Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Stuttgart Germany's FMX '08: 3D Sessions Expanding

I just had a chat with David Maas of FMX and he has passed on some interesting 3D session information for anyone who will be in Germany from May 5th to 8th, 2008. FMX is the primary European meeting of the digital community and is located in Haus der Wirtschaft, Stuttgart, Germany.

Right to the point, here are the 3D sessions that all take place on May 7th:

Wednesday May 07
11:00 - 12:00
The Business Case for Digital 3D Cinema Exhibition
Charlotte Jones, Analyst, Film and Cinema, Screen Digest

12:00 - 13:00
3D-Filmproduction - From Technology to Creativity
Alaric Hamacher, CEO, Virtual Experience

14:00 - 15:00
A Journey in Stereo: A Case Study on "Journey 3D" And What A Stereo Film Means for VFX
Chris Harvey, Facility Supervisor, Frantic Films
Bret StClair, VFX Supervisor , Meteor Studios

15:00 - 16:00
The Use of Stereoscopic Depth as a Storytelling Tool
Marc Empey, CG Supervisor, Walt Disney Feature Animation
Robert Neuman, Stereo Lead , Walt Disney Feature Animation

16:00 - 17:00
Glorious Detail: The Magic of 3D Stereo Production
Debbie Denise, Executive Vice President, Sony Imageworks
Rob Engle , Stereographer , Sony Imageworks

17:00 - 18:00
Creating Believable Characters: Motion Capture on the Virtual Set of "Beowulf"
Parag Havaldar, Sony Pictures Imageworks

18:00 - 19:30
Stereoscopic screening of "Beowulf"

The other non-3D sessions look really interesting too - looks like an awesome show! Let me know if you are going...

Where The Hell Are Regal, Cinemark And AMC? Katzenberg Voicing 3D Concerns

In a recent interview by Variety with Jeff Katzenberg, JK expressed his displeasure with the big three theater chains namely Regal, Cinemark and AMC:

"In the last 30 days, things have not progressed as well as I had hoped, expected and, quite frankly, been committed to, by all the parties involved," Katzenberg said in response to an analyst's question. "It's ongoing as we speak literally now, but in terms of getting the big three (exhibitors: Regal, Cinemark and AMC) on board and actively moving forward, I feel as though things have dragged along, and it's been pretty disappointing."

I understand that budgeting for capital improvements can be tricky at best for these massive organizations, however if commitments have been made - and they have - then why the hell aren't they acting much more fluidly?

The theater chains don't stand to gain much more, if any, revenue from moving to digital projection. HOWEVER - digital projection is required for today's 3D technology (Real D, Dolby) where they can and WILL profit substantially through increased ticket prices; up to 50% more in some cases.

To ease the burden of moving to digital - even if they did not convert to 3D - the studios will pay a "Virtual Print Fee" to the theater chains because the studios save money by not having to print film reels and then distribute the very heavy canisters.

This isn't something that just recently surfaced either. John Fithian, president of the National Association of Theater Owners uncovered the slow moving theaters at NAB 2008 when he said "If the studios want this to happen in time for 2009, the deals have to be struck, and they have to be struck right now". They still haven't responded with the action required!

To be honest, the comments made by Fithian would have held much more water if he hadn't blamed Steven Spielberg for much of this inaction. As I posted earlier - that's ridiculous.

So where are we? Well let's see - we have:

1. The big three animation studios going fully 3D from now on - Pixar, Dreamworks and Disney have all committed to their future movies being 3D.
2. Massive budget 3D movies in production: Avatar for one with a $250m wallet (my projection).
3. Proven audience acceptance of 3D: "Beowulf" and Hannah Montana's concert movie both exceeded expectations. Even with increased ticket prices, the experience reigned supreme.
4. Overwhelming studio and directorial response to 3D: All major studios have 3D projects (see 3D movie list) - in FACT there are over 50 3D projects lined up to 2012 - and count James Cameron, Steven Spielberg, Peter Jackson, George Lucas, Tim Burton, Robert Zemeckis, Steven Soderbergh, Robert Rodriguez, and even upstart directors like Thomas Jane, as converts.
5. COMMITMENTS to roll out digital screens and 3D conversions over and above the existing ~1000 screens (See 3D theater list).

So, ummm - why the hell are the theater chains dragging their feet? Wake up and butter your toast guys; the time is NOW.

I invite representatives from those theater chains to get in touch with me via the "Contact Me" form below to present their side of things - until then, I am very disappointed as well. It's not just the studio executives you are letting down here guys - its the fans. Word is out.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Horror Movie "1.8 Days" Being Shot In 3D?

** UPDATE (April 30): I have confirmation from Chuck Fallaw from Movie Tao Productions and "1.8 Days" is definitely being shot in 3D. Further he pointed me to a few videos cleaning up the Gary Busey tirade - or lack thereof! Inside Edition edited the clips and then lied on tape to make it appear as though he was yelling at the photographer when he in fact never did. This is a standard Busey appearance and nothing more. Sure he may still be crazy, but he did not abuse the photog! Here is the photog's website and a couple of YouTube videos clearing it up here and here. Gary just enjoys his work - that's all - right? Thanks for the clarifications Chuck!

Appears it WILL be in 3D according to
this poster from their official site! Awesome... Which makes Busey all the more nuttier. ADDED to the 3D Movie List!

Haha - I think Gary Busey has got himself into a little trouble here! Perhaps he let slip that his upcoming movie "1.8 Days" is going to be shot in 3D and then got upset when Inside Edition (known for its journalistic integrity) mentioned it during his interview.

