Producer Tim Johnson has described the announced sequel for How to Train Your Dragon as “a much bigger movie,” and Dreamworks Animation head Jeffrey Katzenberg stated that the How To Train Your Dragon series will have  “at least three” chapters “maybe more.” Co-director Dean DeBlois explains how the sequel, and future of the series, will expand the story to other worlds.

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What is Page 2? Page 2 is a compilation of stories and news tidbits, which for whatever reason, didn’t make the front page of /Film. After the jump we’ve included 31 different items, fun images, videos, casting tidbits, articles of interest and more. It’s like a mystery grab bag of movie web related goodness. If you have any interesting items that we might’ve missed that you think should go in /Film’s Page 2 – email us!

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Jeffrey Katzenberg

If you’ve been reading the website for a while then you know my love for indepth long form interviews with actors, filmmakers and producers. /Film reader Joe L informs me that DreamWorks Animation head Jeffrey Katzenberg just appeared on Charlie Rose last week.

I’ve always been fascinated with the history of Disney Animation (and highly reccomend the recent documentary Waking Sleeping Beauty) which Katzenberg headed during the Beauty and the Beast/Lion King boom. I’ve also been reading Nicole LaPorte’s new book The Men Who Would Be King: An Almost Epic Tale of Moguls, Movies, and a Company Called DreamWorks. So this 36-minute interview with Katzenberg hit the right spot.

Katzenberg talks about his Disney years, being fired by Michael Eisner, the formation of DreamWorks, 3D filmmaking, Avatar, his response to Roger Ebert, the future of cinema and downfall of DVD, the failure of DreamWorks, the future of DreamWorks Animation, movies as shared events, a respect for time, his experiences in politics,  . Watch the whole interview now after the jump. And for those of you who don’t want to watch it, you can read a complete transcript at the bottom of this page.

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Former Variety writer Nicole LaPorte has a book coming out in May called “The Men Who Would Be King: An Almost Epic Tale of Moguls, Movies, and a Company Called DreamWorks“. The New York Post has gotten an early look at the book, and has published a listing of some of the more shocking claims.

According to the upcoming hardcover, Steven Spielberg is so paranoid about security at his office that a never-used motorcycle is kept permanently parked outside in case he needs to make a quick escape. Escape? From what? The book claims that the director’s “passion for secrecy sometimes suggests a burgeoning near-paranoia.”

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katzenberg_3d

UPDATE: One of the quotes I used has been pulled out of the article by Variety; I’ve noted it below.

The following is something Dreamworks head Jeffrey Katzenberg may or may not have said in his 3D Summit keynote (I don’t have a full transcript): 3D helps filmmakers tell better stories. But this is what Katzenberg did say: we know people will pay even more for this, and you’re not charging enough for 3D. Still have any illusions that the push toward 3D has any goal other than making money for studios? Read More »

Last week I recieved a mysterious e-mail:

Happy New Year –


please keep a lookout for an exciting announcement crossing the AP Wire this
Sunday, January 4th concerning the new film, MONSTERS VS. ALIENS.
Ooze gonna’ save us in 2009?

I sent a inquiry out to my Twitter followers trying to figure out what the big announcement could be, but got no response. But today ComingSoon recieved a tip revealing all.

Apparently Monsters Vs. Aliens will be the first movie trailer in Superbowl (or maybe even television history?) to be broadcast in 3D. On February 1st, during the Superbowl, the 3D trailer will air. So where do you get the 3D glasses for this experiment? Well, as you might have heard, NBC is also airing a special 3D episode of Chuck later in the month (the trailer is likely to re-air in 3D at that time). Viewers will be instructed to pick up special glasses at any Sobe or Pepsi display at participating retailers to be able to watch the commercial and television show in 3D. I love the idea behind the concept, but the execution is pretty baffling.

Sadly, this is Anaglyphic 3D technology (aka Red eye/Blue eye)  which is 50 year old technology. I’ve heard Jeffrey Katzenberg speak about the dangers of the public’s perception of that old technology. His big pitch is that the new technology is far superior, and that the concept of Anaglyph is holding the 3D movement back. I’ve been a big supporter of DreamWorks Animation’s 3D workflow, and the technology, but this seems backwards, even to me. James Cameron has also been outspoken against studios using Anaglyphic technology for DVD releases.  So it seems strange that Katzenberg would use the old technology to promote the new technology. Almost sad.

