Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Disney Announces Yet Another 3D Movie AND Some Surprises...

Jim here. Had a great preview of Disney 3D movies today at Showest! Some of the things on their plate coming up are very exciting - including the following:

1. TOY STORY 1 AND 2 will be run as a double 3D feature in October for a limited 2 week run (a Disney signature marketing tool it seems). Toy Story 3 is still on track for June 18, 2010 with Andy going off to college.
2. CARS 2 is taking shape as the familiar group of characters leave Route 66 and speed off on aorund the world adventures. Disney showed us a John Lassiter directed 3D short movie from their CARS TOON series entitled TOKYO MATER. Our friendly neighborhood tow truck travels to Japan, gets challenged to a race, modded and... well I hate ruining endings so I won't go there.
3. We were shown a 2D production reel for A CHRISTMAS CAROL and the imagery looked awesome to say the least. Zemeckis looks like he has this one nailed from a visual aspect at least.
4. Saw some visuals for Tim Burton's ALICE IN WONDERLAND which looked suitable wonderful. Confirmed that once Alice drops into the rabbit hole the movie turns to 3D. There are trees sculptured as giraffes, giant mushrooms and faces in roses! Also they announced that AIW will indeed be shown in IMAX 3D as well.
5. Saw 3D previews for G-FORCE and TR2N. They looked VERY good - especially TR2N. Believe this footage has already been seen though.
6. Got to see 47 minutes of Pixar's UP. and WOW. Gorgeous. Also they revealed to us about 4 -5 minutes of footage from the end of the movie - where there is a lot more action. STUNNING is not a strong enough word. Another Oscar for Pixar's mantle? Looks like it.
7. Saw footage from the opening song of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST in 3D and as always when I see that opening - it is uplifting. The 3D delivers a fresh and powerful backdrop to the music and truly inspires. A must see in 3D.

AND the new movie is something called MARS NEEDS MOMS in 2011/2012. No idea what the storyline is about as of yet. Stay tuned!

Thats the updates from this morning! Heading into a CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS presentation right now!! :-) I know, I know. Someone has to do it!

Independent 3D Filmmakers Rejoice: Low Cost 3D Camera RIGS Now Available

Jim here. We have talked a lot about the RED and SI digital cameras in stereo 3D configuration and with good reason - great performance and great value. But with these cameras and others, many independent filmmakers have taken to creating their own 3D rigs to house these cameras for shooting side by side. The frustrations must be endless.

Seems we have a potential solution for you as of TODAY from 3D Film Factory (although the RED One for example would require a custom rig built. The suggested cameras are as follows: Canon - XH-G1(S), XH-A1, XL-H1, XL2; Sony - HDR-FX1, HDR-Z1U, HVR-Z7U, PMW-EX3, PMW-EX1; Panasonic - DVX100, DVX100A, DVX100, DVX200, DVX200A; and JVC - HD250U, HM700U. Here are snippets from their press release:

3D Film Factory has developed a line of production-ready, cost-effective, 3D camera systems designed to shoot superior 3D. Developed over the course of several years, with the guidance of veteran stereographers and award-winning filmmakers, these durable, dual camera rigs provide an alternative to the high-priced 3D systems costing ten times as much.

The company has released for sale three select systems; the 3D-SB (split-beam), 3D-SS Indie (side-by-side), and the 3D-SS Pro (side-by-side) models. Each system is designed for a specific production purpose and to accommodate various prosumer and professional grade SD and HD cameras.

3DFF president Karl Kozak said "...we’re filling a niche, offering great rigs, that shoot incredible 3D, for a fraction of the cost.”

The 3D-SB (split-beam) system is constructed using black anodized aluminum that’s virtually indestructible and light-absorbing, removable plastic. With a total weight of only 22 lbs., the rig is easy-to-use, allowing for quick set-ups and precise 3D alignment. It’s being introduced for a complete price of $1,995.

Split-beam rigs are mandatory for the smaller (6” to 0”) inter-axial (camera-to-camera) distances needed for medium and close-up shots. Such inter-axial distances can only be achieved with adjustable camera positions and the use of scientifically engineered glass. During shooting, the image for the horizontal camera passes directly through the glass, while the vertical camera’s image is reflected off the front of glass. In effect, the two cameras are stacked sharing almost the exact same field of vision.

“Side-by-side camera configurations can’t be used for close-up shots for good reason, it hurts the eyes,” said Kozak. “You have to get the cameras closer than camera bodies and hoods will allow for. That’s why you need a split-beam rig.”

The company’s two side-by-side 3D rigs are less complex, but equally necessary in most 3D production situations. Side-by-side systems are specifically designed for filming master to panoramic shots in 3D. In this case, the simple side-by-side camera posture allows for fast, accurate 3D alignment and unobstructed shooting.

Both 3D-SS systems weigh less than 4 lbs., are priced at about $300, and boast inter-axial (camera to camera) distances from about 6” to 24”. All of the company’s rigs are constructed using a virtually indestructible aluminum frame.

All three camera systems are available @

About 3D Film Factory
The 3D Film Factory is a San Diego-based company specializing in the production of original 3D entertainment and high-quality 2D-to-3D conversion.
This is the innovation I love to hear about as companies are starting to see the gaps of need in the 3D industry and endeavoring to fill them. Would like to see an off the shelf version of these for the RED Ones though guys!

Exclusive: Fox Co-Chairman Jim Gianopulos talks Avatar! (ShoWest 2009)

Hi everyone, Michael here.  I caught up with Fox Filmed Entertainment Co-Chairman Jim Gianopulos after his keynote speech here at ShoWest.  We talked about Avatar - including its current status, the forthcoming poster and trailer, fan hype, 3D, and how Avatar will transport audiences to an incredible new world through classic storytelling.

Thanks very much to Mr. Gianopulos for his time!

Michael: We've been following Avatar very closely.  What can you tell us about it?

