Randall Dark is a pioneer of making movies in large format digital video. Still developing projects today, he was arguably the industry’s most passionate advocate in the effort to convert the television industry to high definition. Since working on the world’s first HDTV production in the ‘80s – the CBC mini-series Chasing Rainbows – he has made countless feature films and documentaries that explore both the wonders of the world around us and the complexities and humanity within all of us. Recently Randall learned that he has Alzheimer’s disease. With his wife Kristen’s support, he is fighting the disease with all the creativity and humor and simple grace that those of us who are blessed to call him friend know so well.
Event Cinema Association executive director Grainne Peat will be celebrating her first year in that role when the association convenes in Amsterdam next month for its annual convention. It has been a busy year for the association and for Peat who has implemented many changes. I recently spoke with her to talk about all that has happened in the past eleven months. Peat says one of her key challenges going forward is to better define what event cinema actually is. But first, we discussed the association’s new website.
The Long Walk is the third feature film by director Mattie Do (Chanthaly, Dearest Sister), who was raised in Los Angeles but relocated to Laos to become the country’s first, and only, female filmmaker. In an interview in Women and Hollywood, Do described her genre-bending film as “an unconventional time-travel thriller set in a forgotten rural village in Laos, about the ethos of a man, plagued by regret and loneliness, and his downward spiral into becoming a serial killer. He also has a very complicit ghostly friend.” Cinematographer Matthew Macar shot the low-budget feature over 32 days in Vientiane, Laos with very little prep time.
CJ 4DPlex, together with B&B Theatres, have launched the world’s first ScreenX Amphitheater in Overland Park, Kansas inside B&B Overland Park 16. The newly arranged auditorium, which marks the second largest ScreenX theater in the world will open with Warner Bros. Pictures’ It Chapter Two on Friday, September 6th.
The Climb, director Michael Angelo Covino’s engaging debut feature, centers on the complex friendship between two men, Michael and Kyle, played by Covino and real-life friend Kyle Martin. For its Foley team from Alchemy Post Sound (working under supervising sound editor/re-recording mixer Ryan Billia), The Climb posed unique creative and technical challenges. Its first act centers on a bike ride that Michael and Kyle take in France prior to Kyle’s wedding. As the two men ascend a long hill, Michael makes a stunning admission regarding his friend’s fiancé. The results are disastrous with the men ultimately becoming involved in a violent confrontation with a passing motorist. Adding to the tension, the whole scene is captured in a single, intricately choreographed Steadicam shot.
The July 19 opening of CJ 4DPlex 4DX with ScreenX at the Grand Cinema Sunshine in Ikebukuro, Tokyo, of Sony Pictures' Spider-Man: Far From Home, extended its run by four weeks due to sold out screenings during prime-time slots and recording attendance rates as high as 99 percent during peak showing times. In China, 4DX with ScreenX attendance numbers also soared, with occupancy rates doubling that of standard 2D formats for Spider-Man: Far From Home.
Huaxia Film Distribution recently held a grand launch in Beijing to formally introduce the Cinity Cinema System, which was unveiled earlier this year in Las Vegas at CinemaCon. A trailer of Gemini Man, the new film by Oscar award winning director Ang Lee was shown. Lee used the Cinity Cinema System to produce his latest film, Gemini Man in 4K stereoscopic 3D at 120 frames per second. He screened a trailer of the new film and made a video address to the audience gathered for the event.
The goal of the filmmakers behind the Showtime series On Becoming a God in Central Florida was to create a softer look to tell the 1992 story of Krystal Stubbs (Kirsten Dunst), a minimum-wage water park employee who lies, schemes and cons her way up the ranks of Founders American Merchandise (FAM) — the cultish, flag waving, multi-billion dollar pyramid scheme that drove her family to ruin.
The production of the feature film Brittany Runs a Marathon presented several challenges. The directorial debut of Paul Downs Colaizzo, the film was shot by cinematographer Séamus Tierney, who came to the project late. That was just one of the reasons he was grateful to have the Panavision family of services to back him up, including camera support and Light Iron post-production.
B&B Theatres, the sixth largest theatre chain in North America, is adding five additional CJ 4DPlex ScreenX auditoriums across the U.S., for a total of seven by 2020. The companies partnered last year to introduce the largest ScreenX system in the world, a screen that is more than four stories tall and seven stories wide, offering moviegoers one of the most premium, immersive viewing experiences in history.