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style="margin-bottom: 0"> 3D Projects New Vision For The Movie Industry

Published : 17th August 2009

See the following article from CNN :


http://edition.cnn.com/2009/TECH/07/23/3D.cinema.business/


* Story Highlights
* Digital tech impetus behind 3D films; studios still working out
how best to use
* Format could lead to new creative boom in Hollywood, say analysts
* Movie industry suggests 3D films are much harder to pirate
* Advocates estimate tipping point of 5,000 3D theatres in U.S. in two years


Regards,


Bill Hogan



Bill Hogan writes:


>>" * Format could lead to new creative boom in Hollywood, say analysts "


Perhaps like more porn-star casting? (see "Piranha 3D")


>>" * Movie industry suggests 3D films are much harder to pirate '


Phooey. Piracy is dependent on their being a home entertainment device to play the purloined program on, an object currently non or barely extant. When that changes, there will be piracy, including camming.


The thing about piracy and the internet is that titles are stocked deep, but not very wide. And tend to follow the tastes of people like the comic-store guy on The Simpsons. Great if you want to see videos of naked sportscasters, less good if you want -- well, actually "Bwana Devil" _is_ available...


>>" * Advocates estimate tipping point of 5,000 3D theatres in U.S. in two years "


Theater conversion, er, "projections" have consistently outpaced reality. And we're still in a bad capital market. Not that it won't be reached on _some_ date. OTOH, Cameron's attempts to convince us that Avatar is going to be a mind-blowing experience (and not just watching someone else play a video game), might just put it over. I wonder if he'll be stationing psychiatric nurses in every theater?


I would again point out the dichotomy between cartoons and live action, and the parallels between the development of 3D and the development of color, and the fact that color didn't gain momentum in live action until it was as easy to shoot as B&W.


Tim Sassoon
SFD
Santa Monica, CA



Bill Hogan wrote:


>> See the following article from CNN:
>> http://edition.cnn.com/2009/TECH/07/23/3D.cinema.business/


Interesting article. A different take, that I don't think has been linked to here (sorry if it has) :


>><http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/entertainmentnewsbuzz/2009/07/3d-starting-t
>>o-look-flat-at-the-box-office.html>


Same link shorter :


http://tinyurl.com/ld9wac


3-D starting to look flat at the box office


As more movies play in digital 3-D, there’s evidence that audiences are becoming less interested in the ballyhooed format that many in Hollywood have predicted will stem the long-term erosion of theater attendance. Of course, it's still early days... Perhaps as the number of screens increases, filmmakers master 3D storytelling, and audiences get used to it, it will take off.


Or it could end up like pop-up books: There are some amazingly clever 3D books, but they didn't change publishing.


Jim "not cynical, just unsure" Feeley
Producer, journalist, and mixer...but mainly of docs, so it'll (probably) be
a while before I work in 3D...



>> As more movies play in digital 3-D, there’s evidence that audiences are becoming less interested in >>the ballyhooed format that many in Hollywood have predicted will stem the long-term erosion of theater >>attendance.


When I recommend a 3D movie to friends or family, such as Up!, they rarely go and see it in 3D. They just don't seem that interested.


Considering that a significant part of a movie's sales come from DVD release, I just don't see how 3D is going to be that financially amazing. It will probably put more butts in premium seats for a short while, but there are a lot of people out there (including my husband) who simply can't see 3D.


I suspect "Digital Imax" will do much better. The sound system is quite loud, and audiences tend to notice that before they notice that the picture is really cool too. Not sure why...


Art Adams | Director of Photography
4 1 5 . 7 6 0 . 5 1 6 7
showreel -> www.artadams.net
ICG, SOC, NWU



>> <http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/entertainmentnewsbuzz/2009/07/3d-starting-t
>> o-look-flat-at-the-box-office.html>


That particular effect is pretty easily explained by "Ice Age" being more of a kiddy show than the others. Small children (I've noticed particularly 7 and younger) have difficulty watching 3D films, besides just being too fidgety to wear the glasses. The literature suggests that while stereoptic sensitivity begins at just four weeks, it also takes most of childhood to mature into the adult sense. Watching a 3D film is not the same as stereo vision; it requires one to understand a continually changing meta-space separate from actual vision. That's hard.


Which kind of throws at least a splash of cold water on the notion that all cartoons should be available in 3D.


Tim Sassoon
SFD
Santa Monica, CA



>>As more movies play in digital 3-D, there’s evidence that audiences are becoming less interested in >>the ballyhooed format that many in Hollywood have predicted will stem the long-term erosion of theater >>attendance.


This is a silly argument. And once again, 3D proponents are victims of their own hype.


If a 3D movie is released to 2000 screens, 800 of which are actually 3D-capable, and the rest are exhibiting a 2D version, of course the 800 screens are going to have a higher per-screen average. It's A MOVIE 3D, after all, and audiences will, generally, prefer the 3D version -- especially after been bombarded with advertising about the 3D experience.


And all other things being equal, when 1500 screens of a 2000 screen release are 3D capable, the per screen average for the 3D screens is still going to be higher than for those screens exhibiting the movie in 2D, BUT the per screen average for the 3D screens is going to be lower simply because its spread over more 3D screens.


The industry uses the higher per screen average as a selling point for 3D to exhibitors, but if all screens showing a "3D movie" are actually 3D capable (with no 2D versions of the movie), I believe the per screen averages would be equal to or perhaps marginally higher than if it were shown only in 2D, if one deducts the ticket price premium.


There will be exceptions based on the appeal of specific movies, but I believe the revenue enhancement aspects of 3D are overblown by those who have a vested interest in more quickly expanding the installed base of 3D-capable screens. Eventually, the "novelty factor" of 3D wears off and what's left is whether or not a movie has audience appeal or not -- just like 2D movies.