Gianopulos: I've seen the film-most of the film-and I think Jim's comment that it's like dreaming only you're enough. (laughs)-Is accurate.  I think it's a truly amazing film in the sense that he's created visual images, and a story, and a world, and creatures and experiences that I've just never seen in a cinema.  It's just truly amazing.  So, with the partnership of WETA and James Cameron, and a story that's been in his mind and developing all these years, combined with the technology to do it catching up, is just a trifecta beyond anything.

Michael: It's going to be mind boggling.  The hype-just judging by the fan base-the hype for this is unlike anything we've seen since maybe Star Wars: Episode I.

Gianopulos: Well, I don't think it's comparable to anything....

Michael: ...Maybe even higher.

Gianopulos: The other thing I would say is, you know, no one ever wants to see the hype of a movie built up and expectations that get out of control, but, you know, this movie delivers on a level unlike anything I've ever seen.  So I'd like to try to keep people's enthusiasm within rational levels, but I'm telling you I think this thing will surpass anyone's rational expectations.

Michael: When do you think we might possibly see the first poster, image, or footage?

Gianopulos: Oh, the poster will be out soon.  The reality, I think, for people, and especially people who understand the know, the film...Jim is essentially finished all of his shooting of the film, and it has been rendered, in working with WETA.  So now the film is at WETA being rendered in its photoreal images.

Michael: A huge final pass, rendering all the final images?

Gianopulos: It's much more than a pass.  It's taking it from its production images, to its photorealistic final images which Jim will continue to supervise in great detail as he does everything.  But it's unfair for him as a filmmaker to spend years doing this...  

Michael: ...To put something out that's not 100% done...

Gianopulos:  Yeah, it's not fair--it's not the final version.  There are great portions of the film finished in final form, but they are not of complete scenes.  So when we have a complete scene, when we have enough, it will come out and I think it will meet those expectations.

Michael: Another quick question - I know that Cameron had said, a while ago at least, that Fox wanted Avatar to be shown only on 3D screens.  Is that still a possibility?

Gianopulos: I don't think that's possible, because I think that would deny the movie to too many people in too many places in the world.  But most importantly, while the movie is amazing in 3D, it's such a brilliant film, it would be brilliant in any form.  It's like saying, did Titanic have to be in 3D?  Did Aliens have to be in 3D? They were truly great films.

Michael: Everything he has said - that he is focused on the storytelling, that he's not forgotten the lessons he learned on Titanic...

Gianopulos: ...Yeah, and another point that Jim's made repeatedly is that the old form of 3D was a gimmick that was intended to extend the life of a tired franchise.  So you have the monster, the monster returns, and the monster returns in 3D.  That was the 50's and the 60's and times past.  This is the greatest filmmakers in the world using this film medium to express themselves on the biggest pallet and in the biggest scale of any movie made, and it's an entirely different experience.  But - doesn't mean it's not a great movie in 1D if you have to show it that way!

Michael: (laughs) That's great.  Nice to meet you, and thanks so much for everything!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Showest 2009: IMAX Presentation of Upcoming Films!

Michael here.  IMAX showed a cool video highlighting its future movie lineup (both IMAX 3D and regular IMAX) which included clips, logos, and posters from upcoming IMAX films and clips of filmmakers such as James Cameron, Michael Bay, and J.J. Abrams.

By the way, the Avatar logo shown is an old fanart - nothing official here, unfortunately. It's funny that IMAX used it in their presentation, however - kudos to the artist for that!

Check it out below:

I'm hyped to see all of these IMAX films - Monsters Vs. Aliens and Beowulf in IMAX 3D were the most impressive 3D experiences I've had to date.  It's clear that cinema is evolving, and that 3D and IMAX are leading the charge.  Bring on the future!

Quick Post: HUGE Sony deal with AMC For Digital 4K Projectors

Jim here. Just got wind of a mega deal for Sony to help them pull even with Texas Instruments in Digital 4K projector deployments.

It is a $315 million deal. TI has 5,476 deployments but this deal will bring Sony up to ~5,000 4K projectors in North America.

The Sony projectors will be installed starting in the second quarter of this year and will finish up in 2012.

AND... an exciting quote from Frank Rash a SVP with AMC: “Digital cinema gives us a huge opportunity to do 3-D, live broadcasts and playback of live events."

YES! I am really stoked about live 3D events too. A great deal for both parties.

AND more from Showest coming up! Stay tuned...

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Posters from Showest 2009!

Hi, Michael here. I just got into Vegas, and took a stroll down the Strip to the Paris Hotel, where most of the main events of ShoWest will be taking place. Although the show doesn't start until tomorrow, I got some pics of some posters for upcoming 3D movies (no Avatar poster unfortunately - at least not yet), along with the new Sherlock Holmes poster, a cool Star Trek standee, and some promos for 3D tech.  Check 'em out below, and stay tuned to MarketSaw all week for our continuing coverage of ShoWest 2009!

SOLID Opening for "Monsters vs. Aliens"!

Jim here. Hey MONSTERS VS. ALIENS had a wicked opening night Friday with estimates from BoxOfficeMojo claiming $16,700,000. Not too bad - actuals could be higher as the 3D premium is hard to nail at times with estimates.

I am still sticking with my $66m weekend but hey, so what if I am aiming high? This is a damn good movie so get out and witness history.

I saw it Friday night (Michael got the crew's premiere!) and I was floored. The visuals were technically a work of art. Phil McNally and his team have really set the bar high for future animations - including Pixar's UP.

Throughout the whole movie there were only 2 sight gags and they were tastfully done. One was used, I am sure, to just MAKE SURE you knew this was a 3D movie and it had the required result. I flinched. YES. They caught me. I won't say where it is, but after you see it you will know.

Anyway, the remainder of the movie was stunning and solid. 3D was used tastfully and effectively. Sure the story could use some work but it is clearly aimed at families with young kids so leeway is surely given.

