for entries for the sixth annual HPA Awards.  Awards will be presented at a gala event at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles on November 10th. The HPA Awards invite entries in the following competitive categories: Outstanding Color Grading using a DI process-Feature Film Outstanding Color Grading-Television Outstanding Color Grading-Commercial Outstanding Editing-Feature Film Outstanding Editing-Television Outstanding Editing-Commercial Outstanding Sound-Feature Film Outstanding Sound-Television Outstanding Sound-Commercial Outstanding Compositing-Feature Film Outstanding Compositing-Television Outstanding Compositing-Commercial Engineering Excellence The period of eligibility is September 8 2010 through September 6 2011 and eligible work may have debuted domestically or internationally during this period.  Entrants need not be members of the Hollywood Post Alliance or working in the U.S. to submit work for consideration. A list of last year’s winners can be found by visiting www.hpaawards.net. Nominees and winners are selected by judging panels that are drawn from professionals in production and post-production.  Entries for the Engineering Excellence Award will be invited to present at a special HPA judging event that will be open to the post community. A call for judges will be announced soon.  Nominees will be announced in the fall. Complete rules guidelines and entry information are available at: www.hpaawards.net. Submissions for the creative categories will be accepted May 16 through July 29.  Submissions for the Engineering Excellence Award will be accepted May 16 through July 1. Early Bird Entry (reduced fee for the creative categories) applies until July 1.   ,2447
IndieFilmNet Launches IFN: Midnights,2011-05-31, IndieFilmNet has announced the launch of IFN: Midnights a movie series and theatrical release slate dedicated to horror and other edgy genre titles.
IFN: Midnights will be featuring new horror titles from indie filmmakers monster and grindhouse revivals as well as other genre-bending movies to thrill midnight audiences.     
  “Horror and midnight movies have a rabid and dedicated fan base in almost every city ” says Bob Golibersuch IFN director of movie programming and owner of Screening Room Cinemas home to the Buffalo Screams Film Festival. “We intend to combine midnight classics and undiscovered thrillers with the new crop of indie horror movies to create a series of titles that will satisfy horror fans and be an exciting group experience in a big screen setting.” 
 Depending on the release IFN acts as either the theatrical distributor or digital release partner. Theatres are able to book midnight shows single screenings or full-run engagements for any title in the series.
Initial titles include the award-winning Australian exploitation homage El Monstro Del Mar 
the must-see movie of the spring Hobo with a Shotgun and a digital revival of The Brain that Wouldn’t Die.
 IndieFilmNet www.indiefilmnet.com ,2448
IndiePix Acquires Documentary Film Bhopali,2011-05-31, IndiePix has acquired the distribution rights to Bhopali the award winning and much applauded documentary film directed by Van Maximilian Carlson. Bhopali is the story of the survivors of the world’s worst industrial disasters the 1984 gas leak from a Union Carbide-owned and operated plant in Bhopali India. Shortly after midnight on December 3 1984 nearly 40 metric tons of toxic methyl isocyanate gas leaked into the atmosphere and was carried by the wind to the residential communities comprising the city of Bhopal in Central India. Over 25 000 people have died from causes directly related to this event which killed thousands in the pre-dawn hours immediately after the horrific leak and many thousands more continuously for the next 27 years from the lingering effects of extensive ground and air pollution in the immediate area. Spokespersons for the community say that about 100 thousand people who were exposed to the gas and environmental contamination continue to suffer and die today from afflictions that range from cancer blindness and birth defects. Recently the Supreme Court of India dismissed a government plea for stiffer sentencing for seven Indian citizens who were employees who were in management and