**Warning - this trailer is not suitable for all viewers. Graphic violence. Viewer discretion is advised. **
This movie uses the SAME technology that James Cameron is using for "Avatar" and is being credited with being the first released, full length, live action 3D HD done in this format.
Official Site: http://www.scarthemovie.com
"IN THE SMALL COLORADO TOWN OF OVID, the story of Ernie Bishop, the local undertaker, has become a scar on the community, never to be removed. Sixteen years ago, the terrifying legend began, and the town has never recovered. Ernie Bishop stashed teenage prisoners in the basement of his morgue, keeping them tied up in cabinets meant for dead bodies. He cut, scarred, and tortured his unsuspecting victims and then showed them the damage to their own bodies with a small mirror. One of Bishop's victims, Joan Burrows, sixteen, cut herself free from her bondage and killed Bishop with an embalming fibulator, thus ending this reign of terror and becoming a local hero.
Joan left town after this incident and as the film opens, is returning to Ovid for the first time in 16 years to see her niece, Olympia, be crowned Prom Queen. As she arrives, strange murders take place within this already battered town. Teenagers - specifically Olympia's friends - are being abducted and gory 'clues' are being left behind. At first, Joan fears that Bishop has come back - and, as a result, worries that she's losing her mind. But when Olympia goes missing, Joan starts to go after the killer on her own. After a few too many coincidences, the cops target Joan as their prime suspect and incarcerate her. Joan is able to break out of jail for one last attempt to save Olympia."
Friday, November 30, 2007
My sources are telling me that Robert Zemeckis is the guy Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson want to direct Tintin 3. While not a total surprise to me, it is nice to start hearing some solid talk in that direction - Zemeckis of course did a hell of a job with Beowulf and the 3D effects that are still rocking theaters around the world right now.
Zemeckis to direct the third Tintin after Spielberg and Jackson? I'll go along with that!!! :-)
UPDATE: DEC 2, 2007
Apparently Ain't It Cool News contacted Jackson's camp to confirm all of what I reported here - as if they are going to say something! (nice to try though). It will be no less than Peter Jackson and New Line (probably Bob Shaye) making this announcement when they do get around to it. I doubt they would give the honor to anyone else to break or confirm major stories. My source (who could also be considered in Jackson's camp) was very clear in stating that there is a +/- of 1 to 2 years for scheduling everything; my posting was not focusing on dates, but rather that Jackson will be doing The Hobbit, and doing it in 3D. At no time did I say he had signed a contract already! However I remain 100% certain he will direct based on my sources. It is only a question of when the announcement will be. If I could tell you that, then my source would have to be the man himself now wouldn't it? No, Peter is directing and I have the odds very high that the two Hobbit movies will be in 3D. Let's just see who is right in the end shall we?
Ok folks - this is hot off my sources and they are the ones who provided the Avatar Ney'tiri image so it is pretty darn reliable:
SAME DAY UPDATE: Here is an excerpt from my email with my source regarding CASTING:
"No casting info yet. But they are looking forward to bring back Sir Ian McKellen, Andy Serkis and Hugo Weaving. For these 3 actors, the chances are really good.I would heavily suspect that Jackson will shoot "The Hobbit" back to back as he is an old pro at that now and heck you know damn well that its gonna rake in cash. And as my source pointed out, finding a window to fit everyone's schedule is going to be damn hard.
I'm not sure about the release date, but I think 2010 for the first film, and 2011 for second, is what they are trying to get into everybodys calendar. So it would make sense with my information of following with the converted Trilogy in 2012 – 2014. That is all happening, but there must be said, that there is a possibility of +/- 1 to 2 years to the whole thing. If I get to know more, I try to tell ya."
Neil Gaiman, author of the fantasy novel Coraline is extremely happy with how the 3D movie is progressing. Gaiman told SCI-FI Wire that as the movie is being previewed for audiences - they were going "absolutely nuts". Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher and Keith David lend voices to the Stop Action 3D pic that focuses on a girl who discovers a way to get into an alternative universe.
It's "the best stop-motion thing I've ever seen..." The author also heaped praise on the director saying Henry Selick is "doing something that is going to be revolutionary with Coraline.”
Focus Features is distributing the 3D film for the holiday season next year.
This one should be a fun trip!
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Ok so the post title dates me back to watching Emergency! but what the hell. Squad 51. Start an IV with Ringer's Lactate. KMG-365... Written by Joe Stillman ("Shrek"), the story is set on a planet whose inhabitants live in fear of an alien invasion. Their paranoia is realized when astronaut Capt. Charles "Chuck" Baker arrives from Earth. Befriended by a young resident, the astronaut has to avoid capture in order to recover his spaceship and return home.
New Line is getting into the 3D world and none too soon! Hollywood Reporter well... reports, that New Line has bought the Ilion Animation Studios', well... animation Planet 51, for $60 million from Handmade Films International.
Completion is due in March of 2009 for a subsequent release later that year, co-branded with a video game from Pyro Studios.
With "The Hobbit" anticipation boiling up into a frenzy (along with some taters, mmm), perhaps this is the led up to the big announcement from Bob Shaye that they are indeed placing Peter Jackson back on the helm for the flick and pulling the trigger on back to back 3D epics! Make The Hobbit in 3D Bob... Just think of having to duck with all those box office returns coming at 'ya!
Written by Joe Stillman ("Shrek"), the story is set on a planet whose inhabitants live in fear of an alien invasion. Their paranoia is realized when astronaut Capt. Charles "Chuck" Baker arrives from Earth. Befriended by a young resident, the astronaut has to avoid capture in order to recover his spaceship and return home.
We are staying on top of not only 3D theaters, but what technology is being developed to bring 3D movies into your home. After all, with these 3D movies coming soon - the industry is going to what to sell you the movie to own too.
Not only do the new Laser TVs have twice the range of colors than what's currently available, and are thinner, lighter and use less electricity - but they also SUPPORT 3D.
While the smaller screens will still use LCD, Plasma is going to be kicked out in favor of the Laser TV for the 40"+ sizes. Its a brand new category of TVs folks.
