Perth Australia’s Northbridge district has long been known for its diversity and its nightlife. Now the area is evolving to become a family-friendly community and cultural nexus thanks in no small part to the recently completed Northbridge Piazza home to the city's first Urban Screen. Broadcasting a mix of video and interactive programming the Piazza's Urban Screen is part of a growing global network of outdoor big screens focused on providing multimedia and interactive content within public spaces.
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By Melissa Keeping The buzz surrounding 3D was tangible at the International Digital Film Forum held last month in Paris with exhibitors keen to display the latest cameras and 3D HDTV and Avatar was being eagerly discussed both as a special effects masterpiece and a pivotal point in the evolution of cinema. The key players AAM XDC and Dolby were all there in force as well as French exhibitors and distributors alike. Yet for all the excitement the post-Avatar landscape is clearly worrying the post-production industry.
Paradise FX Post Republic and Vertigo Films have formed Paradise FX Europe. The new company says it is Europe’s first one-stop shop for 3D production and is working in live action 3D films television program and advertisements. PFXE says it will offer filmmakers a complete 3D digital workflow – from conception through to post-production and can provide producers and directors with experienced crews and 3D technology which has been developed over the past 18 years.
CBS Outdoor and N4D have teamed up to launch Grand Central Station's first 3D digital signage campaign. The centerpiece of the campaign is a 14-foot screen displaying commercials in 3D throughout February. The physiologically correct 3D content created by N4D is a first in digital outdoor advertising and is expected to lead the way for this type of application.
Equipment rental house Arri CSC the largest full service equipment rental group in the United States has enhanced its range of digital cameras. Besides the Arriflex D-21 and the Phantom the camera rental department has now added the Weisscam HS-2 to its extensive inventory. Arri CSC is one of the first camera rental houses to carry the uncompressed digital high-speed camera capable of frame rates up to 4 000 fps in 720p. The Weisscam has been developed as a stand-alone (high-speed/specialty) camera aimed specifically at the needs of cinematographers.
In a positive sign for independent exhibitors overall B&B Theatres a Missouri-based cinema chain has signed an agreement to deploy 205 digital projection systems as part of Cinedigm’s 10 000-screen Phase 2 digital cinema deployment program. B&B is the second National Association of Theatre Owners Cinema Buying Group member to work with Cinedigm using a newly completed form of contract developed for CBG members.
One primary concern for today's stereographers is the size of the cameras. Bigger cameras require bigger 3D rigs and limit mobility. When a handheld or Steadicam shot is necessary the smaller the cameras the better. Band Pro recently debuted one of Sony's newest cameras the HDC-P1. This compact box-style camera does full HD with a 2/3-inch CCD sensor B4 mount and variable frame rates including 24p. Originally conceived as a studio camera this camera is a natural fit for 3D production.
Barco was chosen as the exclusive digital cinema projector supplier for the Berlinale's 60th anniversary edition held earlier this month. The Berlin International Film Festival was launched in 1951. Over the years it has become one of the most important film festivals in the world with almost 300 000 visitors. For the film festival Barco supplies six digital cinema projectors from its DP series. “We are glad to be working with Barco's digital cinema projectors for our anniversary edition ” says Berlinale director Dieter Kosslick.
Cinedigm Digital Cinema has reached an agreement for Vista and its network of business partners to exclusively distribute and support Cinedigm’s Theatre Command Center software in certain major international territories. “We have worked closely with Vista and its worldwide business partners for several years.
D-Box Technologies has announced the upcoming installation of a first movie theatre equipped with 13 D-Box MFX seats with Warner Mycal Corporation one of the largest operators of commercial theatres in Japan. This transaction marks the first sale of D-Box motion systems for commercial theatre applications outside of North America. “We are very pleased of teaming up with Warner Mycal in this first commercial theatre venture outside of North-America ” says Claude Mc Master president and CEO of D-Box Technologies.