My rating for MvsA? 3.5 / 5. Almost a four, but I don't use 3.75 / 5. Or did I? What the hey, 3.75 / 5. Bottomline? See this movie.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Philips Backs Out Of "No Glasses Based 3D TVs" - Cites Market Conditions

Jim here. According to Chris Chinnock of Display Daily (Insight Media), Philips CEO Jos Swillens has announced internally that they will cease the operations of their 3D Solutions.

Swillens wrote: "Because of current market developments, the point in time where mass adoption of no-glasses based 3D TV will occur has shifted significantly. Therefore, Philips has decided to stop the 3D Solutions venture. Philips has been marketing its leading no-glasses based 3D technologies through a pro-active approach for a long time, because it believes that over time, no-glasses based 3D TVs will bring the ultimate 3D experience to the home. Unfortunately, the current market developments no longer justify such a pro-active approach. As a consequence of this, Philips has decided to scale down its investments in this area. In practice, this means that the 3D Solutions venture will be discontinued."

From Display Daily: "In a follow up discussion with Bjorn Teuwsen, Manager Marketing & Communications, he explained that the recession and the impact on the LCD industry had changed the math in their risk-reward calculation. In essence, Philips needed the LCD industry to make investments in new switchable 2D/3D technology and to aggressively cost reduce Quad HD panels. Philips believed both were needed to establish cost effective autostereoscopic 3D TVs. But the LCD makers are delaying these investments and the ripple effect impacted Philips by stretching out the time when these TVs would become available. The consequence was that Philips would need more time and investment in 3D. While it also has a viable B2B 3D display business, it was judged that the revenue from this component, plus the additional investment and longer time scale to a consumer AS-3D TV, ultimately did outweigh the potential long-term income from 3D TVs. The business equation became too risky, which is why the operation was shut down."

"Philips was clearly the market leader and evangelist for autostereoscopic (no-glasses) 3D displays. It was selling its 42" lenticular-based 3D display (42-3D6W02) along with its 3×3 array of these displays called the WOWvx, and it has a number of sites using its Blue Box and Red Box processors. Prototypes of 50-inch and 8-inch no-glasses 3D displays were close to introduction too. At last year's 3D BizEx event, it showcased the future of AS-3D display by demonstrating a 56-inch AS-3D display with a native resolution of 4096×2160, creating one of the best no-glasses 3D images to date."

What does this mean for the future of 3D with Philips home electronics? Well this particular 3D Solutions team was NOT part of the Philips Consumer Lifestyle group (responsible for TVs), and Teuwsen stated that there is a strong push for 3DTV right now. It is just that autostereoscopic TVs (ASTVs - no glasses) will be further delayed.

And to underscore that, this means Philips is out of the No-3D Glasses TV Race. I am not going to say this doesn't hurt - it does. But ASTVs will still have a future - just a little more drawn out now. The 3DTVs that depend on 3D glasses are still very much alive and growing rapidly.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Quick Post: AMC and RealD Announce 3D Partnership

Nearly 8,000 Total RealD 3D Screens Committed by Theatres Worldwide

Kansas City, Mo. and Los Angeles (March 26, 2009) – AMC Entertainment Inc. (AMC), a leading theatrical exhibition and entertainment company, and RealD, the world’s leading outfitter of 3D-enabled theatres, announced today that AMC will add up to 1,500 RealD 3D screens to its circuit in the United States and Canada. The rollout of RealD 3D-enabled screens has already begun with new screens added monthly at AMC locations. This agreement brings RealD’s 3D network to nearly 8,000 total committed screens worldwide with approximately 2,600 RealD 3D screens installed today.

“AMC has a world-class reputation for guest satisfaction, and we look forward to bringing RealD’s exceptional 3D experience to all of our theatres, as our intent is to feature at least one screen in every AMC theatre” said Gerry Lopez, chief executive officer and president of AMC Entertainment Inc. “This partnership with RealD will give our guests an enhanced way to experience movies perfectly timed for the full line-up of 3D films coming from some of the biggest names in Hollywood.”

“AMC is a global leader in entertainment and we’re proud to work with them to enable this huge number of screens across their circuit with RealD 3D technology,” said Michael V. Lewis, chairman and CEO of RealD. “Audiences are seeking a new and truly engaging form of entertainment that AMC and RealD together can provide through this extensive commitment to build out one of the largest RealD 3D circuits in the world.”

RealD’s next-generation digital 3D is ultra-realistic, bearing no resemblance to the anaglyph red-and-blue glasses based 3D of old. A bright spot for the entertainment industry, RealD 3D is driving box office to the tune of three to four times per screen revenue of the same film on 2D screens.

Keep 'em coming fellas! :-)

A Story Of An Independent 3D Filmmaker: Vic Love

Jim here. We have heard plenty of stories on the well funded and equipped 3D directors and producers out there - how about something on a small independent filmmaker making a go of it?

Vic Love is pioneering live-action documentary 3D filmmaker in places like Hawaii and Jamaica on a non-budget. I spoke with Vic on many occasions and recently he opened up about his passion; 3D.

Says Love: "There are stories out there that need to be told, stories that are going away, there are living histories that need to be recorded, and I will do them in 3-D, as this is something that I can do, and we will only get better by doing. In the field this type of film-making is an order of magnitude harder than conventional run and gun, but technology will improve. I now have an incredible gratitude to our brain being able to sync the color, focus, and iris in two eyes perfectly, but then again we've had a million years of evolution, digital 3-D has only been around for a couple of years."

He was one of the first stereographers in the world to shoot 3D footage from an ultralite. Looks like fun to me!

I love the photo of Vic overlooking a village in Jamaica (bottom - Vic is on right) with an SRW-1, 2 CCU's, a switcher, 4 Hytron 140's, and a scope strapped on his back at dawn in the rain. He had climbed up this steep mountain that their camera van could not get up to get a sunrise shot of the Bob Marley estate overlooking 9 Mile.

