HPA Tech Retreat: A Look into Next Generation Cinema Tech

What Next Generation Cinema technologies and techniques mean for filmmakers was the focus of the six mini-panels that made up a single session at the HPA Tech Retreat in Indian Wells on Wednesday. Topics addressed included Extended Color Gamut; Pairing the Mathematics of Motion and Frame Rate with Artistic Vision; Laser Projection and Higher Dynamic Range; Next-Generation Cinema Technology Test Material; Beyond the Screen; and Suspending Disbelief: When and How to Use New Tools and Techniques. Continue reading HPA Tech Retreat: A Look into Next Generation Cinema Tech

HPA Tech Retreat: Execs Look at Innovating the Big Screen

The annual HPA Tech Retreat, presented by the Hollywood Post Alliance, kicked off in Indian Wells on Tuesday. The February 9-13 event will feature more than 45 sessions, 75 roundtables, 100 speakers and 30 new product demos. “The Big Screen” was the week’s first panel. It focused on projection tech, and the promise of HDR, with a look at the potential of Dolby Vision. Panelists included NATO’s John Fithian, Todd Hoddick of Barco, David Keighley of IMAX, and Curt Behlmer of Dolby. Continue reading HPA Tech Retreat: Execs Look at Innovating the Big Screen

Research Points to Mobile Revenue Reaching Box Office Totals

According to a recent study by SNL Kagan, mobile entertainment revenue is poised to match that of box office totals. Last year in the U.S., revenue generated by mobile games, videos, music and location-based services topped $9.14 billion (and has grown at a combined annual rate of 50 percent the last three years, notes the research). The 2014 total is getting close to the estimated $10.35 billion consumers spent on movie tickets in the U.S. Mobile games led the charge by far, earning more than $5.2 billion last year. Continue reading Research Points to Mobile Revenue Reaching Box Office Totals

IMAX Rival: Dolby Cinema Puts Focus on High Dynamic Range

Dolby, the top brand in theater sound, is poised to launch its premium, large-format theater experience called Dolby Cinema. As a potential new competitor to today’s large-format leader IMAX, Dolby Cinema will feature special design elements such as its Atmos sound, signature entrances to reflect the movie being projected, and the highly anticipated high dynamic range process, which allows for a greater dynamic range of luminosity, resulting in whiter whites and blacker blacks. Continue reading IMAX Rival: Dolby Cinema Puts Focus on High Dynamic Range

Digital Media Pipeline: Making Digital a Premium Experience

Panelists at the Entertainment Merchants Association’s Digital Media Pipeline 2014 conference last week considered what defines a premium experience for consumers and how to best deliver it. Execs from Inception, MovieLabs, The Orchard and Sony discussed today’s variety of platforms, ways to keep consumers connected to content, meeting consumer demands, the need for a universal specification that supports multiple platforms, using social tools for search and discovery, and more. Continue reading Digital Media Pipeline: Making Digital a Premium Experience

‘Crouching Tiger’ Sequel Slated to Debut Via Netflix and IMAX

Netflix and the Weinstein Company announced yesterday that they plan to release the sequel to “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” simultaneously via Netflix and a select number of IMAX theaters next August. This will mark the first time a major film debuts via online streaming and in theaters at the same time. The follow-up to Ang Lee’s Academy Award-winning martial arts drama will reportedly be the first of several films backed by Netflix that are expected to follow the new release model. Continue reading ‘Crouching Tiger’ Sequel Slated to Debut Via Netflix and IMAX

Fox Film is First to Screen in Barco’s Escape Theater Format

New panoramic screening technology from digital cinema projector company Barco will debut this month with screenings of the 20th Century Fox film, “The Maze Runner.” To create a panoramic image, Barco’s “Escape” theater configuration uses three projectors and three screens — a primary screen front and center, with two angled screens on either side. While the side screens will initially feature footage created using visual effects, Fox is experimenting with camera setups to produce future movies for Escape. Continue reading Fox Film is First to Screen in Barco’s Escape Theater Format

