Beowulf comin' at ya in 3D

beowulf2.jpgConfused by the choices of where to see BEOWULF, the new computer-animated adventure? Besides standard 2D, you can view the film in Digital 3D or in IMAX 3D. What is the difference?
In an article exploring the economics of 3D presentation, Hollywood Reporter clarifies the issue. Digital 3D utilizes digital projection, obviously. There are several different brand names of Digital 3D equipment. Some require special screens; all require glasses. For the viewer, the essential point is that Digital 3D projection is limited to screens under 47 feet in height. It is simply a question of not being able to cast enough light to fill a larger screen with a bright image.
IMAX 3D, on the other hand, utilizes the patented IMAX format, which consists of 70mm film run through a projector horizontally. This allows the frame width to exceed 70mm, creating a larger image size, which in turn allows for bright, clear projection on the colossal IMAX screen, which ranges from 50 to 80 feet in height, depending on the venue.
Typically, with the stadium seating in IMAX theatres, the screen more or less completely fills the audience’s field of view, essentially immersing them in the visual experience.
The only disadvantage of IMAX is that the limited number of specialty theatres housing the bulky equipment. Digital 3D equipment can be installed into any multiplex, providing quality far superior to the hit-and-miss projection of 3D film back in the 1950s and 1980s (both of which had brief 3D fads). Some companies are working on improved systems that will accomodate larger screens.
The Hollywood Reporter article concludes:

For the consumer, all of this simply means that there are more opportunities to view a motion picture in 3-D. Shindler points out: “There are a lot of consumers that are not familiar with 3-D, and they are going to go to whatever theater is most convenient for them.”

Lewis looks forward to continued movement in 3-D. “Clearly, 3-D is where cinema is going,” he says. “We’ve seen every major studio plus major film directors embrace it. It’s going to be the platform for releasing tentpole movies.”

Friday the 13th Part 3 – reunion video

After the 25th anniversary screening of FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 3 at the Screamfest film festival in Hollywood last month, there was a question-and-answer sesssion with some of the cast and crew. Although the film itself is a bit of a sub-classic, the event was fun, and I posted excerpts of the Q&A. I just completed a video of the event. Even if you are not a big fan of the FRIDAY franchise, you may find a few of the behind-the-scenes stories amusing.

Monsters scared of Avatar

aliensvsmonsters.jpgMONSTERS VS. ALIENS is apparently afraid of facing AVATAR. DreamWorks Animation’s moved the released date of their 3-D cartoon  up from May 2009 to March 27, 2009, in order to avoid a confrontation with James Cameron’s 3-D action film (his first narrative feature since the Oscar-winning TITANIC in 1997).
DreamWorks typically releases their animated blockbusters during the lucrative summer market, but the March release date offers a chance to capitalize on Easter vacation. Studio exec Jeffrey Katzenberg joked that summer would begin on March 29 in 2009.
The reason given for the shift in release date was the limited number of screens available to show 3-D films, which would make it difficult for two 3-D films to reach an audience simultaneously:

“These movies really were going to divide the marketplace,” Katzenberg said. “The issue wasn’t the content of ‘Avatar.'”