Unfortunately Mitsubishi is going to miss its planned Christmas 2007 launch - HOWEVER, they are set to make a huge announcement at the CES show in Vegas in January, 2008. Mitsubishi along with Sony and Novalux have already shown 'prototypes' at this year's CES. They have already had very lucrative offers to buy their prototypes for private individual's home theaters - but they have to demo to the various outsourced manufacturing facilities too.
You will still need glasses until such time as Ed Meyer's and/or Steven Spielberg's Glass-less systems are available (see my recent exclusive interview discussing these details).
I will have complete reviews and images of 3D compliant home theaters options whenever they come available. Perhaps we can get a spy shot or concept image of one like we managed for Avatar's Ney'tiri... :-)
Monday, November 26, 2007
Disney today announced that the previously named "American Dog" will be released as "Bolt" on November 26th, 2008 in about 1500 3D theaters. The announcement continues Disney's ownership of the Thanksgiving movie-going market. Their 2D "Enchanted" took the top spot this Thanksgiving with a $35 million haul on the weekend.
Ed Meyer is the guy who is bringing us Horrorween in 3-D. Ed is a Harvard graduate and was one of the original producer of Paramount's Entertainment Tonight. He designed the special effects for the Broadway play "The Wiz" and has directed shows a Radio City Music Hall. Ed specializes though in writing and directing - he directed some of the first "Multiplex Holograms" in the 1970s. He is also known for being a top flight pyrotechnician (he must have gotten a laugh from my recent Outlander blooper post!). But the primary reason I wanted an interview with him is his undeniable passion for the 3-D movie industry and how he is helping to effect change in Hollywood. Read my notes at the conclusion about coming technology to eliminate the need for 3-D glasses to view 3-D movies!
MarketSaw: Have you seen Beowulf yet? What were you thoughts?
EM: No. I rarely watch movies. Everyone in Hollywood, including my garbage man has a script that he/she has written, and which they claim is the next blockbuster. What we are producing in Hollywood today are not movies, they are crap! The great movies were made in Three Strip Technicolor and 70mm. We have lost sight of the craft. I am happy however, that "Special Format Cinema" is coming back, especially 3-D. Note that I have correctly spelled 3-D, as when it is applied to film it is never spelled 3D.
MarketSaw: Can you elaborate further on 70mm widescreen? Just what is developing here? I thought that the way Ben Hur was filmed was awesome.
EM: If you don't know how to shoot 70mm widescreen, then don't attempt 3-D. 70mm widescreen, whether 2-D or 3-D is the true cinema format. To be immersed in cinema, 70mm 2-D or better yet 70mm 3-D is required.
4K HD is really an absolute joke, as compared to the 300K resolution of 35mm film, not to mention the exponential higher resolutions of 65mm / 70mm film. However, we are in a world of dollars and cents budgets.
In terms of getting 3-D out to the masses, IMAX (15 perf. x 70mm) is a great promotional help to 3-D, as IMAX is the most perfect business model, as they don't even have to sell a single ticket to be profitable. IMAX theaters and films are majorly financed by grants from little old rich ladies' foundations, kind of how PBS survives.
Whether 2-D or 3-D, the key is to get the most information (pixels) onto the screen, with the most lumens, and least lumen loss. That is why Real-D is now increasing the lumens, and why silver screens are most important in 3-D projection.
On the low-budget end, Jack Becket of NB Digital and myself have been working on single camera 3-D, using a 4K by 8K chip, which simulates (2) 4K x 4K eyes. The 4K x 8K aperture is just like 70mm film, but as said before, HD currently exponentially lacks film resolution and quality. This camera will work to get the low-budget crowd into the 3-D area. Oops, that's not what the studios want!
MarketSaw: How do you see the 3-D movie industry growing in the coming months? Years?
EM: I see a group of people winning a Scientific and Technology - Academy Award for Glass-less (lenticular/parallax) 3-D. I also see the Majors (Studios) creating a barrier to entry to separate themselves from the Independent film industry, and also the DVD pirates, by means of 3-D.
MarketSaw: Can you divulge who is in the race to Glass-less 3-D?
EM: Steven Spielberg's camp was touting a Glass-Less patent claim recently. Glass-less 3-D existed at MIT and in the Soviet Union in the 1960's, but was lost as a trial medium over time. I think if we look back to the use of parallax by the Multiplex Corporation in the 1970's, combined with the 1950's subliminal cinema advertising, and variable frame rates, we will have the perfect Glass-Less system.
MarketSaw: You have some exciting 3-D projects on the go and planned, can you give us some details?
EM: I am most excited about Horrorween http://www.horrorween.com/ that Joe Estevez (of the world famous Sheen and Estevez family) is Directing for me. Basically, a Horror/Comedy in 3-D about the Chinese knocking-off Microsoft Windows, and coming out with a cheaper version called "Chindows".
I have also been toying around with 3-D legend Chris Condon's idea of me Directing a remake of the Stewardesses, the highest grossing 3-D film ever.
...and of course I have been writing Dumbass 3-D, which is a modern day "Coming at Ya! and alot of other 3-D "pitch" ideas.
MarketSaw: Your gameplan would then be to plug these pictures into available 3-D theater slots between the studio tentpoles?
EM: Yes, It is just like when Cable TV debuted, there was not enough product. We need to produce Independent 3-D films to fill the slots between the mega-budget studio films.
MarketSaw: There has been some controversy lately in 3-D Hollywood, both corporately and privately; care to say a few words about that?
EM: I recently had a tumultuous business divorce from industry legend Doug Schwartz (creator of BayWatch). Doug Schwartz and his publically traded StereoVision (Stock Symbol: SVSN.ob) and my Hollywood Laboratory (http://www.hollywoodlaboratory.com/) are now in competition to produce Independent 3-D films. My new 3-D companies' website will eventually be: http://www.digital3-d.com/.
I wish Doug Schwartz good luck, and look forward to possibly working with him again in the future. Doug Schwartz is one person who is really passionate about 3-D! But, Hollywood is one degree of separation, and we all love and hate each other.
