At the Disney presentation at CinemaCon 2012, Pixar announced a new project: Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich and producer Darla K. Anderson are working on “a wholly original Pixar Animation Studios film that delves into the vibrant holiday of Día de los Muertos.”
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Last year at CinemaCon, James Cameron began his push for the next evolution of cinema — higher framerates. Peter Jackson was the first filmmaker to hear the call to action and shoot a feature film using 48fps. That film, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, will be released in the holiday season at the end of this yea. It could very well determine the future of how movies look and how films are shot, projected and viewed both theatrically and at home.
A brief primer: Modern films are shot and projected at 24 frames per second. That has been the industry standard for feature films since the mid-1920s after sound motion pictures were introduced. The low frame rate results in a strobing effect when there is moderate camera movement. You have probably accepted this technological artifacting, but it looks artificial and your brain interprets it as such. Raising the framerate makes movement look a lot smoother, and gives the impression of an enhanced resolution. The low framerate is also one of the major factors of why some people experience discomfort while watching 3D movies.
Lets go back in time to last year’s convention. Cameron gave a presentation to a auditorium full of skeptical theater owners/managers (and a few press). And by the end of the presentation, which compared footage shot at 24fps up against the same sequences shot at 48fps and 60fps, most walked away believing they had seen the future of cinema. I was a believer. I wrote:
The footage shot at 48 frames a second looked incredible. The best way to describe it, is to quote Cameron: “If watching a 3D movie is like looking through a window, then [with this] we’ve taken the glass out of the window and we’re staring at reality.”
Cut to one year later: Warner Bros held a presentation which previewed their entire 2012 line-up (you can see my reaction to all the footage in a separate posting). That presentation included over ten minutes of footage from Peter Jackson‘s Lord of the Rings prequel The Hobbit. Buzz was at an all time high to see this footage, which says something when you’re sharing a panel with Christopher Nolan‘s The Dark Knight Rises. Many people I had talked with were expecting to be blown away by the footage, and especially the new, higher, frame rates. Most of us were not.
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Tuesday morning at CinemaCon, Warner Bros held their big presentation outlining their film releases for the rest of 2012. Filmmakers and stars presented exclusive unseen footage, trailers and sizzle reels.
We screened a five minute tonal sizzle reel for Christopher Nolan‘s The Dark Knight Rises, 10 minutes of selected cuts from Peter Jackson‘s The Hobbit‘ in 48 frames per second 3D, Baz Luhrmann‘s 3D adaptation of The Great Gatsby, and Jay Roach‘s political comedy The Campaign starring Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis.
After the jump you can find a video blog I recorded with Frosty from Collider and Alex from FirstShowing discussing our reactions to all the footage, including the higher frame rates of The Hobbit.
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Monday at CinemaCon, Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks Animation presented footage from their upcoming 2012 slate to a room full of theater exhibitors (and a few press). After the jump you will find a video blog I recorded with Frosty from Collider reacting to 25 minutes of Madagascar 3, 15 minutes of Rise of the Guardians, three scenes from Christopher McQuarrie‘s One Shot starring Tom Cruise and a sequence from Sacha Baron Cohen‘s The Dictator. You may be surprised at what we liked and we we didn’t care for. We previously covered the GI Joe: Retaliation sizzle reel in a previous video blog elsewhere on the site, so we won’t repeat our reactions here.
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I’m writing today from Las Vegas, where I’m currently attending CinemaCon (not to be confused with Comic Con) — a gathering of movie theatre exhibitors which was formerly known as ShoWest. On Sunday I got the chance to preview five minutes of footage from Jon Chu‘s G.I. Joe: Retaliation, in addition to the new trailer which has just been launched online (see separate post). After the jump you can watch a video blog I recorded with Alex from FirstShowing and Frosty from Collider reacting to the footage that screened in Vegas.
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