He proceeds to go berserk! Wow - this guy is a piece of work. Check it out this video interview!


Old James Cameron "Avatar" T-Shirts Surface: Circa 1996 !

Wow - "Avatar" has been in development for a looooong time! This t-shirt was made back in 1996 when Digital Domain was working on preliminary concepts - and the guy who obtained this shirt says he has no idea what "The Ultimate..." means. Hmmm. Well it sure sounds as though the confidence level for this movie has been high for a long time too.

That "longevity of conception" as my t-shirt owner friend says, gives us hope that this movie will not turn out to be a dud like other super hyped sci-fi films (Matrix sequels, etc). That and the fact that James Cameron is helming it! The idea for "Avatar" has been around for so long that it really has grown into its own. Man, JC must be so passionate about this film - like a parent would be for a child really.

We are still working on obtaining some of those Avatar T-Shirts that someone saw being worn on the Star Trek set last year. I can't wait to see those - those creatures sound so hostile don't they?

Karl Urban Signs On For 3D Pic "Relentless"

Karl Urban has signed on with Baldwin Entertainment to bring "Relentless" to the big 3D screens. The film will be helmed by Demian Lichtenstein ("3000 Miles To Graceland") who just finished shadowing James Cameron as he was shooting "Avatar" to pick up the tools of the 3D trade. Lichtenstein also gleaned 3D prowess from Phil McNally and James Mainard over at Dreamworks.

The $25 million feature will be focused on "...four extreme sports professionals who survive a plane crash in the Amazon jungle, and must use all their survival instincts as they are hunted by a group of homicidal natives." according to Variety.

"I am fascinated with the new 3-D technology and know that this script is a perfect match to take advantage of the unlimited potential of what 3-D can do,” Lichtenstein commented. “After being mentored by James Cameron on the set of his new 3-D film ‘Avatar,’ I knew that 3-D movies are no longer just a fad. It is the future of filmmaking."

Sounds like a great premise for a movie and without Urban in a viking outfit this pic should be golden.

If I were a director in Hollywood right now, I would damn well be on Cameron's tail too - watching his every move. If you are not positioning yourself RIGHT NOW, then you are playing a fool's game...

Monday, April 28, 2008

Horrorween 3D To Be Picked Up By... Sony?

In a recent interview with Film School Rejects about producing horror movies and "Zombie Strippers", Jenna Jameson states that:

"...she is signed on for two more horror films through Sony – Sick, which she describes as “a thriller/horror movie” and another comedy-horror flick called Horrorween."

Which obviously leads me to believe that Sony is about to make a pitch for the upcoming horror spoof movie that our contest winner will also be in! Sony does not have an stake in Horrorween as of yet, but this appears to validate rumors that Sony may acting soon.

Steven Spielberg may be interested in the comedy as well - his sister Nancy is also involved with a leading role!

Check out the long list of roles/cameos in Horrorween! Jenna and Brad Milne are in both Zombie Strippers and Horrorween 3D.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

A Look At Final Destination 4 - 3D: Cast Chairs

**UPDATE April 28th - The child actor in this photo is Preston Strother. Thanks Nick!

If someone knows who this child actor is, let me know. Here is a photo of what the cast chairs look like on Final Destination 4 3D - this was from the pool scene where, presumably, someone meets their demise in some gruesome fashion.

What is interesting to me is the double monitor setup in the background for viewing the takes - one for each eye? I know the Pace Fusion system they are using allows for real-time viewing of stereoscopic scenes, but perhaps they didn't license portion of the technology for FD4 3D?

Photo source: Upcoming Horror Movies

Friday, April 25, 2008

Confusion Reigns Over Conflicting Reports! Is There A THIRD Hobbit Movie Planned??

SAME DAY UPDATE: Interview with Guillermo del Toro and TORn on April 25th:

GDT: You know, I traveled to New Zealand just a little while ago, and one of the main reasons for going was to sit down and talk about the second film. ‘The Hobbit’, the book, is really one self-contained film, so for the second movie we sat down and worked it out. When we did this we got really excited because this second film is not a ‘tag on’, it’s not ‘filler’, it’s an integral part of telling the story of those 50 years of history lost in the narrative. There will be certain things that we will see from the first movie but from a different point of view, but it will feel like a volume, in the 5 volumes of the entire story. It will not feel like a bridge, I’ve been hearing it called ‘a bridge film’, it’s not, it’s an integral chapter of the story, and I think we’re all on the same page.

In essence this tells us that THE HUFFINGTON POST is WRONG. I will be deleting this post shortly. Granted GDT is not very clear here, but anyone can see that the second movie will NOT be part of the book as the book does not cover those years! Grrr. Thanks Arianna.

Pure speculation at this point based on two conflicting reports:
The Huffington Post has posted on April 24th that New Line has corrected an error in that the first Hobbit movie will be based on "The Hobbit" book by Tolkien and that the second movie will bridge that first Hobbit movie with the three "Lord Of The Rings" movies. The Huffington Post states:

"Please note that this version DELETES INCORRECT reference to second movie spanning time between "Hobbit" and "Rings"; New Line now says movies are based on book only."
This new information is completely different from the official word posted April 24th from the official movie blog of "The Hobbit" known as The Hobbit Blog. The official blog states:
"Del Toro will move to New Zealand for the next four years to work with Jackson and his Wingnut and WETA production teams. He will helm the two films back to back – telling the story of “The Hobbit,” and its sequel, which will deal with the 60-year period between “The Hobbit” and “The Fellowship of the Ring,” the first of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy."
So these conflicting reports could indicate a number of things:
1. There will be a THIRD movie that links "The Hobbit" 1 & 2 with the LOTR trilogy!
2. The period of time between "The Hobbit" and LOTRs will be left empty cinematically. (UNLIKELY as hundreds of millions of dollars would not be generated).
3. The Huffington Post is in error.
4. The official Hobbit Blog is in error.
DISCUSSION: If there were two movies based on "The Hobbit" book alone (which Guillermo del Toro would do a simply EXCELLENT job at in my estimation!) and a third installation between "The Hobbit" and LOTRs directed by the man himself, Peter Jackson - isn't that THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS?