MarketSaw: Ed, you are neighbors with James Cameron and Jeffrey Katzenberg - How did the fires of 2007 affect you, your family and neighbors?
EM: Years ago I had heard that 70% of the industry movers and shakers lived in Malibu, but after the recent fire, I learned thatalmost all of the 3-D Cinema proponents live in Malibu! We all survived another Malibu Fire, so now on with 3-D!
MarketSaw: Do you have any special projects on the go, outside of motion pictures, that you can elaborate on?
EM: I did a fair amount of entertainment consulting in China for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and now I have been asked to consult on some of the entertainment for the 2011 Pan Am Games in Guadalajara. My true love is TV Sitcoms, and I'm directing the pilot for the first truly bi-lingual Sitcom called "Pochismos". Most people don't give thought to the fact that a lot of Hispanic and Latino people can't speak Spanish, but want to watch Spanish Television.
MarketSaw: Can you describe the 3-D landscape as you see it today? What directors, studios, companies, actors are connected or divided and who do you see emerging as the victors in say 2010?
EM: My thought is that Real D and Dolby 3D should be concentrating on Glass-Less 3D. I remember attending a Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) / American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) symposium in New York City in the 1970s, given by Douglas Trumball. The same people sitting in the theater are still behind Special Effects and 3-D. Many of the same folks came out again for the recent 3-D symposium at the Academy (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences). The problem is that the major studios and producers don't ever take us seriously, as most are fearful that this new 3-D will once again be a William Castle flash in the pan. We never have enough R & D and development monies, and I fear that 3-D films might once again dwindle to low-budget fare, if the studios and producers don't start getting behind us with cash investment. Hollywood is just one degree of separation, so we are all connected, and we will all survive. John Rupkelvis had it right, 3-D will just create more controversy in the future!
MarketSaw: Regarding 3-D technology, there is a lot of momentum behind Real D right now as far as theater conversions. How do you feel about their technology? Is it superior or not to Dolby 3-D and IMAX 3-D? Are there other formats on the horizon that will come in and take over?
EM: Where are the motion seats?, the Smell-O-Vision, etc.! (Laughs) Real D and Dolby 3D are two entirely different technologies. One will win however! That is the history of the industry. Dolby is stand-alone, but which deep-pockets will acquire Real-D?
Once again, I must reiterate that Glass-Less 3-D is on the very near horizon. I hope that I will share in the Academy Award.
MarketSaw: So you are actively involved in the race to Glass-less 3-D. I know that having to wear glasses is one of the key downsides of 3-D that just about everyone I talk to brings up. It would be powerful to not have to wear them to be sure! Are their competing formats in this race as well (like Real D vs. Dolby)? When do you expect to see an announcement on this? What is the impact in theaters regarding conversion?
EM: Glass-Less 3-D projection will be subliminal, so we need to work with paralax vs. multiplexed variable frame rates. I shot a lot of the original Multiplex Holograms, and understand how to shoot and project a subliminal Glass-Less image. We don't need glasses, as our brain can create the 3D from the 3-D!!! It all comes down to the studios taking us seriously, and committing the millions of dollars that we require for R & D and Development. Actually the cost of conversion to Glass-Less 3-D for theaters, if not directly underwritten by a distributor(s) would be less than $10K. I have been investing R & D money in Holography and 3-D since the 1970's. I want the Academy Award like everyone else. (Laughs)
MarketSaw: If there was a 3-D hall of fame, whose portraits would you hang inside to reflect upon there contributions to the industry?
EM: Edwin Land - Polaroid
Chris Condon - Father of 3-D - StereoVision/Century Precision Optical
John Rupkelvis - 3-D Visionary
Robb White - Writer
Mortimer Marks - Marks Polarized Corp.
Jason Sapan, Hart Perry, Lloyd Cross, Rufus Friedman, and the rest of the gang that developed Multiplex Holography. (Their use of Parallax is key to Glass-Less 3-D)
Jack Beckett - Proponent of Cinematography advances.
Dr. Richard Vetter, ASC - Proponent of Special Format Cinematography.
Josh Greer and Lenny Lipton - Real D
James Cameron and Vince Pace - Pace Technologies
Douglas Trumball - Cinema/Special Effects Visionary
Roy Disney, Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg - Investors at Risk.
MarketSaw: Very impressive list! Is the 3-D industry being driven by dollars right now, or are there people with a genuine passion and attachment involved? Who are these people?
EM: (Laughs) Someone needs to tell Spielberg, Katzenberg and Roy Disney that we need R & D and development money ASAP. We are all using our own funds !!! Right now, our own personal funds are the only reason why 3-D is happening! Hopefully the investments will pay off for you all!
MarketSaw: If you could line up the 'dream team' of contributors for a single feature motion picture, who would they be? (Director, Producer, Actors, Cinematographer, Distributor, etc, etc.)
EM: Unfortunately, they are all dead! We need to start making movies as true craftsman again, going back to the way movies were made in the past! Just having an HD camera and Final Cut Pro doesn't guarantee that you can make a movie. And making a 3-D film is 10,000 times more tough!
MarketSaw: When you see first time directors like Thomas Jane tackling 3-D movies what goes through your mind? "The Dark Country" looks very intriguing - do you know if he has expert 3-D help on that film?
EM: I give everyone who attempts a film credit, it is the ultimate way of storytelling. Anyone can make a movie. It's making your movie not look like a home video that takes years of applying your craft. Take Rob Zombie for example, compare his 2-D "Devil's Rejects" to his 2-D "Halloween", and see the difference in continuity. Money, crew and craft talk. Makers of 3-D films need to look back in history and find technical advisers with 3-D experience. Look at Chris Condon, he has 40+ 3-D films to his credit! Even though software will begin to appear to make automatic Inter-Ocular adjustments, etc., to make a movie you truly need the old folks with experience to serve as technical advisers.
MarketSaw: Where do you see yourself in the 3-D industry today?
EM: I have sacrificed my livelyhood for years, even to the extent of being ridiculed, to keep 3-D, and more importantly "Special Format Cinema" alive.
