There were three main topics of conversation at ShowEast 2009 which was held last month in Orlando Florida: the first two were 2K versus 4K technology and money both how to raise it and how to make it. As in recent exhibition shows the money talks centered on financial business models and new ideas in alternative content. But in truth most everything really focused on the third topic – 3D – that of course encompasses the other two topics as well. And looming over all of this was the widely anticipated impending release of Twentieth Century Fox’s Avatar from director James Cameron.
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Barco and Doremi have unveiled an integrated 2K/4K media block designed for Barco Series-II projectors. The companies showcased the technology at ShowEast in October. In June of this year Barco Cinemark and Doremi announced an exclusive agreement for the delivery and installation of over 3 000 projectors in more than 300 US theatres. This agreement was the first to include Texas Instruments' Enhanced DLP Cinema 4K technology and Doremi's integrated media block.
One of the implicit promises of the digital cinema transition was that the lower cost of production and post-production tools would empower more filmmakers to do more work and in turn that the best of those movies could be screened – again at lower cost – in digitally equipped theatres. That this promise has yet to be fulfilled and in fact shows signs of never coming to pass has created a small firestorm in recent days in the independent film community. From the business media to blogs and chat rooms the topic of conversation is the same: independent filmmaking is in serious trouble.
Supercines the largest cinema chain in Ecuador has selected Christie CP2000-SB digital cinema projectors to equip its newest 15-screen multiplex in Quito the capital of Ecuador. Headquartered in Guayaquil and owned by Corporación El Rosado Supercines has theatres in all of the country’s major cities.
Cinedigm Digital Cinema has announced that the Georgia Theatre Company will participate in Cinedigm's Phase 2 digital cinema deployment program. Georgia will purchase its own equipment and Cinedigm will manage the virtual print fees for a ten-year term for 257 screens at 23 locations. In Phase 2 Cinedigm has created an exhibitor-buyer financing option for exhibitors. When exhibitors choose this option they select and purchase their own equipment and Cinedigm manages billing and collection of VPFs from movie distributors receiving a fee for doing so.
Clearwater Productions of Johannesburg South Africa has taken delivery of the first of two Red One 4K digital cinema cameras. CEO Derek White says “We needed a platform to originate live action and Red is the most cinematic has the best quality and the smartest upgrade path. We are actually after the Red Epic (due for release next year) but in order to be eligible to buy one you need to be a Red One owner first.” Clearwater also acquired a set of Bausch & Lomb Super Baltar prime lenses from a DOP in Los Angeles. “These lenses are simply beautiful ” says Derek.
ShowEast 2009 had its share of surprises despite a rather low turnout.
Ralph Willis Brandt Gully and Kenny Favre three former executives of GE Capital’s entertainment group have founded Entertainment Financial Advisors Partners to provide a wide array of strategic advisory services to companies in select entertainment industries. They say that EFA’s focus is to provide middle-market and emerging entertainment companies with financial advisory services to assist with raising capital merger and acquisition recommendations restructuring alternatives industry research and general business plan development.
The CineMec complex in Holland – a cineplex which doubles as a conference center – has opened a new 3D CineMec XL the largest 3D screen in Holland with 20 000 watts of custom-designed QSC cinema surround sound. Housed in a contemporary building owned by Gerben Kuipers CineMec XL is located in Ede just 50 minutes from Amsterdam. The auditorium can host more than 1 000 visitors and some seats can be lifted to the ceiling to convert the cinema into a multi-purpose hall for concerts congresses or similar events. Dutch-based specialists FTT Filmtronics B.V.
Director Tao Ruspoli’s award-winning independent feature film Fix will be premiering November 20th at The Village East Theatre in New York City. The film tells the fictional story of two documentary filmmakers Bella (Olivia Wilde) and Milo (Tao Ruspoli) who over the course of a single day race from Beverly Hills to Watts and places in between to get Milo's brother Leo (Shawn Andrews) from jail to rehab before eight o’clock or Leo goes to prison for three years.