The more 3D movies the better... :-)

Thursday, April 24, 2008


Wow - a stunner! GDT has officially been signed to direct both Hobbit movies as reported by Variety.

SO - I have to get my WETA sources in order for these major MAJOR projects! I can't wait to see what they have in store for us.

While I think PJ would have been the better choice for at least the second movie, we shall see what the Magician from Mexico can deliver! I am definitely prepared to be awed by what he has up his sleeve. HAVE FUN GDT!!


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Quick Post: Display Week Goes 3D!

Check out this brand new 3D lineup for Display Week 2008, May 18-23, 2008, at the Los Angeles Convention Center. For those not attending the full Symposium, the session registration cost is $100.

Here is the agenda for 3D related sessions:

Session 1: Wednesday, May 21 / 2:15 pm - 3:35 pm / Petree Hall

2:15 pm Introductory Remarks

2:20 pm It's Not Real Life: Stereoscopic Content Creation, Phil McNally, Dreamworks Animation - 3D movie-making can be thought of as a 3D to 3D conversion process, as 'real life' space is different from the recreated space in a stereoscopic theater or monitor. Creative decisions are shaped by the potential of spatial storytelling pushing against the limitations of the technical processes, the audience's ability to view the content, and the social expectation of 'the movie experience', where the accepted monoscopic camera and editing styles may not be compatible with stereoscopic movie space. How much of this do we understand and how much more needs to be invented?

2:45 pm Adapting "3D" CG Films for "3D" Presentation: The Technique and Technology, Rob Engle, Sony Pictures Imageworks - Sony Pictures Imageworks has now produced four stereoscopic films which have been released in film and digital 3D venues. From "The Polar Express: An IMAX 3D Experience" to "Beowulf", this talk will review our past work with an emphasis on how the capabilities and limitations of technology influence the art.

3:10 pm Stereoscopic Live Action: Content Capture and Post Production, Steve Schklair, 3ality Digital Systems - When shooting live action with two camera heads, it is critical that the captured images be properly coordinated to a fine tolerance in order to ensure a high-quality image when presented on a stereoscopic display. This talk will discuss methods and tools to achieve such coordination throughout filming and post-production, using examples from the production of "U2 3D".

3:35 pm Break

Session 2: Wednesday, May 21 / 3:55 pm - 5:15 pm / Petree Hall

3:55 pm Introductory Remarks

4:00 pm Post Production for Stereoscopic Movies, Norman Rouse, Quantel - Post production of stereoscopic content usually takes place on non-stereoscopic systems working in conventional pipelines that have been adapted for a stereo project. Now, dedicated stereo post production products are coming onto the market for stereo films, broadcasting, special events, and other applications. This talk looks at the latest techniques of stereo post and invites debate on monitoring stereo projects in different environments with different delivery requirements.

4:25 pm Dolby 3D Digital Cinema, Jeff McNall, Dolby Laboratories - Dolby has introduced a revolutionary new technology that is now being used by movie theatres worldwide to present 3D stereoscopic features. It is a unique 3D cinema viewing experience based on color separation technology that doesn't require the use of active shutter glasses or the installation of a silver screen.

4:50 pm 3D Exhibition in the Digital Age: Bringing a New Dimension to Entertainment, Rod Archer, Real D - The digital cinema projector has proven to be the platform on which stereoscopic cinema presentation is at last possible. These projectors solve the first challenge of 3D cinema, presenting two movies at once: the left and right eye views. The final challenge in 3D exhibition is to enable the audience to see these two movies stereoscopically, separating the right and left images into the correct eyes of the audience. There are three fundamental ways to accomplish this separation; with time, color, and polarization. This talk will present practical ways to use each of these methods in public exhibition theaters and explain their benefits and detriments.

Shared Q&A Session: Wednesday, May 21 / 5:15 pm - 6:00 pm / Petree Hall

For more info on all the events check out Looks like an awesome lineup!

Quick Post: 3D Samsung Series 4 Screens In Action !

Just a quick post to show off the new Samsung Series 4 HD Plasmas using an advanced software algorithm to eliminate dither noise and false contour lines to reproduce clear images, including fast moving action scenes.

Photo and source: CNET Asia - Samsung AV Roadshow 2008.

iZ3D Drops Price On 22" 3D Gaming Monitor

Here's some great news for you gamers out there - iZ3D has dropped their price from $699 to $599 for their 22" 3D gaming monitor. It's a great deal so I thought I would drop a note MarketSaw readers - I have this same monitor and its awesome. I use it in 2D mode as well for daily use and posting on MarketSaw!

This same monitor is one of the prizes that a lucky MarketSaw reader will win in our first 3D Contest!!

For more information or to purchase go to or

Full disclosure: iZ3D is a sponsor of MarketSaw.

DVD Format Studying Inclusion Of 3D Technology!