MarketSaw: Well I'm with you on that. I firmly believe in bringing added value to the theater - something that home theaters just can't accomplish. Yet anyway. I find it amusing when some people refer to 3-D as being a 'gimmick', yet most humans see in 3-D! It would be the ideal format to enjoy entertainment - boggles my mind. But I haven't invested too much hard earned dollars into my belief yet. Hats off to you for that Ed.
EM: The overall point that I'm trying to make is that the science of 3-D Cinema, is quite different from the science of understanding how a person sees real life objects in 3D. The process of seeing real life objects in 3D by your own eyes is memory driven, as compared to seeing objects projected on a 3-D theater screen, and are really two differing types of illusions, both however, processed into three dimensions by the brain. In 3-D cinema, a filmmaker needs to move objects in front of, and behind the proscenium, by properly adjusting the interocular distance of the 3-D camera(s)/lens(es) .As we get into Glass-Less 3-D, we will be additionally relying on fooling the brain into changing an image into 3-D by using subliminal frame alternation, and parallax. Chris Condon is the ultimate expert in technically explaining how the brain interprets 3-D. I'm just a tinkerer and filmmaker and 3-D loudmouth and proponent (laughs). Most importantly is that we are able to raise enough money from investors or the studios to keep up this work toward Glass-Less 3-D. Most investors laugh when you mention 3-D. I just hope that the spectacular Ben-Hur's and Star Wars type films come out in 3-D, before the next wave of Coming at Ya!s kills off 3-D!
MarketSaw: What about 3-D in the home? Are home theaters about to evolve into 3-D as well?
EM: Yes, I truly believe that Sony will come on to the scene here, probably in partnership with Dolby.
MarketSaw: Any serious talk about 3-D Television production? With 3-D in the home being an eventuality that is certain, you would think that the wheels are in motion. What about 3-D advertising?
EM: 3-D TV Shows will be a gimmick until a lenticular LCD screen is standard on new TV sets, so as to be used with Glass-Less 3-D.
I was very disappointed by 3ality. The Halloween 3-D on Regis and Kelly was awful. It was just Coming at Ya! once again. Whoeverdirected it didn't understand the Inter-Ocular Distance calculations.
3D and 3-D advertising still exists, and there are some websites that you can Google who have some great custom VR, Holographic andLenticular stuff for advertisers! However, 3D and 3-D advertising is still treated like a snow globe. Actually, like 3-D film, 3Dadvertising was big along the roadside on billboards and in lenticular print in the 1950s.
MarketSaw: Lastly, Do you have any predictions that you would like to voice over what is going to happen in the 3-D industry in the next 5 to 10 years?
EM: Immersive 3-D without glasses. Need I say more. That is our only hope of changing film from a cold medium to a somewhat hot medium.
NOTES: I think that the 70mm features that the studios used to make were spectacular - like Ben Hur. Sweeping wide vistas are simply the way movies were meant to be from my mind. Of course if you were to add 3-D to that and you would have the ultimate palette from which to work. And I have got to say it, a 4k by 8k projection would be awesome to say the least.
Ed is right. There is a "real" potential for a takeover of Real D. That would be a heckuva investment in the future. Makes sense to me.
If Spielberg is involved in the glass-less (no 3-D glasses required for 3-D movie viewing) research and development, its GOT to be good. You heard it here - glass-less movie theaters could be on their way shortly. And with an little fellow named "Oscar" attached to it...
Update (Nov 27): There is some confusion over the image that Fox requested that I remove and the creature image that remains on this blog. The email from Fox only linked to ONE image and that was of the much higher resolution and quality photo. I therefore removed that one. The remaining image is of much lower quality and probably not a reflection of any one character (as the removed one may be). That lower quality image remains until if and when Fox asks for its demise as well.
Welllllll now. It was apparently a very REAL image of what the creatures look like in Avatar. Fox has requested that I immediately remove the image and I am complying with their wish.
I cannot provide any further links to this image, and cannot discuss the content of it any further. For all those that have asked for this info - my hands are tied!
Here is the email from Fox:
Attention: Marketsaw.comTo Whom It May Concern:On behalf of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation and/or its subsidiaries and affiliated companies (hereinafter collectively referred to as "Fox"), it has come to our attention that an image of a character purportedly associated with Fox's yet to be released motion picture, "Avatar" has been posted on your website at http://marketsaw.blogspot.com/, without authorization from Fox.We must demand that you immediately remove the image at issue (link to photo) from your website and cease and desist from all other actives in connection with this image.Please confirm via e-mail that you will immediately comply with our request.Sincerely,Twentieth Century Fox Film CorporationIntellectual Property Department
Saturday, November 24, 2007
I got a nice intro email and beta invite from Ashutosh Saxena over at Make3D (Stanford University). They are doing some very cool things with converting 2D images to 3D and I've got to say I'm very impressed. While I promised not to disclose what I saw after logging in and that I would not take any screen shots -I can say that what they are aiming for is not only very cool, but also has a huge business potential for a start up. I would definitely use it!
I will give you more when Ashutozh opens the door a bit more! Stay tuned.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Looks like we have more to look forward to in January of the new year than just U2's new 3D movie.
Spielberg, Katzenberg & Cameron (It doesn't get any bigger than that) are hosting a forum for filmmakers about the potential of 3D and further opportunities that exist in January, 2008.
I expect the forum to be full of surprises and potential announcements of rumored and future projects. Pragmatically, there will be discussion about how it is impossible for pirates to camcorder a 3D movie and how that alone will save the industry boatloads of cash. Gaming tie-ins, theater conversion rates, higher ticket prices, etc will be the talk of the table.
I love how the big guys stick together even though there are obviously competitive juices flowing (remember Katzenberg sliding back the release date of Monsters vs. Aliens due to Cameron's insistance of a Memorial Day release of Avatar?). This goes to show you that while business is business, a united front is needed to effect change and change we are definitely seeing. For the better I might add.
I will have updates for you from this forum as I receive them!
