Day one of the LA 3D Entertainment Summit has wrapped and the fifth edition of the annual event threw up some recurring themes reports James Iliff
According to one delegate, it was very well attended, quite an achievement when most acknowledge a general 3D conference fatigue. One source told 3D Focus that interest in 3D appears to be picking up in LA, having experienced increasing inquiries regarding conversion.
James ILiff summarised the re-occurring topics of day one as…
- The 3D industry is in "a state of growth and chaos" (a quote by Larry Lipton)
- No standards have been established for 3D on all levels – production, post-production, and distribution.
- More 3D content in more mediums on more devices means more money.
- Americans seem to have a bias against 3D compared to countries.
- 3D manufacturers must work together, not compete, to establish 3D standards; unlike other technologies such a Blu-ray vs HD-DVD; the consumers will NOT be deciding – it is up to the manufacturers.
- There needs to be cohesive marketing for 3D to reduce consumer confusion.
The business case for classic catalogue material to be re-released in 3D was made, with The Lion King and Titanic 3D re-releases proving that there can be huge financial gains in return for relatively modest investment. With Finding Nemo being re-rendered into 3D, Pixar Stereoscopic Supervisor Bob Whitehill said "We're sort of spoiled in how we make our movies. We make them in 3D space in the computer. … Once we have the movie up and running in our software, we're able to film the exact same movie with the same lighting and voices."
According to the Chicago Tribune, Universal is planning to re-release Jurassic Park into 3D as well as re-releasing a restored version of 1954’s Creature From the Black Lagoon, the first of eight classic 3D horror re-releases. As previously reported, Warner will be putting life back into Dial M For Murder, taking the original 3D production and releasing the Hitchcock classic on 3D Blu-ray.
“This is not a conversion from 2D to 3D, but an original work … that illustrates just how good 3D can be," said Jeff Baker, Executive VP and General Manager of Warner's Theatrical Catalogue. "We're hoping Dial M for Murder is the first of several classic 3D films to be released, with the long-awaited, much requested House of Wax expected next.
Will Smith sci-fi iRobot will be released in 3D next month and Dr Barry Sandrew of Legend3D recently told 3D Focus that they are currently working on other classic re-releases but cannot divulge the titles because of NDAs but they fully expect re-releases to grow significantly over the next three years.
In his talk, Jeffrey Katzenberg from Dreamworks called for “exceptional 3D” to persuade cinema-goers to spend the premium prices at the box office. Last year he declared his disappointment of the missed opportunity after a rush of poorly converted movies and criticised the drive “by a singular and unique characteristic that only exists in Hollywood – greed.”
In a recorded interview, Katzenberg said "Some people tried to capitalise on the gimmick of 3D rather than giving a quality experience and trying to deliver something exceptional to audiences, and the audience really snapped back on us," he said. "But I think the trend is growing and we're starting to earn back trust and respect from the audience."
About 3D television he said "There still isn't much to watch… Making that incremental investment, people want to know that there's use and value in that. Sports has been pretty good, but it's still pretty limited in 3D product you can get on a TV set."
During the The Value of the Global 3D Entertainment Business presentation, Richard Cooper, Principal Analyst from IHS Screen Digest, claimed it is the international markets like China who will incubate the growth of 3D "China is still incredibly dominant (in 3D expansion),"
He continued to say "In the last 12 months they've more than doubled the number of 3D screens in the country." Cooper added, "Over the last 12 months, we've seen a huge increase in the number of countries that can boast more than 200 3D screens."
He warned 3D will not truly take off in the home until glasses free 3D technology becomes viable. Numbers Cooper shared included:
- About 60% of screens worldwide have converted to digital.
- About 44% of digital screens in North America are 3D-capable.
- The number of 3D screens outside the U.S. reached 27,000, up 51% year-on-year.
- Biggest barriers to 3D adoption is it remains very event-based viewing.
- Affordable glasses free 3D is still several years away.
During the following panel discussion the aversion to paying for 3D material was highlighted although there are still opportunities to sell to manufacturers who are looking for promotional content.
According to Principal Media CEO David Brenner, Samsung is paying up to $4,000 a minute for 3D content and LG is paying about $1000, more than what can be expected for licensing content to a 3D channel. The panel agreed that international markets are experiencing a growing demand for 3D, both in production and distribution.
Today, the 3D Entertainment Summit will features discussions on the 3D opportunity in China, glasses free 3D and 3D advertising. 3D Focus US reporter James Iliff will be covering the event as are Variety.com. Follow James Iliff on Twitter here.
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