Vic was in Jamaica filming a documentary on the history of reggae music (which I love). He is based out of Los Angeles but obviously travel is not an issue with him.

Digital Content Producer has done a great interview with him found here back in February. He also runs a cross-eyed view 3-D stills website of his work at

From the DCP article: "In Jamaica, he'd (Vic) be composing shots, maneuvering the two-camera rig, and manipulating the interocular distance between the two cameras — all more or less on the fly. The latter task requires the stereographer to adjust the distance between the two cameras using the electronics of the rig, thereby emulating the separation of our eyes. Typically about 2.5in., that space between our eyes is what gives depth to our visual perception; a similar distance between stereo cameras creates the illusion of depth when we don 3D glasses.

According to Love, manipulating interocular distance is akin to pulling focus — instead, you're pulling stereo. “You know how to ride it,” he says. Even most smaller HD cameras — the Sony PMW-EX3, for instance — are too bulky to achieve that 2.5in. interocular distance between the centers of the lenses."

Sounds like Vic is having the time of his life! If you are or know someone who is involved with independent 3D filmmaking let me know. It would be my pleasure to introduce you to all MarketSaw readers! We all share the same passion after all...

Ridley Scott Going SciFi In 3D With "Forever War"

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YES! Jim here. I can hear the shouts of enthusiasm from all the corners of the world as the man who brought us such SciFi masterpieces as BLADE RUNNER and ALIEN is going 3D! Ridley Scott was recently interviewed at the BFI Southbank's Blade Runner Day and of course I caught it as MarketSaw is Grand Central 3D. We knew Ridley was interested in doing FOREVER WAR back in October 2008, but the 3D announcement is a VERY pleasant surprise to say the least.

From Wikipedia: "The Forever War is a 1974 science fiction novel by Joe Haldeman. It won the Nebula Award and Locus Award in 1975 and the Hugo Award in 1976. Both an action-laden and contemplative story of an interstellar war between humanity and the enigmatic Tauran species, it deals with themes like the inhumanity of both war and its attendant bureaucracy, as well as with the results of time dilation space travel which may cause a soldier to return to his home only after centuries have gone by."

We all know what Mr. Scott is capable of and he has proven himself over and over again (GLADIATOR, BLACK HAWK DOWN, THELMA & LOUISE) but it is this return to science fiction that will have everyone giddy all day. I know I am! In 3D no less.

And who influenced his decision to go 3D? Check out Ridley's quote: "I'm filming a book by Joe Haldeman called Forever War. I've got a good writer doing it. I've seen some of
James Cameron's work, and I've got to go 3D. It's going to be phenomenal."

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

How to Train Your Dragon Image

Michael here.  After seeing the wonderful Monsters Vs. Aliens this past Sunday, I can't wait for How to Train Your DragonDreamworks' second 3D film.  The story sounds great and the art design looks fantastic.  Here's the plot description:

Meet Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III, heir of the Viking chiefdom, but a boy with one very big problem: a hero he is not. "How to Train Your Dragon' is the riotous story of Hiccup's quest to hunt down the fiercest dragon, bring it into submission, and—hopefully—pass his initiation. Instead, he ends up with the smallest, most ornery dragon—it's even toothless! Thus begins the hijinx of the world's most lovable, unlikely hero and a most reluctant "beast." Packed with energetic drawings and plenty of action, this boisterous tale is just right for fantasy fans or anyone with a spirit of adventure. Based on the book by Cressida Cowell.

How to Train Your Dragon flies into 3D theaters March 26, 2010

MUST WATCH: "Ice Age: Dawn Of The Dinosaurs" Full Trailer

Jim here. This is HILARIOUS! And I hate Ray Romano with a passion - so that is saying something. ICE AGE: DAWN OF THE DINOSAURS looks like a sure winner. It has all the elements we know and love from the originals (except Romano, lol) and delivers it in... THREE DEE.

So take a look! I hope this trailer is showing in 3D in front of MONSTERS VS. ALIENS this weekend...

Quick Post: "Monsters vs. Aliens" Opens Huge In Russia

Jim here. According to Variety, MONSTERS VS. ALIENS has opening very well in Russia and Ukraine markets earning $6.2 million from 644 locations in those smaller markets - Katzenberg wanted to take advantage of their kid's spring break so it makes loads of sense to do this.

MvsA was the fourth highest grossing animation of all time in Russia - and take note that Russia does not have a great 3D screen penetration as of yet. Heck neither do we. Suffice to say there are far fewer 3D screens in Russia and we all know that the more 3D screens the better for revenues.

From Variety: "Jeffrey has always been very cognizant about having a world view, which is 'let's do the best thing for the movie and release it in the most commercially beneficial time we can,' " said Paramount prexy of domestic distribution Andrew Cripps. "To miss out on a weeklong holiday doesn't make sense."

Katzenberg has made similar moves in the past, including opening 2004's"Shark Tale" first in Australia."

So far so good. Read the whole Variety article here. Looks like a good time for all this weekend!

Just How Big Will Dreamworks Animation's "Monsters vs. Aliens" Open?

Hey guys - Jim here. Question for you. If you were a betting person and had to wager on just how much MONSTERS VS. ALIENS would make this opening weekend - what would be your estimate?

I am saying that MvsA will take home $66.2 million this weekend based on a number of things but mainly that the they have 2000 screens set to change a bit more for 3D and 7000 screens total. I am loosely using KUNG FU PANDA as a barometer and factored in time of year and that they are both original ideas and not part of a franchise (yet!).

In the end - it will be a massive. Hey I could be wrong and the movie blasts off past $70m or it could disappoint somewhat and hit what THR has said it will do - $50m. I think that is on the low end.