Wow. I am suitably impressed with Rob Legato. I was looking high and low for the source of James Cameron's groundbreaking technology in use on the Avatar set because everyone was raving over it and the actors were dumbfounded that they were actually using NON-OPTICAL cameras (first talked about here as a rumor). Huh? Yes, that's right - Legato has confirmed that Cameron is using infrared cameras for some of their shots! Now this isn't entirely new as others have used this before, but Legato took things further and really handed the golden baton to Cameron.
I had not noticed his title of "Virtual Cinematography System Creator" until I read a Variety column by Anne Thompson all about Legato. This is the guy who gave James Cameron the ability to look through a viewfinder as if he were shooting 'Live Action' when really they are shooting performance capture - or combinations thereof!
Cameron uses a very similar system to Zemeckis' (Beowulf) 'The Volume' (similar idea to volumetric display) which is a platform surrounded by hundreds of infrared cameras to capture the actor's performance through the use of white tracking dots stuck all over them and also form-fitting suits. But rather than do what Zemeckis does - grabbing as much 360 degree 'footage' as possible, then going in editing and changing camera angles and deciding where the shot goes after the fact - Legato gave Cameron the ability to DIRECT the performance. To CHOOSE what type of camera to use ON THE FLY! He can see the action as he shoots even though the background and other CGI are not complete yet. He can actually build the whole picture at the same time because of Legato's expertise.
Imagine being able to start some live action footage already taken by your 3D Fusion Camera System in a viewscreen. Then tie in 'The Volume' and introduce your sythespians. Then bring in any backgrounds that have been green screened (and believe me do they ever have a green screen for Avatar!). Then, get this, Cameron can choose to start by using a hand held camera and walking through the shot - no wait that's not quite what he is searching for and he switches to a handheld steadicam. After a few moments he zooms back out from the shot with a boom camera, etc, etc. All of this is done while wearing 3D glasses because the whole damn thing is ALSO IN 3D! Do you see what I mean? Complete flexibility - and it is in the hands of one of, if not the greatest, directors of our time.
You tell me why I shouldn't be excited about seeing Avatar in 2009.
Something that is still not clear to me is how they blend the performance capture with the live action segments. That is some powerful computing if its being done. I suspect it can also be introduced into Cameron's viewfinder at will. I will seek confirmation about this asap. Rob Legato has just exposed the technology used on the Avatar set and man, does it ever rock. I can't even imagine the surprises in store for us in Avatar - AND Battle Angel for that matter, which Cameron is expected to jump right into after Avatar wraps.
Well done Rob.
Further acknowledgement goes to Jack Beckett of NB Digital for the first theatrical use of Infrared Cinema Cameras - also first in using them in 4K film scanning, conversions and 3D. Jack holds many patents in the US and Europe. He also designed the Dalsa chip and is regarded by many as the "Father of Digital Cinema Cameras".
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
I am strictly speaking about the 3D experience here and not the movie content or animation. How did you enjoy the 3D effects seen in Beowulf? I would love to hear from you in the comments section immediately below. What I am looking for specifically is your direct comments PLUS knowing what 3D theater you were in: Real D (thinner glasses), Dolby 3D (bigger glasses) or IMAX 3D (the one with the huge screen).
Give it a rating between 1 and 10; 10 being perfect and don't forget to include the theater type you were in!
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Is This Rumor True? Real D Shows The 3D Trailers For "Journey", "U2 3D" and "Horrorween" Trailers after "Beowulf" Movie?
Update: One of my readers, Jaye Vee, has passed on that the trailers are playing before Beowulf and not after (Chicago and South Florida). Well that settles it - I'm going back for round two.
I have heard from a few sources that Real D, the company behind most of the 3D theater technology in place for "Beowulf", is showing trailers for the upcoming 3D movies "Journey", "U2 3D", "Coraline" and "Horrorween" after the movie credits are finished.
Can anyone back this rumor up directly with me? They didn't play BEFORE my advanced screening, but I will be going back again anyway for a second round of Grendel ear pounding and will check it out myself... Use my contact form and let me know if you have seen these trailers.
Fame is Just a Bid Away
Stephen Spielberg Charity auctions off role in Horrorween.
Stephen Spielberg's Children at Heart Celebrity Auction is always one of the most anticipated charity events every year. This year is no exception. With everything from being "President for a Day" on Nickelodeon to going to dinner with Judge Judy or Larry King. Spielberg's auction always has pleasant surprises in store for everyone.
This year, there's something no one will EVER get to bid on again in his or her lifetime. They can bid on a chance to play dead onscreen in a major motion picture with the most famous dead person in the world.
Adirondack International Picture's highly squawked movie Horrorween has teamed up with Jet Blue Airlines to offer the highest bidder a trip to California and a walk on role in the major motion picture Horrorween along side the film's star Chuck Lamb also known as "Dead Body Guy". Lamb has been featured on every major news and talk show worldwide after launching his website http://www.deadbodyguy.com/ with his dream of being seen on film as a corpse. His dreams were soon realized and much more after 45 million hits with roles on TV's "What I Like About You" and the movie "Stiffs". Lamb has since been featured in six other films, Krampus, ThanksKILLING, Book of the Dead: Necromancer, Curse of the Vampire...Blondes, Kentucky Fried Horror Show and will be the lead in Horrorween with the lucky winner. His "Dead Body Guy" character will also be the first victim in the new crime drama entitled "The Jury".
When asked about the auction Lamb said, "I cannot wait to meet the lucky winner. After everyone being so supportive of my dream, I'd love to help others and maybe give some of that support back to someone. Especially for this great charity" "I'll make sure we show the lucky winner a good time and send them home with the memory of a lifetime." Lamb said. Horrorween also features William Shatner, Flava Flav, and many other Hollywood stars! You can choose to appear as a scripted character OR create your own character! Laden with hysterical cameos, Horrorween is sure to be the funniest scary movie in history! Winner may bring one guest. Includes Round Trip Coach Airfare for two on JetBlue Airways plus a one room 2 night stay at a Luxury Hotel. Must be available for filming in February 2008 in Los Angeles. http://www.horrorween.com/. Credits not contractual.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Update (Jan 4): Beowulf is still showing in 290 theaters! It has raked in $190 million worldwide ($80m domestic & $110m international) and still going. Definitely a positive sign for the 3D movie industry.
