Monday, May 28, 2012

PROMETHEUS Setting Box Office Records Already! *AND* Learn About The Awesome Tech Behind The Movie!!

Of course it is going to do well at the box office, you can take that for granted. But just how well will it do? From the first indicators - VERY well. PROMETHEUS has eclipsed AVATAR and HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART 2 in pre-sales at the BFI IMAX theater in London. That means that over 30,000 people have bought advance tickets to the tune of $737,588 from ONE theater.

BFI had booked 18,287 tickets after just one week of sales ($474,687) which set a new high for them in pre-sales, and now the records just keep falling to PROMETHEUS as time rolls along toward its release date.

Here's the storyline for the movie:

Ridley Scott, director of “Alien” and “Blade Runner,” returns to the genre he helped define. With PROMETHEUS, he creates a groundbreaking mythology, in which a team of explorers discover a clue to the origins of mankind on Earth, leading them on a thrilling journey to the darkest corners of the universe. There, they must fight a terrifying battle to save the future of the human race. 

Can this ONE theater hit $1 million in pre-sales before the release of the movie on June 8th? Sure is nice to think so.


PROMETHEUS has over 1400 3D visual effects shots. They used software programs like Autodesk's Maya (3D animation), Pixar's Renderman (ray-traced scenes), Adobe AfterEffects (for well, after effects!) and The Foundry's NUKE (compositing) to name several.

Ten different VFX companies tackled the work, though Moving Picture Company garnered the most. To me, this is very exciting. I have often found various effects houses to have their "brand" all over their work - like in TRANSFORMERS I found ILM to have ample superiority over hard edged robots and buildings while a company like Weta Digital has the finest control over rounded creatures like humans and faces in particular. Combine them and you have one heckuva effects movie. It's exciting to me to see another visual effects house getting the bulk of the work because we may see things we've never seen before! Not that these guys haven't been around for awhile - they have. They've worked and are working on movies like CLASH OF THE TITANS, SKYFALL, SUPERMAN: MAN OF STEEL, WORLD WAR Z, 47 RONIN, LIFE OF PI, etc. But let's face it, they were chosen as the led effects shops over ILM and Weta and it should look slightly different and exciting. I saw things in TITANS for example that blew my mind! Can't wait!!

Ridley Scott used Red Epic cameras on 3ality Technica Atom rigs. He had four mounted rigs (with the same configurations) and one steadicam for the bulk of the shoot. The consistent configurations of the mounted rigs eased editing a great deal.

The cameras were all connected to 3ality's Stereo Image Processors (SIPs) for the recording of all the data bursting forth from those VERY high resolution cameras. The SIPs also helped maintain speedy transitions when lens needed to be changed or cameras realigned. The technology goes further by offering advice on the fly to the filmmakers on convergence (creating a single image from two different camera image angles converged on the same point in space), interaxial (the distance between the two camera's lenses - like our eyes) settings and any alerts.

These settings are EXTREMELY important for a comfortable viewing experience. The settings must be correct during transitions or it will be quite jarring to the audience. Those SIPs track these configurations and help eliminate any transition issues.

The PROMETHEUS team actually shot far more resolution than what was necessary for the final 2K product. In fact they shot at 5K and 120 frames per second! They used the extra space surrounding the final viewable product to assist in eliminating edge artifacts (as shown in the image).

The idea and thrust behind the PROMETHEUS technology was to get the 3D workflow as close to 2D and from the sound of this fine report that was accomplished. 3ality Technica's tech allows for the same number of 3D setups in a shooting day as 2D. There is no real excuse now in saying that 3D is slower because you are setting up 2 cameras, not 1. There is no longer an excuse that the 3D cameras and rigs are too big - they aren't now!

The new technology here eliminates these things from the equation and gives time back to the filmmaker to be as creative as they can be and not worry about the optics. PROMETHEUS is set to fully enjoy the reaction from audiences worldwide on what they have accomplished.

I fully endorse the write up that Electronic Design did on this. Check it out.

Sources: THR | ElectronicDesign

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