Academy Award and two-time Golden Globe winning producer Jon Landau will keynote the National Association of Broadcasters Show’s Technology Summit on Cinema on Sunday, April 7 in Las Vegas. The Summit is co-produced by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers. Landau, who has produced the two highest grossing movies of all-time, Avatar and Titanic, is likely to cover several topics – 3D, 4K, High Frame Rates, Motion Capture – but his key message will be that nothing is more important as good storytelling. As he says, “Technology has never made a bad movie good.”
Landau also produced Steven Soderbergh's Solaris, co-produced Warren Beatty's Dick Tracy and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. As executive vice president of feature film production at Twentieth Century Fox in the early 1990s, he supervised production on all major motion pictures, including Die Hard 2, Mrs. Doubtfire, True Lies, Power Rangers, Aliens 3 and Last of the Mohicans.
Landau thoroughly understands the most complex state-of-the-art visual effects technologies and has been instrumental in licensing and marketing his films across various global platforms. In addition to producing, Landau pro-actively works with companies and individuals in the entertainment industry to push cinematic technologies to new levels.
Kevin Gage, NAB chief technology officer and head of NAB Labs said, "Jon Landau constantly works to improve the filmmaking process, even after having achieved enormous success. Attendees at NAB Show’s Technology Summit on Cinema will benefit from his knowledge of how cutting-edge technologies enhance the art of storytelling."
As much as Landau understands and appreciates new technology, his focus is always on the story and finding the best way to present it to an audience. At the Summit, he said, “We’re going to have an open conversation about utilizing technology to tell our stories. How do we use it to improve what we do?”
He and partner James Cameron are currently working on two sequels to Avatar, about which he will say little except that they want to do them more cost-effectively than the first film and to hint that there is a possibility that some of the action will take place underwater. Think Atlantis. There are new worlds to explore. Production on the next Avatar film should begin this year, he said.
Here is the rest of the line-up for this year’s Technology Summit on Cinema:
When We’re Ready: A History of Cinema Technology
Date: Saturday, April 6 8:45 am - 9:15 am
Speaker: Mark Schubin
Description: Are magnetic-levitation seats with tactile and olfactory feedback the future of cinema? Many of today's common technologies-sound, widescreen, giant screen, high-speed, electronic content delivery, stereoscopic 3D, etc.-were developed long ago but didn't "take" until the time was right. Technology historian Mark Schubin provides an illustrated trip back in time to when old technologies were new and no one was sure they'd be successful.
Advancing Cameras for Cinema
Date: Saturday, April 6 9:15 am - 10:15 am
Speakers: Eric Fossum , Peter Centen , Siegfried Foessel , Takayuki Yamashita
Description: Moves from film to electronic acquisition, from small-format to larger-format images sensors, and from slow to high frame rates have already been accomplished in commercially available cameras. What's next? Higher resolution, greater sensitivity, more dynamic range, greater color gamut, even higher frame rates? How about correction of more lens aberrations, the ability to change focus after capture, and single-lens depth capture? What might we see in the next five years?
Update on the Digital Cinema Worldwide Rollout
Date: Saturday, April 6 10:45 am - 11:15 am
Speakers: Paul Hearty , Michael Karagosian
Description: At the end of 2012, 70% of the world's cinema screens were converted to digital projection. This session will review on a region-by-region basis the progress made in the digital cinema rollout. Special attention will be given to the enabling factors for the rollout in Latin America, where the highest percentage growth of digital screens is taking place.
New and Emerging Standards in Digital Cinema
Date: Saturday, April 6 11:15 am - 11:45 am
Speakers: Hans Hoffmann , Brian Vessa , John Hurst
Description: The session is providing an overview about the standardisation work in SMPTE on new and emerging standards in Digital Cinema. Topics included will be a brief of the 21DC committee such as Higher Frame Rates DCP, Subtitle, and an overview about the activities being undertaken in the newly established Technology Committee on Digital Sound Systems (25CSS).
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of 3D Films: An Essential Guide to the Advantages and Pitfalls of Conversion
Date: Saturday, April 6 2:15 pm - 2:45 pm
Speaker: Barry Sandrew
Description: Whether it's a full feature film conversion or partial conversion in a film shot with stereo camera rigs, conversion is becoming an essential tool in the filmmaker's arsenal for creating the highest quality, believable 3D. This presentation discusses and demonstrates the advantages and pitfalls of conversion that are essential for the filmmaker to know and understand. Conversion offers the feature film director with unprecedented creative control in the process of storytelling. However, this creative control, like a driving a high performance car through an obstacle course cannot be accomplished in unskilled hands. This presentation discusses the various processes in conversion, what can go wrong and how the filmmaker/director can spot significant errors. It also goes into the art and proper use of techniques such as floating windows in stereo conversion.