Update (Dec 10): Beowulf has now recouped it's production costs from combined foreign and domestic returns! Domestic take = $76 million and Foreign take = $75 million; Total = $151 million. Now thats not bad considering the extremely limited number of 3D theaters that are available (but growing quickly). Look for this movie to continue staying in theaters until well past New Years Day. If you have a 3D theater and the people are still coming - why not right? Who cares if the 2D screens are reverting to "I am Legend" :-)
Update (Dec 3): Beowulf now stands at over $117 million worldwide! Worldwide I see the movie still having legs after 17 days in theaters as the 3D movie receipts continue to mount. That's where the true margins lie for Beowulf. The investors will definitely recoup their money and have some profit to talk about - not bad for only having a very limited amount of 3D enabled theaters in their palms!
Update (Nov 25): According to Box Office Mojo, Beowulf has crossed over $100 million worldwide. North American results so far show $56 million with International returns standing at $50 million for a total of $106 million. You can expect the 3D theaters to continue to bring in dollars despite the low number available right now. IMAX will continue to have outstanding revenue based on their higher ticket price for the bigger experience.
Update (Nov 21): Beowulf to surpass $50 million worldwide today according to Box Office Mojo (BOM). I find BOM has the best estimates for returns - check out Beowulf's page on their site here.
Update (Nov 19): $28.1 million for the first weekend take. 40% of take thus far is from Digital 3D screens. The 3D screen breakdown is as follow: Real D - 648; IMAX - 84; Dolby 3D - 8. I have spoken with the Canadian Theater Chain, Empire Theatres, and they are headed toward a Real D rollout across Canada, but will have a trial of Dolby 3D as well.
Also of note is that while the IMAX screens totalled only 2% of the total amount, they accounted for 13% ($3.6 million) of the total box office take for the weekend. This is hugely significant as audiences are clearly willing to pay more for the big screen and the increased immersion experienced, especially in 3D.
Moreover, Beowulf has accomplished a great deal this weekend by proving that a massive opening is possible for an adult-oriented 3D movie. Keep in mind that only about 10-15% of the total 3D theaters expected for 2009 have been converted! Expect more great numbers as more people see the film in 3D over the holiday weekend.
Interesting to see that 40% of the Beowulf audience was female. I will keep you updated with numbers as they arrive.
Update (Nov 18): Box Office Mojo is estimating a $28 million take as of Nov 18th.
The $160 million Beowulf took in $9.7 million on Friday on pace for a $30 million weekend. I will post with new numbers when available.
Friday, November 16, 2007
Check this movie out. Period. I managed to see "Beowulf" on Wednesday, November 14th and it is spectacular (Thank you again Paramount). The hype is real. I saw it at an IMAX theater and while it was not in true IMAX format, the Digital 3D effects and awesome sound have to be experienced to be believed. The spoiler is below and in white text so that those who want to see the movie can avoid having the experience, well, spoiled.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Variety reports that Tim Burton has agreed to a two picture deal with Disney to direct:
"Alice in Wonderland" (based on Lewis Carroll's classic tale)
Producers: Richard Zanuck, Joe Roth, Suzanne & Jennifer Todd
Digital 3D: Performance Capture and Live Action
"Frankenweenie" (based on Burton's short film about a dog reanimated from death by his owner)
Digital 3D: Stop Motion Animation
Disney is attempting to rekindle their 3D feature effort as the tide is clearly turning toward stereoscopic movies. They won't miss the boat. More and more productions are being announced from all the major studios, and the not so major. Look for outstanding numbers from the release of Beowulf starting tomorrow. Oh and check out my review of Beowulf tomorrow too!
For an up to date list of 3D movies planned, in production or rumored - check this out.
Will IMAX stick to documentaries only and give up their throne to feature films to the oncoming onslaught of digital 3D theaters being deployed?
No. They just signed a 4 picture deal with Dreamworks Animation including "Monsters vs. Aliens" in March 2009, "How to Train Your Dragon" in November 2009 and "Shrek Goes Forth" in May 2010. "Kung Fu Panda," will be released in 2D format in June 2008. Distribution is by Paramount.
It is important to note that IMAX will be using their new digital projector technology and not the hugely expensive IMAX film format. This saves a ton of money for both sides and helped deliver this deal. When I viewed Beowulf last night, it was not full screen IMAX, but rather the screen was shown with only about two thirds viewable. Still excellent mind you!
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Folks - I just arrived home from my local IMAX theater where I saw an advanced screening of Beowulf in 3D. The movie is simply spectacular. Due to the arrangement I have with Paramount, I cannot divulge any details until the 16th.
But what I can say is this: Go see this movie. I felt immersed within the movie right from the 3D Paramount mountain intro and titling to the thoughtful conclusion. Even if you haven't been to a 3D movie before - Beowulf will bring you from stoic to heroic in seconds.
Stay tuned for a full review on Friday!
"The Dark Country" has started filming in Albuquerque in high definition 3D and 2D. It is a film noir thriller written by Tab Murphy of "Tarzan" fame. Best of all it stars my past co-star Ron Perlman who I performed with on the set of "Outlander" last fall. Ok. I was a background actor but that's beside the point isn't it? Anyway Hellboy himself will be front and center along with Lauren German (Hostel: Part II) and of course The Punisher, Thomas Jane himself.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
I don't think people are ready for what awaits them in the 3D theaters. If you see Beowulf in 2D you are doing yourself a huge disservice; it begs for the 3D presentation as it was meant to be.
THANK YOU TO ANNE @ PARAMOUNT FOR PROVIDING ME WITH AN ADVANCE SCREENING AT THE EMPIRE THEATRE IMAX.
Beowulf is shaping up to be the catalyst the studios were hoping for regarding the full fledged introduction of 3D to the masses. The reviews are coming in now fast and furious and they are overwhelmingly enthusiastic.