Dolby Laboratories provided digital cinema mastering and technical support for the screening of Red Bull’s first 3D movie at the recent 70th annual Hahnenkamm World Cup Alpine ski event in Kitzbühel Austria. Filmed in the days leading up to the celebrated World Cup race the new movie features spectacular views of the famous Streif downhill course including 3D point-of-view footage shot by a downhill skier giving a unique perspective on what it’s like to tackle one of the world’s toughest ski pistes.
Last month London’s O2 arena hosted the biggest screening and sing-along ever of the hit film Mamma Mia. The movie was projected onto a 108-foot custom-built screen. “This unique event required us to use a huge custom built projection surface capable of providing the large audience with a great view anywhere in the arena ” says Andy Peat director of Andy Peat Associates.
Independently financed films surpassed those from the major studios in this year’s Academy Awards nominations among all categories as well as in the top categories of Best Picture Director Actor/Actress and Supporting Actor/Actress according to figures released from the Independent Film & Television Alliance.
Aerial camera systems manufacturer Pictorvision moved to a larger location in Van Nuys California this month. Pictorvision has long been known in the film and video industry for its Wescam aerial camera stabilizers and now for its latest development the Eclipse. This helicopter camera mount features the company’s patented XR Motion Management technology which provides advanced steering stability and pointing capabilities.
Raleigh Studios will commemorate the grand opening of their newest state-of-the-art studio facility in Budapest by bringing the magic of Hungary to Hollywood. The invitation-only gala will be held February 18th at Raleigh Studios Hollywood. “We are very excited about this project. It will give producers a chance to experience all the great things Europe has to offer the film making process while giving them the comfort and quality of a Hollywood Style studio operation and all the confidence that comes in dealing with a known entity ” says Michael Moore president of Raleigh Studios.
With the new season of Sons of Anarchy fast approaching cinematographer Paul Maibaum is starting to gear up for another round of the hit FX Network series. “Sons of Anarchy is a drama about the lives and inner workings of a Hell’s Angels-type motorcycle club based in the fictitious town of Charming somewhere in Central California ” he says. “Each episode is shot in seven days that’s one day shy of the norm for a one-hour episodic drama. Therefore we have to work very fast and smart to get the work done in the allotted time.
Sony Electronics’ Digital Cinema Solutions and Services group has signed a non-exclusive digital cinema deployment agreement with Universal Pictures. As part of the agreement Universal has committed to distribute feature films digitally for playback on Sony’s 4K SXRD projection technology deployed by the DCSS group across the United States. The deal which supports transition costs through virtual print fee payments will provide further digital equipment choices to exhibitors converting to digital cinema technology.
Sony Corporation has announced that it will open the Sony 3D Technology Center at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City California to train and nurture a community of experts in the rapidly growing market of 3D entertainment. The announcement was made by Sir Howard Stringer chairman CEO and president of Sony Corporation. The new center will offer professionals from across the industry a hands-on opportunity to learn more about the techniques and equipment used to create top-quality 3D productions of all kinds - including sports movies television and games.
Carmike Cinemas has entered into a new $265 million senior secured term loan facility and a $30 million senior secured revolving credit facility. Carmike Cinemas chief financial officer Richard B. Hare says The new term loan and revolving credit facility is a positive development for Carmike which we believe will afford us the requisite flexibility to fund the Company’s future growth and success.” Carmike’s existing senior secured term loan facility was set to mature in May 2012 and had a balance of $250.8 million outstanding at December 31 2009.
The documentary Cane Toads: The Conquest from Australian writer/director Mark Lewis is the first Australian digital 3D feature film and was a rare 3D entry at Sundance — following the festival's previous (and highly successful) 3D entry in 2008 Mark Pellington's U2 3D. The film screened in Park City's Eccles auditorium a 1 200-seat venue on Barco’s DP-3000 digital cinema projectors. Playback originated from a Dolby digital cinema server.