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The 2008 National Association of Broadcasters convention was held in Las Vegas last month and hosted more than 100 000 attendees who saw an overwhelming assortment of technology. Here are the six products that we found the most interesting and noteworthy. Sony F35 Camera For quite some time now the Hollywood motion picture production community has been calling for a consistent 4K workflow from acquisition through post-production and exhibition. Cameras are a key part of that equation and Sony addressed the issue at this show.
De ja Vu in Las Vegas as 3D and 4K Dominate the Conversation For the second year in a row the National Association of Broadcasters convention held last month in Las Vegas was a relatively quiet affair. As evidence of this one of the big stories at the convention was the fact that two major companies – Avid and Apple – weren’t there. Despite their absence as exhibitors both companies had ample presence at the show in other booths and in a host of shared announcements with other companies.
Russian digital cinema has experienced a significant breakthrough with the presentation of the movie Scar 3D on 33 screens throughout the country. Shown for the first time during the Cannes Film Festival 2007 Scar is a first-of-its kind 3D movie. Moviegoers should brace themselves for an entirely new dimension in larger-than-life horror shot entirely with one vision: to create an amazing full 3D digital cinema experience.
The Society for Information Display has announced a 3D technology-focused addition to its program lineup for Display Week 2008 May 18-23 at the Convention Center in Los Angeles California. The Special Session on 3D in Cinema slated for May 21st will feature invited talks from leading experts in the field on topics spanning the full 3D movie process – from content creation (animation and live action) and editing to post-production and theatrical display.
When the Newseum – an interactive museum of news – celebrated the grand opening of its new location last month visitors were greeted by a 40-by-22-foot LED wall displaying crystal-clear video of breaking news historic news presentations and documentaries. Dubbed the ‘Electronic Window on the World ’ the giant display made by Barco is the central feature of the New York Times – Ochs-Sulzberger Family Great Hall of News and by far the largest electronic display in a museum filled with high-tech gear.
Avid Technology has announced the next-generation of its high-performance storage disk arrays: Avid VideoRAID ST and Avid VideoRAID SR. According to Avid the new disk arrays combine real-time performance cost-effective SATA (Serial Advanced Technology Attachment) drive technology and the security of fail-safe data protection in the event of a disk drive failure.
The Entertainment Technology Center at USC has announced that LG Electronics has joined ETC as an Anytime/Anywhere Content Lab sponsor. The AACL will showcase a wide spectrum of products services and technologies in action. The lab will use these tools to examine the technological and sociological implications of providing content to consumers who desire it at anytime on any device and anywhere they happen to be.
The Orphan Works Act of 2008 under consideration in the US Congress would allow filmmakers and other creators to use orphan works that have been languishing because the copyright owner no longer exists or cannot be found. The bill is officially designated S. 2913 the Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act of 2008 and H.R. 5889. The Independent Feature Project and the National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture are both supporting the measure.
The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers 2008 Pre-Conference Symposium How Did They Do That? Innovations in Filmmaking and Live Event Broadcast will be held October 27 at the Hollywood Renaissance Hotel in Hollywood. The Symposium will present interesting applications of new technology used to capture the dramatic images from two extremes of programming: live fast-action coverage of the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics and the methodical production of the landmark nature footage in the BBC's award winning Planet Earth series.
London-based production companies Aria Films and Full Circle Films are in the early discussions post-production facility Axis3D to produce what is expected to be one of the first UK feature films to be shot and posted using newly-available 3D technology. The Mortician is a redemption tale where kindness triumphs over cruelty and falls within the genres of urban noir contemporary fairytale and psychological thriller. The film is set in the nightmare ghetto of a decaying metropolis and is based around about one man's struggle through the violence and corruption of a dying city.
CinePostproduction has installed a BrightDrive Pro4 media recording system at its branch Bavaria Bild and Ton. The Pro4 provides media sharing functionality for the facility’s HD and DI creative media facilities based at the famous film studios in Geiselgasteig Munich Germany. By using BrightDrive as the infrastructure for all of their post-production workflows operators at CinePostproduction Bavaria Bild and Ton say they are able to work on the same media simultaneously in real-time sharing files between a da Vinci 2K and a Baselight 4.
The Production Equipment Rental Association has named John Johnston executive director. PERA president Pat Patin co-owner and vice president of Texcam Inc. based in Houston Texas made the announcement. PERA was organized in 1993. The association has about 170 member companies in North America Europe and Asia. “John Johnston is a proven leader who brings an extraordinary range of experience and passion for the film and video production industries to this new role ” Patin says.
In Greek mythology Pandora's Box contained all the evils of mankind – greed vanity slander envy to name a few – as well as all the hope. It was only after she opened the Box and released everything that Pandora realized she could never get things back into the Box again. There was no turning back. The question now which more than a few people raised last month during ShoWest is this: Is digital cinema in fact Hollywood’s own Pandora’s Box?
Cinea a subsidiary of Dolby Laboratories has announced that its Running Marks technology now enables traceable stream-specific forensic watermarking of encrypted content. The new approach allows Running Marks to embed a unique serial number into individual customer video streams without requiring providers or system operators to expose the high-value content in an unencrypted format.
Bottleworld is an ensemble piece that revolves around a liquor store of the same name. It begins as a new employee at Bottleworld (played by veteran actor Scott Wilson) enters this seemingly utopian environment and is welcomed by his co-workers especially the store’s manager Murray. When Murray’s daughter Chrissy visits for the holidays Wilson quickly falls in love with her. Wilson is very happy with his new life but when he overhears Carl an angry employee plan to terrorize the store on a holiday he becomes obsessed with the threat.
With the debut of a new program offered by the San Francisco Opera called OperaVision tighter shots of the stage were necessary. OperaVision allows audience members seated in balcony seats an improved view of the stage through close-up and mid-range ensemble shots in high-definition video on two five-foot six-inch by nine-foot six-inch retractable screens hung from the ceiling.
The newest installment in the James Bond series Quantum of Solace starring Daniel Craig as James Bond will feature a complex visual effects shot captured with eight Dalsa 4K Origin cameras. As with most of James Bond’s missions the details surrounding the cameras’ use must be kept top secret for the time being. However the company revealed that the technically ambitious visual effects shot featured Craig and actress Olga Kurylenko and involved simultaneously shooting with eight shutter-synchronized Dalsa Origin 4K cameras.
Arts Alliance Media has announced an exclusive digital distribution agreement with Montreal-based DigiScreen Corporation the Pillar Group and the Royal Opera House. Under the terms of the agreement Opus Arte the opera’s TV and DVD production company will to bring ballets operas and dance from the Royal Opera House and other international performing arts companies to cinema screens across Europe. The deal encompasses theatres in the UK and Ireland France Spain Portugal Italy Germany Austria Switzerland Benelux and the Nordic territories.