Its happening guys! There is a groundswell of interest in 3D and it is not stopping with only the theaters. The DVD Forum is now undertaking the first steps toward including 3D technology in their DVD formatting! Here is what they do:

The DVD Forum is an international association of hardware manufacturers, software firms, content providers and other users of Digital Versatile Discs.

The Forum's purpose is to exchange and disseminate ideas and information about the DVD Format and its technical capabilities, improvements and innovations.

The Forum works to promote broad acceptance of DVD products on a worldwide basis, across entertainment, consumer electronics and IT industries.

Here is the RFI from their site dated April 21st, 2008:


Dear Company:

The DVD Forum is planning to study (the “Proposed Study”) the possible incorporation of 3D movie technology into The DVD Forum format specifications for DVD-Video and HD DVD-Video (the “DVD Format Specifications”). The DVD Forum plans to study only the feasibility and potential merit of incorporating 3D movie technology into the DVD Format Specifications. Please note that The DVD Forum has made no decision to incorporate such technology into the DVD Format Specifications and does not intend to select any specific 3D movie technology for inclusion at this time. After studying each proposed 3D movie technology, The DVD Forum will decide whether 3D movie technology should be incorporated into the DVD Format Specifications. As part of this study, The DVD Forum may also consider whether measures to achieve compatibility with existing DVD-Video and HD DVD-Video players would also need to be implemented in the event 3D movie technology is incorporated into the DVD Format Specifications.

The purpose of this request for information is to gather information to assist The DVD Forum in connection with the Proposed Study. Interested companies are encouraged to submit information and proposals to The DVD Forum for consideration.

Please send all information and/or proposals to the following e-mail:

All submissions must be sent via email to the individuals listed above NO LATER THAN May 17, 2008 (JST). All submissions MUST be accompanied by a signed copy of the attached Consent Form (PDF), executed by a legally authorized representative on behalf of your company. Submissions that are not accompanied by a signed copy of the attached Consent Form will be returned to the respondent and will not be considered by The DVD Forum in connection with the Proposed Study. Accepted submissions will not be returned.

Working Group 1 of The DVD Forum will begin notifying respondents after May 17, 2008 of the start of the Proposed Study. Accordingly, please include the name of your company’s contact person and such individual’s email address in all submissions.

Best regards,

Secretary Office of the DVD Forum

BRING ON THE 3D DVDs GUYS! There is certainly enough 3D movies in the production hopper to make it happen right now - 2009 will be the year of 3D.

Media Maven? Miley Cyrus Writing Memoirs At 15

Ahem. Writing memoirs is typically reserved for when you have enough memories to fill a book. Apparently Miley Cyrus and Disney have decided that she does in fact have enough. We all know that a corporation is going to strike hard and fast while a commodity is hot, but I don't know about completely swamping all media channels being very wise. Cyrus recently had a massive sold out concert tour and quickly followed that up with a hugely popular 3D movie about the same concert tour.

The book will focus on the relationship of Miley and her mother and how other families could learn from them.

Yeah, ok. But has her mother seen the recent photos of Miley on the Internets? (no I am not posting a link). What is with teens and Internet photos/videos today? Surely they realize that they are writing their own history books for everyone to read for an eternity! If they are not careful she will just become another Disney girl gone bad. So please do be careful. Oops, they did it again.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

"Fly Me To The Moon" Exclusive Premiere: Jules Verne Festival - Paris, April 26th

Going to Paris? Well then check out the Jules Verne Adventure Film Festival running from Friday, April 25th to 27th. I have been talking with Johannes Palmroos who has been very passionate about getting the word out about this fine show AND the excellent content that very much includes 3D.

Here's what James Cameron and George Lucas had to say about the show:

"The Jules Verne Adventure Festival is quite unique. It celebrates the spirit of authentic adventure and exploration, which we all need today and in the future."

James Cameron

"This Festival is much more than a just a film festival. That’s why it is much more interesting. As Jules Verne did, it helps us to think outside the box."

George Lucas

An awesome addition to this year's show is the exclusive premiere (outside of Belgium that is!) of the FULL 3D feature "Fly Me To The Moon"! In fact there are several interesting 3D screenings namely:

Friday 25 April @ 20:30 - Trailer and hopefully also segments of "Voyage to the Center of the Earth 3D" will be shown in 3D before the documentary "Tara".

Saturday 26 April 20:30 - The Jules Verne award ceremony is followed by the 40 minute "Dolphins And Whales 3D" as well as the full feature "Fly Me To the Moon"in an exclusive premiere! (Tony Curtis will be present at this screening)

Sunday 27 April, 10:00 (morning) - "Ocean Wonderland 3D" and "Sharks 3D".

Tickets and additional info about other events can be found at

All screenings are at The Grand Rex. 1, Boulevard Poissonnière. 75002. Paris.

Ahhhhh... Nothing like Paris in the spring - à bien tôt!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Hobbit Helmer News THIS WEEK! Stay Tuned...

According to Cinematical, we should have word this week on whether Gulliermo del Toro will be doing the Hobbit movie(s) or not. Interesting that he should phrase it that way! Or not. What does that mean? :-)

Del Toro told the floor at the NY Comic Con that we should have the news in 4 or 5 days and that was yesterday! I wonder if they will disclose that the Hobbit(s) will be shot in 3D at that time? Hmmm.

We still fully expect to hear that del Toro is doing the first Hobbit movie ONLY with Peter Jackson helming the second. Alternatively, they could co-direct both of them (but the chances are much smaller for that to happen). Of course we are still holding out for Jackson to just do it all. Just like LOTRs and all will be the same as it was before!