Update: Apparently Anaglyphic 3D technology (aka Red eye/Blue eye) will not be employed for this stunt, even though red/blue glasses are shown in the television advertisements. The glasses will use Intel InTru 3D and ColorCode 3-D, and Katzenberg says it will be better than the old anaglphic technology but not anywhere close to that of today’s 3D digital cinema. But from what I understand, ColorCode 3-D is amber and blue lens, and is only a slight improvement on the old Anaglyphic technology.

photo credit tvbythenumbers

Dreamworks May Start Charging $5 Extra for 3D Movies

Variety reported this past week on some important goings-on in the world of 3D at the 3D Entertainment Summit in Century City. Apparently, 3D is the future of cinema (not surprising, given the summit’s title), but there were also some interesting statistics revealed:

  • Despite the growth in the number of 3D screens in America, they consistently generate twice the audience and three times the amount of revenue of 2D screens
  • The 3D screens playing Bolt, Meet the Robinsons, and Chicken Little outperformed their 2D counterparts by 2.5 to 1.
  • For Dreamworks Animation, the cost of making a film into 3D is an extra $15 million

One of the most significant quotes comes from Jeffrey Katzenberg of Dreamworks. According to Katzenberg, 3D is “a premium experience and has the consumer paying a premium price.” Katzenberg stated that Dreamworks will start charging $5 extra for their 3D films starting with Monsters vs. Aliens in 2009.

I’m quite ambivalent about this news. On the one hand, I understand that more work is required for 3D films, both from the producers of a film and from the theaters that must somehow project the images and have the infrastructure in place to distribute glasses, etc. On the other hand, I don’t feel like the quality of the 3D films I’ve seen recently (specifically Bolt and Beowulf which both would have cost me about $10-12), would have motivated me to fork over an extra $5 just to catch them in 3D.

Editors (Peter Sciretta) Note: In San Francisco, most theaters charge a $2.50 surcharge for 3D films, but I’m not sure if that is the case all around the country.

Discuss: Do guys think it’d be worth it?

22% of Vanity Fair’s Top 100 are Filmmakers

Vanity Fair has released the VF 100 – an annual listing of the top 100 leaders of the information age. Below you can find a listing of movie related entries on the list. Check out the full list on VanityFair.com.

4. Steve Jobs – Former Pixar CEO, Member of Disney’s Board of Directors
9. Angelina Jolie/Brad Pitt – Actors
14. Steven Spielberg – Director, Producer, Dreamworks co-founder
22. David Geffen – Dremworks Co-founder
23. George Lucas – Writer, Director, Producer, Chairman of LucasFilm
24. Jerry Bruckheimer – Producer
28. John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, Brad Bird – Pixar’s creative team
32. Sumner Redstone – Majority Owner of Paramount Pictures
33. Arnold Schwarzenegger – Actor
34. Tom Hanks – Actor, Producer
35. Robert Iger – Head of the Walt Disney Company
43. Oprah Winfrey – Actress (kinda), Producer
44. Jon Stewart – Comedian, Actor
45. Stephen Colbert – Comedian, Actor
53. Jeffrey Katzenberg – Dreamworks co-founder, CEO of Dreamworks Animation
55. George Clooney – Actor, Producer
58. Judd Apatow – Producer, Writer, Director
59. Robert De Niro – Actor, Producer, Director
66. Brian Grazer/Ron Howard – Producer/Director
85. The Coen Brothers – Writers, Directors, Producers
87. The Weinstein Brothers – The Weinstien Co
93. Jerry Weintraub – Producer

How Dreamworks Animation is Innovating 3D

/Film was invited to the Dreamworks Animation campus to preview some footage from Monsters vs. Aliens, and take a tour of the company’s new 3D process (which is actually pretty incredible… more on that later). It all began when Dreamworks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg saw a screening of Robert Zemeckis’ Polar Express in IMAX 3D.

“I was so blown away by the presentation. I literally came scurrying back here and said, this is a game change,” Katzenberg told /Film and a small group of other online press. “The implications of this movie theater experience are something I have not seen or imagined in my 35 years of doing this and I think it is a huge opportunity and we need to get on it.”



Katzenberg explained that filmmaking has been through two great revolutions, the first being the transition from silent film to talkies, and the second being the transition from black and white to color. He insists that 3D is the next great revolution.