The actors are pumped up about the movie as well and trumpet the technology used by Zemeckis. Malkovich talks about being able to act as if he were in a play rather than traditional movie making (no issues with continuity, etc). Jolie spoke about "The Volume" - a device used to capture her performances; no makeup or props either. We are hearing similar stories from the set of Avatar where Sigourney Weaver marvels at James Cameron's technology prowess.
Yes. We are definitely in a paradigm shift of movie making and the first real taste of it comes from Beowulf. Sure it won't have the effects that Avatar will have in 2009, but you will be witnessing history here. Beowulf is the first movie ever to be released in both 2D and 3D - in fact IMAX counts as a third format! I intend on seeing it in IMAX the first time. And I will be running for the best seat 2/3's up the stadium in the center.
Rather than go on and on about the typical banter of pre-launch hype like cast interviews and trailers I am just going to let the movie speak for itself. Really - it is groundbreaking, so to drone on about typical hype is almost ridiculous. It is only being released on ~1000 3D screens or so (mainly using Real D technology - only ~80 are using Dolby 3D) but as this movie continues to carry well into Christmas and the new year (the demand will be sky high for the 3D version), theater operators will have renewed vigor to ramp up their 3D installations and you should actually see some very interesting spikes to the box office returns for Beowulf because of it.
Folks will see it in 2D of course (lots of theaters for this option), but if they do, they will be tempted, very tempted to go and buy a 3D ticket soon after. You will see more sales because of this phenomenon as well.
From all the sources I have read, you will see plenty of 3D tricks and devices being used in Beowulf to augment the 3D experience - it is the way that Zemeckis likes to shoot. Cameron on the other hand, treats the 3D craft much more like an art form than a "gimmick" - I am just excited to see both of these types of approaches in action. Surely the gimmicks would work best in a horror type movie to scare the living crap out of you. You can count of a few of these in Beowulf I hear. Don't be surprised if you see yourself lining up twice to see this movie. Fair warning.
I promised Anne @ Paramount that I would not post a review until November 16th - so look for a post bright and early on that day! I will however post my impressions about the movie - no spoilers or content however though. Just my testimonial...
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Folks - I am in Atlanta for a conference this week so my posts will be fewer and shorter in length, but I am monitoring my sources and contacts closely and will certainly post any breaking news that you have come to expect from MarketSaw. Back soon!
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Crossgates Stadium 18 DIGITAL 3D
Cottonwood Stadium 16 DIGITAL 3D
Amarillo Star Stadium 14 DIGITAL 3D
Arbor Place Stadium 18 DIGITAL 3D
Hollywood Stadium 24 @ North I-85 DIGITAL 3D
Mall of Georgia Stadium 20 IMAX 3D & DIGITAL 3D
Medlock Crossing Stadium 18 DIGITAL 3D
Augusta Exchange Stadium 20 DIGITAL 3D
Gateway Stadium 16 DIGITAL 3D
Bakersfield Stadium 14 DIGITAL 3D
Bel Air Stadium 14 DIGITAL 3D
Old Mill Stadium 16 DIGITAL 3D
Boise Stadium 22 IMAX 3D & DIGITAL 3D
Nampa Stadium 14 DIGITAL 3D
Bellingham Stadium 14 DIGITAL 3D
Fenway Stadium 13 DIGITAL 3D
Fox Run Stadium 15 DIGITAL 3D
Transit Center Stadium 18 IMAX 3D & DIGITAL 3D
Azalea Square Stadium 16 DIGITAL 3D
Stonecrest Stadium 22 DIGITAL 3D
Lincolnshire Stadium 21 IMAX 3D & DIGITAL 3D
Showplace 16 DIGITAL 3D
Deerfield Towne Center Stadium 16 DIGITAL 3D
Cobblestone Square Stadium 20 DIGITAL 3D
Fairfield Commons Stadium 20 DIGITAL 3D
Sandhill Stadium 16 DIGITAL 3D
Colorado Center Stadium 9 IMAX 3D
Colorado Mills Stadium 16 DIGITAL 3D
Denver Pavilions Stadium 15 DIGITAL 3D
Valley River Center Stadium 15 DIGITAL 3D
Ft. Myers, FL
Belltower Stadium 20 DIGITAL 3D
Hollywood Stadium 20 - Naples DIGITAL 3D
Fresno Stadium 21 IMAX 3D & DIGITAL 3D
Royal Park Stadium 16 DIGITAL 3D
Grand Junction, CO
Canyon View Stadium 14 DIGITAL 3D
Hollywood Stadium 20 DIGITAL 3D
Manor Stadium 16 DIGITAL 3D
Dole Cannery Stadium 18 DIGITAL 3D
Greenway Grand Palace Stadium 24 DIGITAL 3D
Houston Marq*E Stadium 23 IMAX 3D & DIGITAL 3D
Galaxy Stadium 14 DIGITAL 3D
The Avenues Stadium 20 DIGITAL 3D
Pinnacle Stadium 18 DIGITAL 3D
Las Vegas, NV
Colonnade Stadium 14 DIGITAL 3D
Red Rock Stadium 16 DIGITAL 3D
Fiesta Henderson Stadium 12 DIGITAL 3D
Hamburg Pavilion Stadium 16 DIGITAL 3D
Los Angeles, CA
Alhambra Renaissance Stadium 14 DIGITAL 3D
Anaheim Hills 14 DIGITAL 3D
Avenues Stadium 13 DIGITAL 3D
Camarillo Palace 12 DIGITAL 3D
Civic Center Stadium 16 DIGITAL 3D
Corona Crossings Stadium 18 DIGITAL 3D
Irvine Spectrum Stadium 20 IMAX 3D & DIGITAL 3D
La Habra Stadium 16 DIGITAL 3D
Long Beach Stadium 26 DIGITAL 3D
Ontario Palace Stadium 22 IMAX 3D & DIGITAL 3D