Either way, I think the range of $50 million to $70 million is VERY nice territory and record setting for a 3D movie. Can't wait for the numbers! Looks pretty positive judging by the poll we are running on the left - 83% of MarketSaw readers want to see it at some point (as of today). If it performs well, it will bring viewers in earlier to see the animation! :-)

OH - And when you take in the movie, make note of what trailers are shown in front of it and whether they are in 3D or 2D! APPRECIATED! Let us know right here...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

3D Dark Ages vs. 3D Renaissance

Jim here. Well we are about to get inundated with magazines with the all too familiar anaglyph 3D format from none other than Entertainment Weekly (you saw their online contributions here already), Fortune, People, Sports Illustrated and Time. They are all using the same format that was used for the Super Bowl MONSTERS VS. ALIENS commercial - you know the one that does not do the movie any justice whatsoever.

Yeah that sounds agressive I know. Hey, I understand that ColorCode 3-D is just trying to make a go of it. But, sorry, this is the 3D Renaissance we are having right now, not the 3D Dark Ages. It is too confusing for audiences that are viewing the material thinking: "Why on earth would I pay to see that 3D? It's giving me a headache after only a few minutes!"

I will say this again and again and again: This ColorCode technology is NOT what we will be seeing in the theaters for MONSTERS VS. ALIENS or any of the modern 3D lineup listed here. Far from it. It is so far removed from the technology that I actually think it is doing more harm than good. Destroying the modern 3D brand if you will.

From the ColorCode press release: "3-D images will be supporting the stories and over 16 million 3-D glasses have been produced to be distributed together with the magazines. The 3-D system used to make this possible is called ColorCode 3-D and is the same system used for the 3-D commercials during this year’s Super Bowl when over 130 million ColorCodeViewers (3-D glasses) were distributed to American households.

The magazines will focus on their respective readers’ interest covering the latest news and upcoming trends in 3-D as an important part of visual communication. ColorCode 3-D has made it possible to visualize these stories with images that will stand out in full-color 3-D using the attached ColorCodeViewer. The images will also be fully viewable without the 3-D glasses but then as ordinary flat images."

I know many of you have already read my negative opinions on keeping anaglyph directly connected with modern 3D movies. This is for new readers that are just catching up now. Remember that when you go see MONSTERS VS. ALIENS or A CHRISTMAS CAROL or AVATAR this year, the experience is going to blow you away! It will not be the red and blue or red and yellow ordeal we go through with these anaglyph glasses. Trust me. You will LOVE it.

Monday, March 23, 2009

New Breakthrough Polarized Glasses From iZ3D?

iZ3D Inc., designer, developer and pioneer of advanced stereoscopic 3D visualization systems, has created new linear polarized glasses for use with the popular iZ3D stereoscopic 3D monitors. The glasses are currently in beta testing are designed for use with the upcoming iZ3D Version 2.0/ DirectX®10 Driver. The company will be showcasing the new glasses on a system running the Version 2.0 driver at the Game Developer Conference in San Francisco, CA March 23-27, 2009 in Booth 6020.

“Customer feedback is very important to iZ3D. We have been forging new ground for stereoscopic 3D displays and drivers for the wide variety of gamers, movie buffs and graphic artists that appreciate the 3D experience. Through this feedback we became concerned with a small percentage of people who saw two variations of color through our partially elliptical polarized glasses,” said Thomas Striegler, CEO iZ3D Inc. “We began to research other types of polarization and were impressed with the many advantages that linear polarization provided to the entire S-3D visual experience.”

The new polarized glasses consist of multiple optical layers instead of one polarized layer. This eliminates color differences some people experience from each eye. The multiple layers create a pure linear polarization that enhances the overall stereoscopic 3D visual experience for everyone. Because of the enhanced imagery, the glasses also provide easier user adjustments to the 3D environment to provide better into and out-of stereoscopic 3D screen effects and ultimately the enjoyment of longer game play.

Sounds like a great new advance with the iZ3D system! Can't wait to see it in action...

iZ3D is a sponsor of MarketSaw.

Monsters Vs. Aliens Review!

Hi everyone, Michael here.  I had the privilege of attending Dreamworks' crew screening of Monsters Vs. Aliens yesterday at the 3000+ seat Gibson Ampitheatre at Universal Studios, and my first impression soon after the film started was that I had never before seen 3D this immersive and effectively woven into the fabric of a movie.

As many of you know, Monsters Vs. Aliens is the first 3D Dreamworks release, as well as the first major animated movie to be designed with 3D in mind from story conception through final rendering.  The result of this design philosophy is evident on-screen: watching Monsters Vs. Aliens is often a dazzling experience.  At one point, a wave of debris particles from an explosion engulfs you.  At another, a character on a floating platform seems to enter the theater, buzzing in front of your face, but in a way that makes you believe that you and he are sharing the same space--you are transported into the world of Monsters Vs. Aliens, and at the same time that world is brought into yours.

A huge amount of credit goes to Phil "Captain 3D" McNally, stereoscopic supervisor on MvA, and his team.  Not only is the 3D technically perfect (there is never a moment where I was taken out of the experience by a jarring 3D cut or awkward shot), but the use of stereo space to aid in the storytelling is incredibly artful.  Whether it is an emotional, dramatic scene involving the main character, Susan, or an action sequence in the villain's spaceship, the 3D serves to heighten the emotional reaction of the viewer.  I could tell that the filmmakers put a ton of thought into the stereospace of every shot.

The story was a pleasant surprise, too.  The trailers don't really do justice to the human element in the film.  Case in point: The character Susan (aka Ginormica) is the central character, and gives the film its emotional and narrative anchor.  The supporting monsters are all hilarious, especially Bob, the indestructible gelatinous mass, who somehow bears an uncanny resemblance to his voice actor, Seth Rogan.

Before the screening Jeffrey Katzenberg came out and thanked the audience of crew members, telling them that they, through their work on the film, are trailblazers in their own right, having helped push modern 3D into existence.

And with Monsters Vs. Aliens, it is clear:  3D is HERE!