No recent word out of Jackson's camp as to what is going on!

Friday, April 18, 2008

New Internet Trailer: "Journey To The Center Of The Earth 3D" - More Background And What To Expect At The Theater

This trailer adds a lot to the original attempt, which was almost laughable really.

In this reboot of the original, they have added a little background to the clips as well as what to expect while watching the movie. They are not pretending to be a serious movie here folks - THIS IS NOT AN AVATAR WANNABE. They recognize the movie for what it is: A ride. An amusement park ride.

I have said this before, if a movie critic walks into a horror movie and critiques it against say, "Juno", then in most cases the horror movie will fail miserably. Many critics do this - they simply do not distinguish and appreciate the genre and rate it accordingly.

So do yourself a favor and before you go into the "Journey 3D" theater, make sure you are expecting a ride and you will enjoy yourself (probably!). But if you go in expecting to not see the flagrant misuse of 3D objects comin' at ya and stomach turning roller coaster rides then save yourself the time.

After seeing this trailer, I have a greater understanding of expectations and that's half the battle with pre-movie marketing vs. the actual experience. I am still a bit concerned, but hey - I will give it a chance. I like rides like most other people!

Here is the brand new trailer!

Jim Dorey Says Its Gonna Be Gory!

Put on your Hostel splatter protection gear folks, this is going to get NASTY.

Alexandre Aja, the director of "The Hills Have Eyes" (another nasty bit of work there too) is also directing the "Piranha" remake which will be shot in 3D and is pegged for a July 24th release in 2009. has a short interview with him where he fires off this rocket:

The prospect of directing the first R-rated live-action 3-D movie was "the only reason that we're making that movie. We are thinking, ... let's imagine, like, a real horror movie, a real R-rated movie, in 3-D. That would be the ultimate experience. That would be the ultimate immersion of the audience into the nightmare."

"Basically, it's about fish killing and eating drunk, stupid college kids," he said with a laugh. "So it's really about that. Yes, it's fun. Yes, it's going to be about ... the revenge of the piranha. They messed up with the lake. They messed up with nature." He added that the movie will explore "what would be the ultimate scary thing that could happen to you. ... And that brings fun ideas of how to be really gory."
Horror films in modern 3D are not new (See Scar 3D and a new horror spoof Horrorween which YOU could actually be in!) but you can see the direction things are going already. Take what works today in 2D and amp it up in 3D and really take 'em for a ride!
"There is ... a fun dimension in the real gore," Aja said. "I mean, we're going to explore that in Piranha. Piranha is super gore. It's like, we are ready to break all the records of blood used."
Welllll... I must say that sounds very interesting. Wonder if Aja will doubled up a few thousand times on this recipe:

How To Make Fake Blood!

In A World Of 3D Firsts: "The Incredible Hulk" 3D Magazine Cover

Empire Online (via Filmonic) have announced that the world's first 3D magazine cover is all about the upcoming "The Incredible Hulk" movie starring Edward Norton. Wow - is this really the first EVER 3D magazine cover? I would have thought that it had been done before, but meh.

Go back to the Empire Online site for an interactive preview of the cover on Monday, April 21st, 2008. Apparently it is all done through computers if they are going to have a preview on their site. I have seen posters that carry a few seconds worth of motion as you walk by - My guess is we are going to have to click and hold the image and move it back and forth.

What I find very ironic is that "The Incredible Hulk" is not even a 3D movie! (I guess there are a few of those types of movies coming out... Indiana Jane or somthin' too?) It's like going back in time to buy the world's first full color magazine cover and the movie is "Citizen Kane". But is that gonna stop me from clicking through on Monday? Nah :-)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

"Avatar" Na'vi Motion Capture Suits Analysis: Location For Tail Spotted !!

My source and I went through some more of his photos of the "Avatar" wardrobe room that show slightly different angles and discovered what we believe to be where the Na'vi's tail is attached during performance capture in "The Volume" (an area which is surrounded with cameras capturing the actors movements and facial expressions). Look for the red circle in the first image. I have attached the original high res shots as well - click to enlarge (large files!)

Further, my source points out that the motion capture suits above the main rack are for CHILDREN. Lots of them!! So again, children play are a factor in a James Cameron movie - which I think will add that extra layer of tension. That also means that there will be a very large chance of ALIEN NA'VI CHILDREN AS WELL in the movie! It'll be great to see how Cameron pull off younger aliens too... Man is he having fun with this one.

We will get you some more "Avatar" pics as soon as we can! Nobody else is doing it, so we'll pick up the slack!! :-)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

In-home 3D Entertainment Is Coming: Quality And Affordability Top Of Mind For 3D@Home Consortium

We have some significant movement now in the 3D home entertainment field. Backed by huge industry players like Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, Universal Studios Home Entertainment, Philips, Samsung, IMAX, TDVision, Sensio, Corning, 3ality and In-Three - a total of 22 companies are currently participating to ensure quality and affordability in future home focused 3D entertainment.

Of special note here is that both of the major codec developers (TDVision and Sensio) are involved which lends me to believe that PERHAPS there is a chance here of not having a format war similar to what happened with Blu-ray and HDDVD. If they can pull this off I will be very happy indeed.

For more info, check out the organization's site:

Hint: Don't Go Toe To Toe With James Cameron's "Avatar"

Just ask Jeffrey Katzenberg: He had to move "Monsters vs. Aliens" to avoid a 3D screening conflict on Memorial Day 2009 with James Cameron's "Avatar". Simple lesson - this is James Cameron and his long awaited comeback to feature movies; accept it and you will be ok. If not, well...