“The movie theater experience has not been innovated in any meaningful way in decades. Meanwhile, the home experience with the big flat screen tvs and surround sound, blu-ray and everything else has just become amazing. So one experience has stood still while the other has continued to rise up.”

Movie attendance continues to fall as the popularity of the home theater and on demand movie watching builds. This leads us to Katzenberg’s passionate plea to keep the movie theater experience alive.

“I love the movie theater experience. I think that it’s very special when a couple hundred people to share a experience. Everything is amplified – things are scarier. Things are funnier. Things are sadder. Everything in that shared experience is enhanced. And I would like that experience to stay around and to me this offers the first opportunity to innovate the theater experience in ways we can’t in our home for many years to come.”

He admits that 3D will eventually be possible in your home theater, but says its probably “10 years out”. And even then he likens it to “the difference between a live sport event and being in the arena and everything that it brings and how immersive it is vs. watching it on TV.”

“Samsung is making monitors right now that are 3D capable, so I don’t think that’s the challenge. It’s actually the viewing experience,” Katzenberg explaned. “There’s 2 things about 3D in order to really give the full Rolls Royce version of it. One is the size of the screen needs to hit your peripheral vision. If you think about it, if you have a 50” television set that means that you actually sit no further than 50” away from the TV. So that’s here. You don’t sit that close to your TV.” … “The second thing is that the more light, the more it diminishes the 3D experience and so I made a joke which is I walked around my house in terms of where I have a TV set and the only place I can go in my home in which I can have a 3D experience as good as what I can have in the movie theatre is in coat closet where I come into my….and I can’t fit a 50” TV in there, so it’s light actually kind of dissipates it a fair amount. You can do it in the home but it’s not going to be, again

So why now? What’s changed?

“These are polarized glasses as opposed to my father’s 3D: The blue and red anaglyph, which kind of disintegrated… forget the fact they were made of cardboard, beyond that they sort of disintegrate the color and the art of the film. They were really more for gimmick than a quality experience.”

Secondly the technology behind the projection of 3D films which allows for “absolute precision in doing the right eye left eye so that all of the imperfections and things that we all associate with the old 3D, in terms of what happens on the theater side, are corrected. And if you remember, with the old 3D, there were two projectors, and if you’re trying to line those things up, it is impossible to have precision in it. And those imperfections cause many of those things that people identify with motion blur, eye strain, nausea, those things.”

But the third thing Katzenberg touted was the new tools to create the technology. This is where Dreamworks Animation is taking 3D to the next level. Until now most 3D films have created in a post production process, something Katzenberg compares to the equivalent of a black and white movie being colorized.

“If you have seen a black and white movie that has been colorized, it is that big of a gap. Because a movie that was designed and shot in black and white, everything about it from the set dressing to the cinematography to directing the film, is very specifically designed to show shades of white to black and all of the colors and skews of gray in between it,” explained Katzenberg. “So literally a color would be picked for a piece of set dressing because it would translate to a color of gray. So to go in and literally colorize it, it doesn’t look right. That’s what happens when you post-produce a movie in 3D.”

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During my visit to Dreamworks Animation Studios earlier today, the company’s CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg explained to our small group that moviegoers of the future will own their own personal 3D glasses, which he referred to as “movie glasses”.

“People today know if they go out in the sun they need sunglasses, like in tennis you need a tennis racquet. You’re gonna go to the beach, you’re gonna need a bathing suit. If you’re going to the movies, you’ll have movie glasses,” Katzenberg said. “We’ve been collaborating with the largest eye glass company in the world about an eye glass that they will hopefully have by next year, which is a transitional lens… Now you have a glass that will actually transition for you indoor to outdoor. Now this would transition from sunglasses to movie glasses. So your movie glasses will be your sunglasses.”

Now I must admit, at first I thought he had to be kidding. It almost sounded like Doc Brown talking about his latest harebrained invention. But the more I thought about the idea, the more I began to understand Katzenberg’s perspective.

Imagine for a minute that Katzenberg’s 3D dream will become a reality… That the future movie going experience is going to be in 3D. Imagine that a huge chunk of studio movies will produce and project their films in 3D. YDo you think that moviegoers of that potential future would see a benefit of owning a pair of sunglasses that could transition into “movie glasses”.  I’m interested to hear what you think?