Pang Brothers To Shoot First Asian 3D Horror Movie

Jim here. According to THR, the Pang brothers (THE EYE, 2005; BANGKOK DANGEROUS) are set to shoot THE CHILD'S EYE IN 3D at a reported budget of $4.5 million. Thailand shooting is to commence in June.

The directing twins, Danny and Oxide will be working with Universe Films, Digital Magic and Fat Face Productions.

“The Child’s Eye in 3D” tells the story of six stranded Hong Kong travelers during the shutdown of the Bangkok airport in the November 2008 anti-government protest and their supernatural encounters after the disappearance of three in the group."

In a related story, THR will be hosting a 2 hour panel on 3D within the Hong Kong - Asian Film Financing Forum, AND one and a half days of 3D screenings with the Hong Kong International Film Festival (including MONSTERS VS. ALIENS on March 24 - Katzenberg will be there as well). The festival runs March 22 to April 13. Good on you THR!

The Pangs are really starting to make some headway on the world filmmaking scene - I don't know too much about this project but it seems that they have heads on their shoulders so here is hoping they pull it off!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Catch A Glimpse Of Upcoming 3D Animations Right Now

Jim here. Entertainment Weekly is offering you a chance to see some movie stills from upcoming 3D movie animations if you happen to have a pair of anaglyph glasses hanging around.

Or you can get the glasses in the March 27 issue of Entertainment Weekly, on newsstands right now...

I personally don't like using them, but hey it is only some pics, not a movie. Kinda cool seeing TOY STORY and ALPHA AND OMEGA (2010) - So enjoy!

Perhaps Our First Glimpse At "Avatar" Marketing At LIE 2009

Jim here. Thank you Darkoo for sending me this tip on an upcoming licensing conference in Las Vegas: Licensing International Expo 2009, June 2 to 4 at my favorite hotel / casino Mandalay Bay (the tradeshow floor map displayed is only about half the show).

The big news is that potentially Fox will be showing off their promotional efforts for AVATAR - here is an excerpt from the Reuters piece: "In addition to several yet-to-be disclosed titles for 2010 and beyond, both studios will look to the world`s premier licensing marketplace to showcase such major 2009 releases as Night at the Museum 2: Escape from the Smithsonian (Fox), X-Men Origins: Wolverine (Fox), Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (Fox), and Avatar (Fox), Cirque du Freak (Universal), The Wolf Man (Universal), Fast and Furious (Universal), and Land of the Lost (Universal)."

Licensing International Expo 2009 ( is the most established licensing event in the world and has become a global marketplace for leveraging brand and property equity for developing new licensed consumer products. The show's appeal brings together top-level retail and manufacturing executives from more than 82 countries who look to Licensing International Expo 2009 to discover new brands and revenue generating opportunities within the $191 Billion licensing industry.

Damn - wish I was in Vegas for the show, but I am going for Showest in a week or so - it would be terrible to have to return so soon! Joking of course, but really the show looks amazing. Hopefully Fox does indeed reveal some licensing projects for AVATAR and give us a further glimpse at what the movie holds in store for us.

Friday, March 20, 2009

3D Insider Info: 3D Luminance Demo - Watch For Any Crosstalk

Hey guys, Jim here. This post is mainly for 3D industry insiders, but I thought it important enough to get the word out. From the Inter-Society Digital Cinema Forum (ISDCF) Discussion Group:

"There will be a demonstration of 3D material presented at various luminance levels. This will be shown at the AMC Burbank 16 Auditorium 3 on March 24, 2009. There will be two demonstrations: one at 10 am and a second at 12 noon. The same material will be presented at both demonstrations. If we have too many sign up, we may add a third showing at 8 am. NEWS: Added demonstration at 1:30pm.

This is a 35’ screen and we will be showing a RealD / Christie system at 4.5, 6, 10, and 14 ftL luminance. We have clips from many studios including Warner Bros, Pixar, and Dreamworks. This is a demonstration only to educate the community on the issues of 3D luminance."

Sign up here to attend the event:

Directions: Burbank 16 125 E. Palm Ave. , First and Palm, One Blk. North of Olive Burbank, CA 91502

This is cool because it will allow you to see the difference between low levels and higher levels of light and how it affects viewing with regard to crosstalk and personal enjoyment. Also note that the content being screened is of top caliber.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Time Confirms My Estimate Of "Avatar" Budget: $300 Million Plus

**UPDATE: March 20: Time has "corrected" an error on their part: "The original version of this story misstated the cost of the film Avatar as being in excess of $300 million. The correct figure is in excess of $200 million."

Well both versions of their story is true in my books. $300 million plus is still in excess of $200 million lol. We will see what the final tally is. And I can guarantee you it isn't $200 million.

Jim here. WOW! For all you naysayers who said my budget estimates were way out of whack for AVATAR - I have news for ya - just as I calculated - AVATAR is a $300 million PLUS beast of an epic. And it is going to rock your world.

Here is that segment excerpt for you:
"Cameron's Avatar, due in December, could be the thing that forces theaters to convert to digital. Spielberg predicts it will be the biggest 3-D live-action film ever. More than a thousand people have worked on it, at a cost in excess of $300 million, and it represents digital filmmaking's bleeding edge. Cameron wrote the treatment for it in 1995 as a way to push his digital-production company to its limits. ("We can't do this," he recalled his crew saying. "We'll die.") He worked for years to build the tools he needed to realize his vision. The movie pioneers two unrelated technologies--e-motion capture, which uses images from tiny cameras rigged to actors' heads to replicate their expressions, and digital 3-D."

I recommend you read the entire piece over at Time right here.

Oh and here is a sign of the times - the most successful director of all time had this to say about working with 3D: "Every movie I made, up until Tintin, I always kept one eye closed when I've been framing a shot," Spielberg told me. That's because he wanted to see the movie in 2-D, the way moviegoers would. "On Tintin, I have both of my eyes open."