Now we have M. Night Shyamalamadingdong losing the word "Avatar" from his previous title: "Avatar: The Last Airbender" to cancel the confusion that has existed for over a year between the two movies. "The Last Airbender"'s storyline revolves around a young hero who has the ability to manipulate the elements and stop a ruthless nation from destroying the three other nations. But it ain't 3D so I am done with it... :-) I really haven't liked anything from him since "Unbreakable" anyway.

Source: Variety

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

James Cameron's "Avatar": Wardrobe And Motion Capture Suits - Captured In Photos !


First of all - a huge thank you to my source for the ongoing work that you are doing for MarketSaw and all my sources for that matter! You make this site all the more exciting to read and I appreciate all your efforts. All of you.

There are not too many spoilers so don't be too worried about losing something from the movie - although there are photos of wardrobe. Keep that in mind if you decide to read on! That's the beauty of motion capture - the characters can be wearing ANYTHING the director wants...

This first photo is of what seems to me to be a military uniform or similar. Click on the image to blow it up to a larger size. I actually stopped placing the super high res pics on here as they take awhile to load. Make note of the boots in the lower right corner - they actually glow in the dark by way of all those shiny spots. I can't make out what is in the plastic bag immediately over the boots. The suit itself reminds me of the slaughtering get ups used in Hostel 2. This could be a crude military outfit, but I am thinking it is more utilitarian - looks like keys hanging off of his belt. It certainly looks like a protective piece of clothing - I'm stopping short of saying it is armor vs. weapons; more like protection from acid or something. The other wardrobe pieces look like they are made of heavy cotton and the white tops look remarkably like what someone involved in martial arts would wear. Most of the wardrobe seems to be colored in earth tones - browns, greys, greens.

Check out the motion capture suits! For those just catching up to what Motion Capture is - it is simply a way for a director to 'capture' the movements (and performances as Cameron likes to say) of an actor by using tiny dots on apparel that actors wear - the computers track these dots as they actor moves. Here is a great video clip of how Zemeckis did this for the 3D movie "Beowulf" last fall. There are a ton of them and everyone of the cast gets one it seems! Looks like they are color coded too so the mocap system can keep track of who is who when the characters interact. You can clearly see tags for Peter, Laz, Wes, CCH, Brady, Cullen, Rueben, and Sigourney. Could someone please tell me who the heck Mark and Sara are? I have the other nametags figured out! Mark's is first in this shot and Sara's is down by Sigourney's.

If anyone would like the super high res images of these let me know and I will send them to you!

I am assuming that the actors wear the mo-cap suits most of the time, but also have the alternative wardrobe available for intimate scenes. And that footwear - what are those designed for?

As always, I will post more pics when I get them and believe me, my source is back at it again - can't wait to see what he can come up with next time!!

DISCUSSION: What do you make of these photos?! That uniform on the end looks quite sinister to me - what do you think the owner needs with that thing?

James Cameron's "Avatar": Set Signs and Movie Poster Font


Now we are really getting somewhere!
My source has managed to get some pretty damn cool "Avatar" photos smuggled out of their motion capture studios. This post is relatively harmless but you do get a sense for what Avatar's movie font will be for the posters, which by the way will be in 3D too.

Just about everything that my source photographed (more to come - very interesting things btw!) was very much in the open and accessable.

So just how serious is James Cameron and the gang at keeping all of this stuff hush-hush and completely enshrouded in secrecy? Well... read the warning sign in the second photo! Oops... did we use a flash for that? Anyone see that? :-)

Click on the image in order to read the message from Jon Landau. It essentially says that we are doing something very special here and that there are rules that go along with that. No cameras for example. :-)

So are you psyched up enough for my next post brimming with photos??

Coming up next!!

Dreamworks "Crood Awakening" Delayed Until 2011?

I have the inside scoop from a source of mine embedded within Dreamworks Animation: "Crood Awakening" won't be ready for a 2009 release, but more likely 2011 as DWA also has "How To Train Your Dragon", "Shrek 4" and "Master Mind" in 2010.

The reason for the delay is that the CG production has yet to be commenced on the project and there is no way to get "Crood Awakening" done when you stack on all the other projects for 2009 and 2010.

The animation is set in prehistoric times where a leader of a tribe is threatened by a newcomer genius with inventions such as fire. "Crood Awakening" is written by none other than John Cleese!

I will keep you updated on this and other DWA projects as I get the info!

3ality Digital Performs Live 3D Broadcast With Howie Mandel at the NAB Show

Continuing MarketSaw's NAB 2008 coverage, 3ality hosted a live 3D stream of the hit game show "Deal Or No Deal" today:

From PRNewswire:

"The event was a live 3D feed, sent in a single stream via an existing broadcast infrastructure through a satellite transmission, to the NAB "Content Theater," a state-of-the-art digital screening room featuring RealD 3D's technology where top Hollywood filmmakers and executives reveal how they used new technologies to produce their latest content."

"We are thrilled to have partnered with 3ality Digital and to share their excitement and enthusiasm for the 3D format that will change how home entertainment is experienced," said Mandel and St. John in a joint statement. "3ality Digital is taking 3D to another dimension and it's changed all the things I used to believe about 3D," continued Mandel. St. John added: "As a producer I'm completely blown away by the cameras' ability to change depth while shooting. Today's event totally broke through a wall and now allows viewers to be in the game, not just watching it."

