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Film Festival Today

Founded by Jeremy Taylor

The Digital World of Filmmaking Today, Tomorrow and Beyond at CinemaCon 2011

Written by: FFT Webmaster | April 4th, 2011

James Cameron, George Lucas and Jeffrey Katzenberg hosted a Filmmakers Lunch and Panel Discussion at Cinema Con (formerly Showest) for exhibitors at Caesar’s Palace Casino, and Resort. They provided a master class on the 3D revolution!  Lucas made the cogent observation that: “3-D is like color, it’s not like sound. Digital is like sound.  Digital changes everything.  Sound changed everything, color just made it better”. Lucas went on to explain that digital is technology that frees the artist.  “Digital projection allows the picture to be perfect every time”, he added.  “Movie theaters will never, ever go away.  We love the movie theater.  I make my movies for the movie theater.  I don’t mind it going out on other platforms, but if you want to see it in the best way possible, you’ve got to see it in a movie theater” The key to helping digital come of age has been the movie theaters conversion to 3-D  “Where we are in digital is like 1900 in celluloid”, Lucas said.

James Cameron went on to voice his concern that bad 3D conversions erode the market.

Cameron said that true conversion should take “between six and eight months not six to eight weeks” like the disappointing “Clash of the Titans”.  The Avatar auteur said that only about 20 movies in the history of cinema were worthy of being converted to 3D.  Among those will be his own “Titanic” being readied for a 2012 launch and Lucas’ “Star Wars” expected that same year.

Cameron then went on to rock the house with the announcement that he wants to see frame rates accelerate from 24 frames per second up to either 48 or 60.  “If the 3-D puts you in the picture, the higher frame rates takes the glass out of the window”, he said and later demonstrated in a screening test the following morning. He also announced that the native frame rate for the next iterations of the “Avatar” franchise will be either 48 or 60,  but definitely not 24.

Katzenberg’s most poignant contribution was the announcement that “scalable multi-core processing’ now is available for 3-D animation allowing artists to now see their work in real time. “This is a revolutionary change in how this work is created”, he explained.

Rendering, which is the present way of working, takes eight to ten hours and makes the post- process slow and cumbersome.

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