Another great quote from Cameron: "(On 3D viewing) so close to a real experience that it actually triggers memory creation in a way that 2-D viewing doesn't." His own theory is that stereoscopic viewing uses more neurons. That's possible. After watching all that 3-D, I was a bit wiped out. I was also totally entertained."

Man, this movie keeps building and building. What an epic photo of three, 3D visionaries! Is there anyone who is NOT pumped about AVATAR yet? :-) Thanks to Darkoo for bringing this to my attention!

Free Upgrade To 3D Ticket For "Monsters vs. Aliens"

Jim here. Hey, I have discovered a free upgrade to 3D for MONSTERS VS. ALIENS if you are a Bank of America customer! Thanks to MarkoMark for sending in the tip.

To check out the deal, click here. Can you get the deal if you are NOT a customer? I am sure you are breaking the spirit of the deal and probably the rules and regulations if you do.

I think this is a GREAT way to promote your company in a useful way. 3D is the premiere experience in today's theaters and while most don't mind paying the extra money for a 3D ticket (studies have shown this), it is still nice to see this happening. And everybody wins.

Awesome job Bank of America! It is not often I get to say something nice about a bank... :-)

3D Shorts - "Thriller"; "Up" Opens Cannes; "Dragon" Team Working Hard; and iZ3D Compares 3D Formats

>>Update on Michael Jackson's THRILLER 3D movie:
Anschutz Corporation is financing the 3D movie version of the record breaking song and video for release after Jackson's upcoming 50 show concert tour. It is said to be based on roughly the same material as the upcoming Broadway musical of the same name.
- Sorry. Can't get excited about this project yet. Need to know it's gonna work and who is running the show.

>>Pixar's UP to open Cannes Film Festival:
Cannes organizers made the announcement today that UP will be the first animation and the first 3D movie to ever open the prestigious festival. "We are very proud," Thierry Fremaux of CFF told AFP, "to welcome Pixar studios, it's brilliant world, its talented directors and producers." UP is due in our theaters May 29th. Personally, I think it has a great chance at taking home the Palme d'Or for best film this year.
- This is indeed an honor. Congratulations to the UP team over at DWA!!

>>Dreamworks Animation are using TWO directors to get HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON done on time:
Dreamworks Animation is using both Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois as directors to get this movie done on a greatly accelerated schedule. Says a DWA staffer: "We know we're going to be working a lot of overtime on the picture, but nobody's uptight about it, everybody's happy to be working. The story's coming along, nobody is worried about that. We know the picture's going to get done. We've done it before, many times ..."
Further conjecture from the TAG blog: "Walking around, I saw more scenes of Shrek IV being worked on than Dragon, (Shrek in slapstick action with supporting players) yet the ogre lumbers into your local cinema a couple of months after Dragon. This could mean story is further along on Shrek than Dragon, or it might mean Shrek has more moving parts and needs a longer production schedule, or it might mean ... not much at all."
- We knew that they had two directors on for quite some time now (about a year - they also were writers) but this paints the scene a bit better. Obviously the Shrek franchise gets top attention over there as it is a guaranteed money maker. HTTYD is due in theaters March 26, 2010.

>>iZ3D to provide Game Developer Conference attendees a unique visual 3D comparison:
iZ3D is going full out to show typical users the difference between standard 2D, the famous red and cyan anaglyph 3D, and a state-of-the-art Stereoscopic 3D (S-3D) display. iZ3D will be providing this demonstration at the San Francisco conference March 23-27, 2009 in Booth 6020.
"3D visual technology has come a long way from the days of the red and blue anaglyph 3D effect that tricked your eyes into the illusion of depth through the use of color. 2D technology is the current norm and presents users a flat graphics experience that is great for word processing applications, but not for an immersive graphical experience such as gaming, " stated Tom Striegler, CEO of iZ3D Inc.
“The easiest way to explain the visual difference an iZ3D monitor provides is to play a game on a 2D monitor where you experience only a two dimensional game. On an iZ3D monitor, the graphics that were originally created in a 3D modeling program come to life, you duck items flying at you and experience movement such as flying or falling,” commented David Chechelashvili, iZ3D VP, Marketing.
-Awesome! If you are at the conference - definitely check this out and compare formats to see what everyone has been talking about...
iZ3D is a sponsor of MarketSaw.

Forecast: "Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs" Looks Like A Damn Good 3D Movie

Jim here. Got an AWESOME new teaser trailer for CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS! I have to say that this movie is looking GOOD. I mean really good. Dare I say we now have a fourth valid entrant in the best 3D (or 2D for that matter) animation house running?

Yes, Pixar is still the leader in my mind (and many) and we will see further evidence when Pixar's UP is released May 29th - but hold on a minute. Dreamworks Animation has a very solid offering in MONSTERS VS. ALIENS coming out in about a week. Disney Animation had a really successful go with BOLT last November ($283 million worldwide box office) and now comes our fourth option: Sony Pictures Animation.

I am not just saying that to create controversy, I am serious. CLOUDY looks very good. It is not Pixar good yet, but I have to say it is approaching it. They need to improve background and character detail but their use of color and light is awesome!

So what do you think? Pixar had better be watching in their rearview mirror or what? The content looks perfect for taking a family to enjoy a little craziness and then perhaps getting a bite to eat after the movie? :-)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Michelle Rodriguez On James Cameron

SAME DAY UPDATE: Actually, has the original interview - check that out too! Thanks Matt!

Jim here. You have to love how frank Michelle Rodriguez can be sometimes. Well, all the time. So it was with little surprise that I read an interview with her over on SciFiCool where she really gushes over working with James Cameron. Can't say I blame her, but she certainly does so with her own particular idiom.