Rancho Mirage Stadium 16 DIGITAL 3D
South Gate Stadium 20 DIGITAL 3D
Temecula Stadium 15 DIGITAL 3D
West Covina Stadium 18 DIGITAL 3D
Kendall Village Stadium 16 DIGITAL 3D
Magnolia Place Stadium 16 DIGITAL 3D
Sawgrass Stadium 23 DIGITAL 3D
Southland Mall Stadium 16 DIGITAL 3D
Eagan Stadium 16 DIGITAL 3D
Opry Mills Stadium 20 IMAX 3D & DIGITAL 3D
New York, NY
Commerce Center Stadium 18 DIGITAL 3D
Kaufman Astoria Stadium 14 DIGITAL 3D
New Roc City Stadium 18 IMAX 3D & DIGITAL 3D
Sheepshead Bay Stadium 14 DIGITAL 3D
Staten Island Stadium 16 DIGITAL 3D
Union Square Stadium 14 DIGITAL 3D
Westbury Stadium 12 DIGITAL 3D
Columbus Stadium 12 DIGITAL 3D
Pointe Orlando Stadium 20 IMAX 3D
The Loop Stadium 16 DIGITAL 3D
Waterford Lakes Stadium 20 DIGITAL 3D
Brandywine Town Center 16 DIGITAL 3D
Downingtown Stadium 16 DIGITAL 3D
King of Prussia Stadium 16 IMAX 3D & DIGITAL 3D
Oxford Valley Stadium 14 DIGITAL 3D
Peoples Plaza Stadium 17 DIGITAL 3D
Warrington Crossing Stadium 22 DIGITAL 3D
Bridgeport Village Stadium 18 IMAX 3D & DIGITAL 3D
Cascade Stadium 16 DIGITAL 3D
Lancaster Mall Stadium 11 DIGITAL 3D
Lloyd Center 10 DIGITAL 3D
North Hills Stadium 14 DIGITAL 3D
Virginia Center Stadium 20 DIGITAL 3D
Henrietta Stadium 18 DIGITAL 3D
Fairfield Stadium 16 DIGITAL 3D
Natomas Marketplace Stadium 16 DIGITAL 3D
Stockton City Centre Stadium 16 DIGITAL 3D
San Antonio, TX
Alamo Quarry Stadium 16 DIGITAL 3D
Cielo Vista Stadium 18 DIGITAL 3D
Northwoods Stadium 14 DIGITAL 3D
San Diego, CA
Horton Plaza 14 DIGITAL 3D
Mira Mesa Stadium 18 IMAX 3D & DIGITAL 3D
San Francisco, CA
Deer Valley Stadium 16 DIGITAL 3D
Hacienda Crossings Stadium 20 IMAX 3D & DIGITAL 3D
Auburn Stadium 17 DIGITAL 3D
Everett Mall Stadium 16 DIGITAL 3D
Longston Place Stadium 14 DIGITAL 3D
Martin Village Stadium 16 DIGITAL 3D
Louisiana Boardwalk Stadium 14 DIGITAL 3D
Northtown Mall Stadium 12 DIGITAL 3D
Riverstone Stadium 14 DIGITAL 3D
St. Louis, MO
St. Louis Mills Stadium 18 DIGITAL 3D
Carousel Mall Stadium 17 DIGITAL 3D
Citrus Park Stadium 20 DIGITAL 3D
Hollywood Stadium 20 – Sarasota DIGITAL 3D
Park Place Stadium 16 DIGITAL 3D
Bowie Stadium 14 DIGITAL 3D
Countryside Stadium 20 DIGITAL 3D
Fredericksburg 15 DIGITAL 3D
Gallery Place Stadium 14 DIGITAL 3D
Manassas Stadium 14 DIGITAL 3D
Potomac Yard Stadium 16 DIGITAL 3D
Rockville Center Stadium 13 DIGITAL 3D
Valley Mall Stadium 16 DIGITAL 3D
Westview Stadium 16 DIGITAL 3D
West Palm Beach, FL
Royal Palm Beach Stadium 18 DIGITAL 3D
For more info, showtimes and to purchase tickets online: http://www.regmovies.com/
This is becoming the norm for major 3D releases it appears. James Cameron's "Avatar" will also have a co-branded video game released concurrently with the movie in the summer of 2009 by game producer Ubisoft.
And as I have speculated in the past, look for more and more robust games to be tied into these movies: MMORPGs and potentially even user generated gaming levels and movie backgrounds tied together. That's right. Getting the fans to create modification levels for their branded games, then reusing those same levels as the backdrop for the movies themselves. Now that is a cool idea. Jim & Jeff - are you on that?
Ummm... not too much to report here. Photo was taken on Saturday, Nov 3rd. But you can clearly see how they have added a blue arrow sign as some sort of traffic security precaution or perhaps directions for where Jim Cameron should park his rental?
It does kinda give a 3D effect though...
Monday, November 05, 2007
Exclusive: Parts of the James Cameron 3D epic Avatar may be lagging behind, some more than others. As confirmed in this previous MarketSaw exclusive post, Michelle Rodriguez's segments are only one day behind thus far and that my insider's segments are delayed until mid-November.
Now comes a report from my Avatar production insider that there was no activity this past Saturday at all on the set in Wellington, New Zealand. Weekend production is just not happening. "Looks like they are taking the weekends off, no obvious signs of filming last Saturday".
This seems strange to me. If you have that kind of investment ($200 million) tied up in production and labor, real deadlines to meet (Rodriguez has a very hard stop on Christmas Eve for instance) and looming strikes (writers just walked), I would kinda want to get going and kick it up to 16 hours x 7 days a week. Why are we seeing a slowdown? Doesn't make sense to me at all really.
What's missing here? Something. Keep an eye here on MarketSaw and I will update you the second I know.
SAME DAY UPDATE: Michelle Rodriguez has been spotted at the Wellington airport on Nov. 4th by Flickr' Elaine. Rodriguez has also been at the Pukekohe races (V8race) which is up near Auckland. So that's a fair amount of away time from the set if you ask me. You just don't have time to sightsee and travel if you are knee-deep in production. I understand that the official word from Michelle's camp is that she is working on Avatar - I'm am just trying to get to the bottom of whether or not they are on schedule or not. Again, my guess is NOT.
More when I get it!