supervisory positions at the time. As reported by Reuters the seven employees had earlier been sentenced to two years imprisonment by a lower court sparking outrage across the country and forcing the government to seek a tougher penalty on grounds of homicide. Attempts to hold Union Carbide its successor corporations and its global management responsible for the consequences and liabilities of this disaster have continuously failed. Union Carbide claims to have settled claims with the Indian government. The corporation divested itself of its Indian operations before being acquired by Dow Chemicals. Bob Alexander president of IndiePix says This film is of striking relevance today not only for the continuing inattention and suffering that is the legacy of this disaster but for the fundamental questions of corporate responsibility liability and governance that it so bluntly raises. We are pleased to have the opportunity to present such an important film of such timely significance. The film premiered this year at Slamdance where it promptly took top honors claiming both the Audience Award and Best Documentary Feature. It has since screened across the country and garnered critical acclaim including Jo Leyndon of Variety Magazine who called Bhopali Intimate…Heart-Wrenching…(and) Impressively polished. IndiePix will be distributing the film theatrically this fall and handling distribution for home video DVD digital broadcast and new media throughout the United States and Canada. The deal was negotiated by Mark DeFrancis of IndiePix Films and Marcus Fishman of Advance Talent Management. IndiePix www.indiepixfilms.com ,2449
First Annual 3D Advertising Summit Held May 13th ,2011-05-31, More than 150 industry professionals turned out to hear all about the impact of 3D on commercial production from some of the most experienced practitioners in the business at the first annual 3D Advertising Summit held May 13th at Kerner Studios in San Rafael California. The summit was kicked of with Kerner CEO Eric Edmeades explaining why the studio was hosting the event. “With the ever increasing advance of the 3D format now is the time for the Bay Area advertising community to claim its place as a leader in 3D commercials production ” he said.
 Attendees were then briefed as to the current state of 3D advertising in the cinema by Tony McIlwain vice president of Screenvision and about the basics of how people see 3D by Keith Vidger of Sony Electronics. Next up to speak were noted stereographers Grant Anderson instructor at the Sony 3D Technology Center and Dave Gregory an independent filmmaker both of whom explained how to prepare for – and then execute – good 3D shots and how to best avoid the mistakes that can cause eye fatigue for viewers. 
 The morning wrapped with an opportunity for attendees to get some hands on experience with three types of 3D rig camera systems: A side by side Element Technica rig; a beam splitter Kernercam 3D rig and a Panasonic single body 3D camera. 
 The afternoon sessions focused on post-production techniques as Paul Grimshaw of Spy explained the impact of 3D on post and Greg Maloney of Stereobox explained how 2D to 3D conversion works. Michael Ching of Grantave Productions and John Nicolard of Fotokem shared their experiences on actual 3D projects so that delegates could avoid certain pitfalls themselves.  The formal part of the day ended with the opportunity for attendees to ask questions of all the presenters in a panel discussion Q&A format. Following this the attendees enjoyed a post event reception as business cards were exchanged and relationships were formed.  
 Tim Partridge president of the Kerner Entertainment Group and the Kerner host for the day summed up the event. I could not have been more pleased with how this summit went.  Our presenters shared an incredible amount of information from their own experiences and the turn out was far better than we even had hoped for. The attendees included noted stereographers camera crew directors producers and ad agency staff members primarily based in Northern California but we also had several folks from LA and out of state. There is clearly a need for these kinds of programs to exist and proliferate and we hope to be able to repeat this one again next year.