With Startup’s SDK, Movie Theater Ads Could Get Interactive

Audience Entertainment, a startup dedicated to making the big screen interactive, is launching a software development kit that would allow companies to create a new type of advertisement. New content developed with the SDK would allow audiences to control what is on the screen by jumping or performing certain arm movements in unison. The digital cinema company Barco and Audience Entertainment have teamed up to bring this experience, referred to as “iD,” to 3,000 screens worldwide. Continue reading With Startup’s SDK, Movie Theater Ads Could Get Interactive

Cognitive Scientists, Filmmakers Explore Cinematic Perception

During a two-night event hosted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, neuroscientists and cognitive psychologists met with filmmakers to discuss their impressions of viewer attention and perception. Scientists have studied the mental and physical responses of audiences through eye-tracking experiments and analysis, while filmmakers have relied more on intuition and experience. Both groups are interested in what maintains an individual’s attention during the movie-going experience. Continue reading Cognitive Scientists, Filmmakers Explore Cinematic Perception

U.S. Spends More on Digital Video Than the Rest of the World

The U.S. video entertainment market — including pay TV, box office, Blu-ray, DVD, video-on-demand, and paid-for online video — is getting ready to reach an all-time high. According to a new report from researcher Futuresource Consulting, the market is expected to make $123 billion in retail value in 2015. Futuresource notes that the video market reached $120 billion in 2013, a 2 percent increase over the previous year. Per household spending on video in the U.S. is the highest in the world. Continue reading U.S. Spends More on Digital Video Than the Rest of the World

Survey Finds the Twitter Buzz Around Movies Has Real Impact

Nielsen and Twitter teamed up to study how consumers decide to go see a movie, and they found that Twitter played a major role in that decision. About 87 percent of surveyed moviegoers said that Twitter influenced their choice of movie and 47 percent said that they saw a movie based on recommendations from family or friends on Twitter. The survey also found that in general, 62 percent of moviegoers use the Internet or mobile apps to look up films before their theatrical release. Continue reading Survey Finds the Twitter Buzz Around Movies Has Real Impact

Radius-TWC is Experimenting with ‘Snowpiercer’ VOD Release

“Snowpiercer,” a sci-fi film starring Chris Evans and Tilda Swinton, was released June 27 in eight theaters. Just weeks following its theatrical release, the Bong Joon-ho helmed movie was made available via video-on-demand. This new distribution model is part of Radius-TWC’s strategy to bring the movie to a larger audience. The Weinstein Co.’s boutique division is hoping that the early VOD release will keep the buzz going as its release expands to additional theaters. Continue reading Radius-TWC is Experimenting with ‘Snowpiercer’ VOD Release

Increasing Number of Smartphones Are Capable of 4K Video

An estimated 160 million phones sold this year will feature 4K video-capable cameras, while only two percent of TVs shipped to North America will have 4K screens. These cameras will be available on high-end models, including the Samsung Galaxy S5, the Sony Xperia Z2 and the LG G Pro 2. Meanwhile, cable, satellite and telecommunications companies are unlikely to move to Ultra HD for a few years as they wait for more TVs to show up in American homes. Continue reading Increasing Number of Smartphones Are Capable of 4K Video

AMC Banks on Quality Over Quantity with New Reclining Seats

AMC, the nation’s second largest movie theater chain, has decided to swap many of its traditional theater seats with reclining models at 1,800 of its 5,000 locations. This switch will remove up to two-thirds of an auditorium’s seating capacity. In the next five years, AMC plans to spend around $600 million to make the renovations, which cost between $350,000 and $500,000 per auditorium. The swap will occur only in locations that need to attract more customers. Continue reading AMC Banks on Quality Over Quantity with New Reclining Seats

Dolby Atmos Surround Sound Tech Coming to Home Theaters

Dolby Labs is bringing its Atmos surround sound tech to the living room through Blu-ray and streaming services. Dolby Atmos, the cinema sound system introduced in 2012, will be available via Blu-ray without the need for players to upgrade hardware. Partners will offer receivers, speakers and other devices to help deliver the Atmos experience to the home, while existing BD players that conform to the Blu-ray spec will support Atmos content on a Blu-ray Disc, according to the company. Continue reading Dolby Atmos Surround Sound Tech Coming to Home Theaters