"The debut of our groundbreaking technology today displayed the rapid development of 3ality's advanced image capture and transmission capabilities for live 3D entertainment and sports," stated 3ality Digital CEO Sandy Climan. "This takes fans into a zone where they get to feel what the contestants are feeling. Whether it's game shows, reality television, or sports, this is the technology of the future, and it's available today. We look forward to continuing to deliver this kind of quality 3D content to the public."

Its great to see the application of 3D to everyday television shows.
It brings the concept much closer to home for a lot of people. Good job guys!

There's A New Epic In Town: Spielberg Buys Rights To Manga "Ghost In The Shell" - Will Be Live Action 3D!!

Steven Spielberg has gotten unnecessarily bitten by John Fithian of NATO lately and here is another HUGE reason to prove Fithian wrong.

Dreamworks has acquired the rights to the Japanese manga "Ghost in the Shell" with Jamie Moss writing the adaptation. Seaside Entertainment's Steven Paul with Ari and Avi Arad brought the project to Spielberg who really connected with it.

Variety says:

"Avi Arad is at the forefront of comicbook-based material, having produced the three "Spider-Man" films, the three "X-Men" movies, the two "Fantastic Four" pics and the upcoming "Iron Man" and "The Incredible Hulk."

Moss' writing credits include "Street Kings," which bowed Friday, and "Last Man Home," in development at Universal."

Here is some background from Wikipedia:
Ghost in the Shell is a futuristic police thriller dealing with the exploits of Motoko Kusanagi, a member of the covert operations section of the Japanese National Public Safety Commission, Section 9, which specializes in fighting technology-related crime. She may be named after one of the three Imperial Regalia of Japan and Shirow makes reference to them at the end of the second manga. Although supposedly equal to all other members, Kusanagi fills the leadership role in the team, and is usually referred to as "the Major" due to her past rank in the armed forces. She is capable of superhuman feats, and bionically specialized for her job — her body is almost completely mechanized; only her brain and a segment of her spinal cord are organic.

Ummm yeah - this sounds RED HOT. With the oncoming mega budget for James Cameron's
"Battle Angel" and this new Spielberg addition - both manga AND 3D are going to be taking over the box office soon!! Get ready for spectacles never seen before...

Don't be misled into thinking Spielberg is not at the forefront of the Digital 3D movement - he is definitely one of the visionaries!

Added to the ever growing MarketSaw 3D Movie List.

Source: Variety

Ghost in the Shell - Motoko Kusanagi RAH figure

Monday, April 14, 2008

Red Unveils The Scarlet 3K Pocket Professional: $3000?

Wow. I mean WOW! Red has just let the world look under the hood of their brand spankin' new Scarlet 3K Pocket Professional camera and the specs look awesome:

  • 1-120 FPS (180FPS BURST)
  • 4.8" LCD
  • HDMI and HD-SDI
  • FIREWIRE 800 and USB2
Here is the kicker folks: All of this for around $3000. It is slated for a 2009 release (maybe CES) and do you think thats all the fine folks that brought us the Red One 4K did at NAB? Nope, check this out:

The RED 5K Epic! Yes, you read right 5K resolution. You can even trade in your little ol' Red One 4K if you have a problem with not having the best resolution around - they will give you a full $17,500 credit toward the purchase of the Epic:
  • 1-100 FPS
  • FIREWIRE 800 and USB2
They also brought in the Red Ray drive:
I am pretty much in awe in what this company is pulling off here. As you know from my earlier posts, the RED One has already been used in 3D configuration! If you would like to see how all of these cameras line up vs. your 1080p HDTV, check out this comparison chart:

Awesome isn't it? Can't believe the prices. More on NAB 2008 soon - stick with MarketSaw for all your NAB updates!!

Disney's Jonah's Brothers To Create 3D Concert Movie

Disney is wringing every ounce of gold out of that Hannah Montana concert movie that did so well at the box office. As most 'tweens know she shared the stage with The Jonas Brothers and they held their own.

Well they are about to hold a whole lot more in the form of their own 3D concert movie. Disney Digital 3D will be shooting The Jonas Brothers' entire 38 city "Burning Up" North American tour (their 3rd CD). The tour starts July 4th and wraps up around Labor Day.

Disney is aiming for a January or early February 2009 release in 3D theaters. Well, I have news for Disney - those weeks are taken by "My Bloody Valentine" (January 23rd, 2009 release) and "Coraline" (February 6th, 2009). I certainly hope you are not pulling another "Its only playing for 2 weeks" ploy. Won't work this time around...

My source has said that Disney has acquired the domain name as well. I also found this blog that backs up what my source is saying.

I am sure all you parents are jumping for joy right now! WOOHOO!! :-)

Original Photo courtesy of The Jonas Brother's MySpace Page

John Fithian Does Not Get It: Spielberg is a Purist

I am calling you out John. I wasn't going to post on this but after seeing my friends over at Cinematical post on it I decided to cave in. Variety caught it all in this post.

John Fithian, President of NATO (no not the treaty org) gave a keynote speech to NAB 2008 and in it, he landed these nuggets:

"You've all heard Jeffrey Katzenberg as one of the great priests of digital cinema. He and Jim Cameron have (done) more to push digital cinema than anyone else in the industry. But his partner Steven Spielberg is not convinced."

"If we haven't convinced Steven Spielberg yet, we're not quite done."
Now John. If you would kindly drop me a note so that we can speak I would like to review this with you. My main point is: "Tintin". Read about it and discover who is behind it. Yes, it is a digital 3D effort.