 The Kerner Group www.kerner.com ,2450
Kinoton Hosts Technology Seminar in Krasnodar Russia,2011-05-31, Kinoton recently hosted a two-day intensive training course called Digital Cinema for Technicians and Operators: Basics Service and Maintenance in the Russian city of Krasnodar. Kinoton service engineer Sandro Meinhardt led the event. Kinomonitor a prominent Russian cinema chain that owns five modern multiplexes in Krasnodar alone made available one of its state-of-the-art projection booths and a DCP 30 LX Digital Cinema Projector for hands-on practice. Fourteen cinema engineers from Kinomonitor’s theaters and other cinemas in the Krasnodar area attended. The topics covered included color calibration and macro creation firmware updates replacement of parts maintenance and fault diagnosis and correction both on-site and via the Kinoton Remote Service System. A professional interpreter bridged the language gap to make sure that all of the attendees could readily understand even the most complex technical information. At the end of the seminar all of the participants were given access authorization for the MyKinoton online service. As a result they can now download spare parts catalogs service manuals and the configuration and diagnostic programs that are needed to set up and maintain DCP Digital Cinema Projectors. Christoph Baur Kinoton’s sales manager for Russia says The seminar in Krasnodar was a great success. The attendees praised its great practical relevance and Mr. Meinhardt's comprehensive technical expertise. We are confident that this targeted knowledge transfer will help our customers get the most of their D-Cinema equipment. ,2451
First International Real 3D Technology Forum Convenes in Seoul Korea,2011-05-31, The first International Real 3D Contents Technologies Forum opened May 12 in Seoul with great fanfare. Hosted by the Korea Creative Content Agency and organized by the Korea Real 3D Contents Producers Association this forum was held for two days in Seoul and Busan. Many leading manufacturers and 3D experts from America and China were present along with 300 distinguished guests to see the flow of the 3D market as well as its technological development. Pictured left to right Xiaolin Yan chairman of C3D; Kim Tae-sub chairman of KDC Group; Christopher Crescitelli founder of 3DFF. Before the forum opened Kim Tae-sub chairman of KDC and the Korea Real 3D Contents Producers Association delivered a keynote speech. Chairman Kim said 3D is not new anymore and there are some obstacles to overcome with 3D. In order to develop the industry I personally think standardization of 3D is needed the most along with creative storytelling and human respected technologies. He said that with the integrated standard Korea China and America should work together to develop the 3D industry and it is very meaningful that Korea leads the first international solidarity. Christopher Crescitelli founder of the 3D Film and Interactive Festival and CEO of the Dream Factory Studio said We are here to mandate that you create only high quality and entertaining 3D content that can be enjoyed by all markets and people around the globe. He continued by saying This forum will feature informative and inspirational discussions and explorations into this amazing new 3D industry which aims to continue its pattern of growth and prosperity for everyone involved in its successful delivery and execution to all platforms. Xiaolin Yan chairman of China 3D Industry Association said Korea China and America needs to work closely for 3D content technologies and he also wished that the forum be crowned with complete success with the 3D content technologies in Korea.” Meanwhile the kick off ceremony for Global Real 3D Association carried on. This international solidarity is composed of three countries Korea China and America and those three countries are expected to work closely for sharing technical information and establishing a standard in 3D.  Later on about eight other nations such as Japan Germany and England are expected to join the Global Real 3D Association. Prominent speakers at the forum included Alex Cho vice chairman of the Korea Real 3D Contents Producers Association Hu Bo president of Shandong Miracle Pictures Canada Longevity Intl. Enterprise Group Paul Taylor stereoscopic producer and David Franks stereographer of Stereo D. Cho talked about the manufacturing technology and trends of stereoscopic 3D content. He explained all the basic information about producing 3D content and related technology trends. Vice president Cho said The standardization on 3D content is urgently needed. He also strongly suggested that existing filmmakers and writers are required to learn about 3D production technologies for 3D content development. President Hu Bo stressed the cooperation between Korea China and America. Korea has wonderful hardware China has a big market and America Hollywood has contents. We need to work together for 3D content development. He continued I think Korea has a bright future ahead in 3D content development. He also suggested to Korea that to produce creative content in many different languages is the key for Korea to develop its 3D industry. Taylor talked about Overview of 3D Production. The question that people frequently ask to him is Do you think 3D is going to stick around this time? His answer is not surprisingly yes. For so long 3D was a very lonely business as it comes and goes. However he thinks it will be different this time due to the financial commitment which we didn't have before. 3D should resonate with images and storytelling to create a powerful and immersive feeling unlike any audiences have ever experienced before he concluded. Lastly Franks had a presentation about stereo 3D editing and post-production. I don't personally think every content will be produced in 3D but 3D will offer lots of variety and fun to audiences. He also said that delivering the image realistically and comfortably to the viewers is the key in 3D post-production. For better work production editing visual effects depth balancing and mastering for deliverables are things to care about.