Sound Advice: Let's Get Immersed
Date: Saturday, April 6 3:15 pm - 4:30 pm
Speakers: Tom Scott , Jeff Levison , John Kellogg , Kimio Hamasaki , Stuart Bowling ,Wilfried Van Baelen
Description: No, not climate change or personal hygiene, we are talking Cinema Sound here. In the quest for more audience involvement with the essence- the "movie"- of the Cinema, a number of researchers have been looking for ways to enhance our old friend the 5.1 channel soundtrack to immerse the viewer/listener in the aural action and environment.This session will introduce the many players in this area, the technical challenges that they must surmount, and their successes and failures to date in the quest for the audio holy grail: enough channels to convince the audience that there are an infinite number of channels-- or no channels at all.
Improving Workflow for Digital Cinema Distribution
Date: Saturday, April 6 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Speaker: Michael Karagosian
Description: The workflows associated with motion picture booking, fulfillment, security key management, and film rental reconciliation are unique to the cinema business. One of the promises of digital cinema technology that remains to be realized is the streamlining of these workflows. This session explores the improvements now sought in workflow efficiency for digital cinema, from the booking of a movie through to reconciliation of film rental.
A Tidal Wave of Pixels: New Workflows for Digital Production
Date: Sunday, April 7 8:45 am - 9:45 am
Speakers: Freddy Goeske , Jim Houston , Peter Anderson
Description: Many filmmakers would like to make use of a bigger and better digital 'palette': high frame rates, stereoscopic 3D, wider color gamuts, greater dynamic range, and higher resolutions such as 4K -- and even 8K. All of these new technologies impose great demands on digital workflows and challenge productions to be pioneers in technology deployment. How do you create effective workflows with digital tools that are rapidly changing or inadequate for the desired volume of work. How can you produce content that is future-proof and yet achievable with current technologies? This session will discuss the issues in designing digital workflows to handle the oncoming tidal wave of pixels using examples from current productions.
Distributed Post Production for Cinema: Technologies, Issues and Business Opportunities
Date: Sunday, April 7 9:45 am - 10:45 am
Speaker: Gary Thompson
Description: The post-production workflow was once a localized, tightly integrated and highly controlled process where the content output was closely scrutinized at every step. The production ecosystem today has become one where production and post may occur via collaborative workflows and with creative individuals scattered around the globe. This session includes expert presenters who will discuss real-world challenges and effective strategies for distributed production post. Topics will include cloud storage, security, speed, and integration with existing media platforms (VFX, editorial, color grading, etc.). Can standard file system protocols be used? What are the options for establishing private, secure media clouds? How does an organization work at LAN speeds allowing geographically separated users the ability to automate media sharing allowing the production and post-production teams' immediate access? How do you ensure that all contributors see the same quality image on different display system?
Advanced Imaged Capture and Display in Cinema: Science and Technology Update
Date: Sunday, April 7 11:15 am - 12:15 pm
Speakers: Pat Griffis , Andrew Watson , Bert Dunk , Kenichiro Masaoka, PhD , Scott Daly
Description: 4K display is becoming a mainstay in cinemas today but it is only one technical aspect of providing a compelling viewing experience. As new display technologies, such as laser projection, make possible brighter images with wider color gamut, what does science tell us about how humans perceive brightness in a cinema context? In this session we will discuss the science and technology of advanced imaging in the cinema and what we can expect to see in the near future.
Higher Cinema Frame Rates: It's Off and Running (at 48fps) Part I - What's the Big Deal
Date: Sunday, April 7 1:45 pm - 2:45 pm
Speakers: Wendy Aylsworth , Christopher Pack, PhD , Howard Lukk , Stuart Hameroff, MD
Description: With the first release of a High Frame Rate (HFR) movie, much has been learned and there is room for improvements. Movie frame rates at 60fps are in development and higher rates are being planned for future generations of equipment. This session will look at the benefits of HFR in storytelling, exploring the most recent research on the psychophysical audience response to HFR, as well as hearing from creatives about how this tool could be employed to achieve a desired emotional audience response.
A Brighter Future: Developments in Laser Projection
Co-Produced with Laser Illuminated Projector Association
Date: Sunday, April 7 4:15 pm - 5:45 pm
Speakers: Pete Lude , Casey Stack , Dr. David Sliney
Description: After sixty years of service in movie theaters around the globe, traditional xenon short-arc projector lamps will soon be replaced with solid state laser illumination systems. In addition to brighter images, laser projectors promise lower operating costs, reduced power consumption, longer life and in increased color gamut. The session will provide an overview of laser projector technology, including new hybrid projectors incorporating both direct emission and laser-excited phosphor. Further, the results of a recent study by LIPA (Laser Illuminated Projector Association) will be presented. In this pioneering study, radiometric measurements were conducted to compare optical properties of new laser projectors with xenon lamp digital projectors and traditional 35mm film projectors. These findings will aide in updating safety standards to reflect the new laser technologies. The session will also include a report on the latest progress in this regulatory reform.