Says Michelle: "So, you’re working with a golf ball or you’re working with an “X” on a green wall and you’re just hoping that you’ve really hit your mark interacting with this. You’re just kind of trying to remember as much of your make-believe time at the age of 5 as you possibly could to get you through it. But, with this technology that he’s got, you just go there and you see what you’re interacting with right there because it’s a mixture of live 3D footage, the props on the set, and the virtual world that he spent God knows how long creating. It’s f**king amazing. It’s hardcore. I can’t even imagine anything bigger."

Oh yeah, she also says: "You know, I used to poop in my pants too, and I learned how to use the bathroom eventually." see the context of THAT statement, be sure to read the whole thing.

According to SFC, Michelle is playing a pilot in AVATAR. Looks like Michelle's ship has got three green to land future mega roles after landing ANY part in this movie. Same goes for all the actors. Looking forward to hearing from them during their promo reels.

Quick Post: Spielberg and Jackson Talking "Tintin"

Hey guys - Jim here. Thanks to Scumfrog for sending me this link! Check out a brief message from Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson who were ramping up shooting performance capture for TINTIN when this video was shot. In order to see the clip which is on a French site, do the following:

- Go to this location.
- Click on the button labeled "VOIR EN ENTIER"

It is not very long but it is great to see them getting into the spirit of things. Bring it home guys!

Monday, March 16, 2009

"Cane Toads 2" Invading In 3D

Jim here. I had an exclusive talk with Director Mark Lewis and he said that he has a new 3D project coming out soon that is close to his heart...

CANE TOADS 2 is a live action 3D film that is a follow up to the successful film CANE TOADS: AN UNNATURAL HISTORY. Mark is directing as he did the original, released in 1988.

The original was a 47 minute documentary (at times humorous) reviewing the introduction of Cane Toads in Australia to help control a sugar cane pest. Seems after being brought to down under, they refused to eat the sugar cane grubs and instead multiplied like rabbits. To make things worse, they have no natural enemies in Australia, partly because of their poisonous skin. CANE TOADS is used in schools and colleges to assist with biology and environmental science classes. It was also nominated for a BAFTA as Best Short Film and Roger Ebert calls the original "One of my favorite films".

Says Mark: "The film follows the journey of the cane toad in Australia and features a disparate cast of characters commenting on the impact of the toad since their introduction. From the lush rain forests of Puerto Rico, to the vibrant cane farms of far North Queensland then traveling through the mangroves of the Gulf Country into the harsh and arid landscape of the Northern Territory. The journey ends in Western Australia as thousands of toads are now poised only a few miles from the border and with the coming wet season the flood waters will spread them further West into thousands of square miles of the Kimberly region."

Mark adds, "Whether the story is a tragedy, a comedy of error or a tale of success - depends on your perspective."

The anticipated delivery is in December of this year. It is being distributed in Australia by Madman Entertainment and the US through Participant Media. The film is a co-production with Participant Media, Discovery Studios, Screen Australia and Radio Pictures.

I have not seen the original, but I suspect that the sequel will echo the outstanding research (that obviously WASN'T done when the toad was introduced!) and interject humor to bring out the best again of what seems to be a very entertaining news story. 544 votes on IMDb have the original pegged at 8 stars out of 10. Not bad!

I will give fair warning though: a little flick by the name of AVATAR will be clearing a fairly large swath of 3D screens in December of this year, including IMAX. I do hope their release goes well - just make it early December!

UPDATE March 17: Just heard again from Mark - they will be delivering the project in December but distribution will occur later! :-)

Friday, March 13, 2009

New Line Lining Up New "Journey 3D"

Jim here. Few movies say action / adventure like Brendan Frasier movies - and New Line is back asking for more. Who can argue with that? The man has THE MUMMY franchise and now JOURNEY 3D franchise which seems to be growing into a life of its own adapting literary classics.

THR is reporting that a second JOURNEY 3D is in the works after the studio saw that the original made $240 million worldwide plus performed extremely well with DVD sales.

Eric Brevig is returning to helm the adventure and also share in the writing credits.

From THR: "One challenge to mounting a second film was finding a story to tell, since "Journey" author Jules Verne wrote just the one book. One concept considered was setting the story in Atlantis, but with several Atlantis projects under development at other studios and underwater photography costly, it was nixed. The sequel's story line came together by chance when a spec script by Richard Outten, a writer whose last credited work was 1993-94 Fox TV series "The Adventures of Brisco County Jr.," landed at Walden. Titled "Mysterious Travels," the adventure tale was based on the fantasy conceit that the literary tales "Gulliver's Travels," "Treasure Island" and Verne's own "Mysterious Island" all occurred on the same island."

Brendan Fraser and Josh Hutcherson are also being teed up for another launch into literary history.

I seriously thought that if there was a sequel, that Atlantis would be the focal point as it was hinted at during JOURNEY 3D. But you know - I love the idea of this franchise continuing on by using the classics as fodder for modern 3D. It is a way to mix the old with the new and rely upon proven master storytelling. Look for the second iteration to be wildly more successful than the first as movie goers worldwide become more familiar with the characters involved. I do hope there are no more crying scenes on beaches for Frasier though - it was the biggest downfall of the first go around.

Quick Post: Exhibitors Meet with Wall Street; Hope to Speed Up 3D Rollout

Michael here. Variety has an article about a meeting between exhibitors and Wall Street bankers that took place in New York yesterday in which theater operators sought funding for digital and 3D conversions.

The financial crisis, and the resulting frozen credit markets, has slowed the expected pace of the digital and 3D rollouts.

An interesting tidbit from the article is that Regal has been redistributing its 232 3D-equipped projectors amongst various markets to maximize the potential revenue from future 3D shows.

I hope they find sufficient funding and are able to make up for lost time. Entertainment, which always thrives in down economic climates, seems as sure a bet as possible...and 3D films outperform their non-3D showings by significant factors. Let's hope they all see the obvious logic and solve this issue ASAP!

Check out the Variety article for more discussion of the current state of the rollout.

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