Docurama Films is celebrating its tenth anniversary with a package of classic non-fiction titles has signed with Gigantic Digital Cinema to provide national distribution. The special series is now available online except in New York City. Recently cited by the press as one of indie film's top venues Gigantic Digital Cinema is the only true traditional film exhibitor online today.
After the hiatus the Fox Network told DP Gordon Lonsdale ASC that Bones would have to be shot on HD and that he would need to cut $20 000 out of his lighting budget. “For the first three seasons we’d been using Arri cameras Zeiss prime lenses and Kodak 35mm film ” says Lonsdale. “I did my research and figured that the Sony F35s we could get from Otto Nemenz International would be the best full-frame digital camera available.” To confirm his choice Lonsdale turned to Band Pro’s Jeff Cree who is the leading knowledge source about the camera for advice.
In yet another example of the ways in which independent filmmakers are releasing their projects Unfiltered Entertainment last month announced that its movie Wake the Witch would be distributed through Amazon.com and FilmBaby.com this. Inspired by Japanese horror the 90-minute feature tells the tale of three friends who unwittingly release the vengeful spirit of a witch from her resting place. Written and directed by Dorothy Booraem the low-budget film was shot on location in Wilderness Park in Lincoln Nebraska and other locations in the surrounding area last fall.
The new Marcus Midtown Cinema at Midtown Crossing in Omaha Nebraska is installing Kodak Digital Cinema systems on all five screens of the four-level entertainment destination which is scheduled to open on November 6. Systems will include several models of NEC projectors supplied by Ballantyne Strong who will handle projector installation. We've decided to step carefully into the world of digital feature systems says Bruce J. Olson president of Marcus Theatres. We've been working with Kodak for some time and their depth of technology appeals to us.
Recognizing the abilities of the talented men and women behind the scenes who play a vital part in the creation of motion pictures commercials and television nominations have been announced by the Hollywood Post Alliance for the Fourth Annual HPA Awards. Winners of the prestigious HPA Award will be announced during a gala evening ceremony on November 12th at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles California. The awards launched in 2006 acknowledge creative and technical excellence in the art science and craft of post-production in twelve categories.
Prime Focus has announced that it is using Aspera’s fasp transport technology for fast secure and reliable digital file sharing across three continents. A global visual entertainment company with 17 facilities in India the United Kingdom and North America Prime Focus relies on Aspera software to enable global production of rich media content for film broadcast online media and gaming industries.
National Geographic Entertainment has announced the acquisition of worldwide rights to the film Blue Man Group: Mind Blast for distribution to giant-screen digital and Imax 3D and 2D theaters. The 3D live-action comedy slated for release in Spring 2011 will feature an original screenplay and score and will star the group’s original cast members.
JVC Professional Products has announced a new feature of the GY-HM700 ProHD camcorder that the company says brings further benefits to customers in their choice of workflow. As with the smaller GY-HM100 camcorder .MP4 files can now be recorded onto the SDHC card along with .MOV files when the SxS adapter is not attached providing flexibility for shooting and offering a unique dual media concept. JVC says it has also added a more powerful built-in DNR to the GY-HM700 which produces higher picture quality.
John Lowry founder of TrioScopics says the company has developed stereoscopic imaging technology which consists of proprietary encoding combined with inexpensive glasses and does not require specialized projectors screens players or display equipment thus eliminating a major impediment to the distribution of 3D entertainment. TrioScopics has the potential to make high quality 3D ubiquitous in the marketplace immediately without any equipment investments or expensive upgrades says John D. Lowry founder of TrioScopics.
Technicolor Business Group has announced support from multiple major motion picture studios for the release of theatrical content presented in Technicolor 3D a high-quality 3D solution that works with existing 35mm projectors that was announced last month. DreamWorks Animation Lionsgate Paramount Overture Universal Pictures Warner Bros.