Everything else is hype and bogus economics. IMHO, of course.


Greg Lowry
Scopica | Scopica 3D
Vancouver



>>Movie industry suggests 3D films are much harder to pirate


That's just hilarious.


The movie industry's remarkably feeble (but REALLY expensive) attempts to stop piracy are always a source of great amusement.


There has never been a DVD produced by the movie industry that cannot be ripped and copied by anyone with 15 minutes of internet access, a credit card with less than $50 available on it to buy the appropriate software, and a greater than room temperature IQ.


The industry will never implement a real workable protection system, because then piracy would stop and they would have to answer to the stockholders for their sometimes dismal DVD sales numbers. With the piracy straw man to trot out whenever convenient, they can sigh and blame him if their numbers are low.


What they need to concentrate on are the counterfeiters, the people who replicate not only the disks but the full packaging and sell it as the real deal to wholesalers. That's where they're losing the real money.


Bob Kertesz
BlueScreen LLC
Hollywood, California



What they need to concentrate on are the counterfeiters, the people who replicate not only the disks but the full packaging and sell it as the real deal to wholesalers. That's where they're losing the real money.


Like in China? When I was there last I was able to get a few studio films pre-US release. Awesome!
Not sure how easy that is for the MPAA to prosecute?


Dane Brehm
310.710.2658
Cinema Data Tech
Phantom | Red | S.Two



I'd like to poll the audience.


If you have ever illegally downloaded and watched a copyrighted movie, raise your hand...
Hum, no hands... there must be because of the MPAA layer at the back of the room.
Let's phrase it the other way.


If you have *never* illegally downloaded and watched a copyrighted movie, raise your hand...Hum, no hands... nobody wants to be flagged as totally outpaced by the digital distribution revolution.
Maybe I should poll anonymously on a website...


Bernard Mendiburu



Bernard Mendiburu (prof. lists) wrote :


>> If you have *never* illegally downloaded and watched a copyrighted movie, raise your hand...


My hand just went up.


>> Maybe I should poll anonymously on a website...


My guess is that the answer would be very, very age dependent. The percentage of illegal downloaders would likely work out to be somewhere around 10% or less for anyone over 40, about 20% for those 30-40, about 30% for those between 25 and 30, and about 80% (or higher) for those under 25.


But that's only a guess.


Mike Most
Technologist (I don't use pirated software, either...)
Woodland Hills, CA.



In Venezuela there are literally kiosks that people go to instead of an actual video rental store to rent the burnt DVDs. They have the cover art and everything. In fact as I recall sometimes they charge more for screeners since they are higher quality than the cam versions from theaters. These are kiosks operating inside large malls and shopping centers.


That is the real problem.


Daniel Colmenares
(818) 552-4590 Work
(502) 271-8284 Cell



>>There has never been a DVD produced by the movie industry that cannot be ripped and copied by >>anyone with 15 minutes of internet access


Some of those ARccOS disks are pretty hard to rip - we had a copy of Tinkerbell from Netflix this week that wouldn't even play it was so crippled. The DVD player just scanned the disk then turned itself off.


And I would phrase Greg's point slightly differently - that per-screen average comparisons only hold when there's a consumer choice, that the product is available in both 2D and 3D. I personally think that a significant proportion of the per-screen average multiple that has been seen so far was, as he said, a result of constrained product availability.


I was struck by Watchmen, that the IMAX showings in my area were sold out for the first week, but the Mann's shoebox was half-empty. And such is not uncommonly the case for all high-profile pictures. Which I think points to an audience desire for the premium experience, be it giant screen, 3D, or both.


Look at cars; premium sells well despite the easy availability of decent budget offerings.


Tim Sassoon
Megachiropteran
Santa Monica, CA



Tim Sassoon wrote :


>> I personally think that a significant proportion of the per-screen average multiple that has been seen so >>far was, as he said, a result of constrained product availability.


Yes, that's a clearer way to phrase what I wrote. Certainly less wordy.


It's really impossible to prove that the enhanced per-screen average multiple claim for 3D can be sustained past the rollout phase. However, while the 3D rollout is still in its early days, if an exhibitor has a 3D-equipped screen and his competitor doesn't, the higher per-screen average is a reality. But with the expanding number of 3D screens in a given market, the playing field levels and the multiple will inevitably shrink. Ask Starbucks about that.


Going to back to the original article, for illustrative purposes consider this extreme analogy: In the case of showcase or platform releases where a movie is exhibited on a few screens before its wide release, naturally the per-screen average is going to be high. When the film goes wide we wouldn't say that interest in the film declined simply because the per-screen average declined.


>> Which I think points to an audience desire for the premium experience, be it giant screen, 3D, or both.


I agree, but is it not also true that the more IMAX screens in a market the lower the per-screen average even if they're not all playing the same movie?


Greg Lowry
Scopica Inc. | Scopica 3D
Vancouver



Michael Most wrote :


>> If you have *never* illegally downloaded and watched a copyrighted movie, raise your hand...


I agree!


Max Penner
Paradise FX Corp.
CTO/stereographer
Paradisefx.com
Skype-maxp3d
London cell 07542142966



LA and NYC each have three or four IMAX venues, depending on how you count, London has two... I don't think there's a large enough sample size to tell, especially since in each example, at least one of the venues is institutional (science museum) and doesn't play commercial "DNR" films.


And BTW, I recently ripped a feature DVD under the direction of the copyright holder, because we needed shots from it as reference test material faster than we could acquire a D-5 or DBeta master...


Tim Sassoon
SFD
Santa Monica, CA



Both Mutant Chronicles and Street Fighter were available for download before I could get a DVD or BR copy.


Geoff Boyle FBKS
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