I can tell you why Spielberg did not want a digital release for Indy 4 and that is simply because the original three are all on film. He wanted continuity - he is a purist and I respect him for that. In fact, I am quite proud that he has not given into re-releasing his Indy franchise in digital.

But to say Spielberg is on the fence - that's nuts. Seriously.

3D Screen Power Struggle: Disney/Pixar vs. Dreamworks Animation vs. Lucasfilm

Commentary: I am surprised more people haven't really gotten it yet because I have yet to read a post about this opinion anywhere. But have you stopped to consider how aggressive that Disney/Pixar (D/P) movie slate announcement was? And this coming from Disney who is usually not all that forthcoming with their cinematic intentions. What does all this mean? Why the overflowing fountain of film from Disney all of a sudden?

3D screens. There is a limited supply of them and the best holiday dates are at a premium. We first saw this with Fox's 3D epic "Avatar" being pegged for a Memorial Day 2009 release. Well, that was the same weekend that Dreamworks Animation (DWA) had slated for it's much touted "Monsters vs. Aliens". Katzenberg blinked first and I can't say as I blame him as the long awaited comeback of James Cameron would seem to overwhelm any movie premiere. So DWA moved Monsters vs. Aliens to an Easter 2009 release. Eventually Cameron decided he needed more time for processing the photo-realistic aspects of the movie so he also moved his blockbuster to December 2009. Do you see all this shuffling well in advance of the movies?

That's not all. In this young 3D revolution there has already been a conflict that did some damage: "U2 3D" vs. Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus and her 3D concert movie. The kid won. And in this case, "U2 3D" suffered, which in my opinion is the vastly superior movie. Hannah Montana went on to gross over $65 million domestically! "U2 3D" has made just under $10 million. Had these concerts been spread out so that the 3D screens were shared correctly you would have seen much higher numbers for Bono and company.

So having enough 3D screens is very important to the bottom line of your 3D movie! Empirically we know that already but it was proven with "U2 3D". I believe that the major reason why Disney has come out of their shell and broadcast their release slate straight through to 2012 no less is because they want to SEW UP THOSE TIMESLOTS. It makes perfect sense to do so.

What this means is that DWA is now looking at a rapidly filling calendar and another two animation studios committing to 3D only. Top that off with George Lucas who is steadfastly waiting for the number of 3D screens to hit in the 5000 ballpark in order to re-release his Star Wars franchise! The going just got tougher for Lucas as those sought after holiday dates are slipping away - he may have to commit to some dates now to make sure the distribution is even logistically feasible.

Eventually there will be enough 3D screens that this becomes much less of a issue but for the next 4 years it is a REAL issue. I just hope that all the players participate as fairly as possible - it was not in the best interest of the industry for Disney to stake out only 2 weeks for Hannah Montana and then go on to say that it will run its course.

I have said it before: Open dialogue is the key. Let's keep talking guys...

MarketSaw Just Made WIRED... Again...

Hey gang, thought you would be interested in this article written by my friend Betsy Schiffman over at WIRED. We spoke at length last week and she has a very good understanding of where the 3D industry is heading. She also spoke with Elizabeth Brooks over at Real D!

Here's the article:
Movie Industry Doubles Down on 3-D

The first WIRED article to reference MarketSaw is here - check out the last link in the piece.

We also made a little while back - you can view that here, again - the last link.

Friday, April 11, 2008

If You Haven't Heard: 3D Is Now The Standard Format For Feature Animation - And Live Action Isn't Far Behind

I have not seen this officially stated anywhere else so I will say it: 3D is now the standard format for feature animation.

We have reached the pivot point for animation in Hollywood and that is: All future animation tentpoles from the top three majors will be shot in 3D. That is not said lightly! It is a wonderful year for animation and the 3D industry. And there is not much more that needs to be said for animation: They've got it right.

2009 may very well hold the key to the pivot point for Live Action as well with James Cameron's (JC) "Avatar". Few people know what they are to expect from the movie and to be honest that is truly playing into the hands of JC. Imagine having never seen a modern 3D movie before and walking in for the first time to see "Avatar" - the 'cream of the crop' shall we say. People are just going to be overwhelmed. I saw this happen already for a concert film: "U2 3D" - folks just didn't know what they were in for and they couldn't stop looking at each other and pointing - I couldn't wipe the smile off of my face! This was a concert movie. A very good one mind you, but still no storyline, no suspense, no shocking turn of events. People were turning around and buying another ticket for the next showing solely based on their experience of 'sight and sound'.

What does this mean for "Avatar"? Take that concert film (James Horner's score will make "Avatar" feel like a concert anyway trust me) and literally add immersive adventure on a grand scale - you are part of the movie! You think "U2 3D" was good? "Beowulf"? You have seen nothing yet. To say that this movie is anticipated is an understatement in my opinion. "Avatar" is a delivery from the mundane to the sublime. As JC puts it: It fires more synapses.

Now I don't expect to have all of the majors lining up and saying "3D from now on", but I will tell you that it is close. VERY close and JC was right to point this out in his recent interview with Variety: He thinks 3D could be applied as easily to "300" as it could be to "Atonement". He is RIGHT. I am still reading posts from other bloggers who think he is crazy for saying that - a drama in 3D? I think you know where I stand, but in case you don't...

We LIVE in 3D - it is time to wake up and butter your toast bloggers. The times are changing and for the better. I couldn't be in a better place either. I can't wait for that second pivot point. Bring on Live Action 3D!

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Jim Dorey
jim (at) marketsaw (dot) com

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