SOURCE: TechnologyJournal.ca -- Movie studios continue to be enamored with 3D as way to get more people into theatre seats and to charge them a premium for the privilege. Vancouver’s Gener8 Media is on the leading edge of an industry that’s sprung up to support 3D production, providing conversion technology that rivals natively shot 3D content.
According to MPAA stats for 2011, over half of all U.S. and Canadian movie-goers saw at least one 3-D film that year, with over 27,000 of the continent’s 42,000+ screens now capable of showing 3-D films. 3D films released in North America in 2011 brought in $1.8 billion (US) in receipts; of the top ten highest grossing films of the year, six were in 3D.
Checking movie ticket rates for The Hobbit in Vancouver, regular adult admission is $12.99, while the 3D viewing commands a $15.99 admission.
Love it or hate it, clearly 3D is not going anywhere -- not when studios can get close to a 25% premium on ticket prices (not to mention the money theatres invested in 3D projection equipment).
The infrastructure is now in place, with the majority of cinemas capable of showing 3D movies while almost any new flatscreen TV you buy today has 3D included as a basic feature. What’s missing is content. There are only so many movies made per year and filming in 3D is expensive. So how do studios get 3D content to theatres to satisfy demand and keep up those premium ticket rates? Just as tricky, how do they satisfy all those new TV owners whose library of Blu-Ray movies is sadly lacking in 3D content?
The answer is 3D conversion, which is where Gener8 Media comes in. Its G83D stereoscopic effects conversion process has earned a reputation for producing high quality 3D content out of regular old 2D film.
Instead of investing the time and expense of physically shooting a film in 3D, film makers can stick with standard methods. After Gener8 Media converts the film, the resulting 3D movie has all the depth and “wow” factor of one that’s actually shot using stereoscopic cameras, without the specialized filming equipment, techniques and cost. Gener8 has perfected this technique and Hollywood studios have partnered with company on high profile projects like Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 -- 2011’s highest grossing movie.
Besides replacing stereoscopic shooting altogether, Gener8’s systems are also employed for seamlessly integrated 3-D effects shots to complement the primary film, such as the 35 shots the company generated for Prometheus.
In addition to helping hold the budget line on current films, 3D conversion technology has huge potential to add value to any studio’s back catalog. Taking a classic title and converting it to 3D not only spurs home movie sales (as those 3D TV owners snap up content to show off their sets), it also has the potential to carry a movie to re-release -- we’ve seen that happen with a 3D-converted Star Wars: Episode I and Titanic released in theatres this year.
3D movies are a big draw at the box office, and studios are also gauging the willingness of consumers to replace their DVD or Blue-Ray movies with 3D versions that take advantage of their new TVs. With the ability to convert standard film to 3D after the fact, companies like Vancouver’s Gener8 Media are poised to benefit not only from new releases, but from a near endless back catalog of movies that are potential 3D theatre and home video market hits.
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