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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Large Format Forum   » Upgrading QTRU for Polar Express

   
Author Topic: Upgrading QTRU for Polar Express
James B. Openshaw
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 106
From: Mt. Pleasant, SC, USA
Registered: Jun 2002


 - posted 07-10-2004 07:18 PM      Profile for James B. Openshaw   Author's Homepage   Email James B. Openshaw   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi everyone!

I've noticed that the upcoming movie "Polar Express", is going to be around 90-min. and is in 3D. I also heard that IMAX theaters with the Kinton QTRU's are upgrading decks 2 and 3 to the 90 min arms. I just would like to know if anyone has any additional knowledge on that and also if their theater will for sure go ahead with this upgrade?

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Robert Stawiarski
Film Handler

Posts: 62
From: MW
Registered: Aug 2003


 - posted 07-10-2004 07:44 PM      Profile for Robert Stawiarski     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Many of the theatres that will book Polar Express are the ones who also have played DMR product in the past. Most of these theatres also received the 90 minute upgrade for Fantasia 2k, Beauty and the Beast, or Lion King. When upgraded to play DMR, the 90 minute decks were usually moved to 2 and 3, and the 150 minute arms were placed on 4 and 5. Not all, but most are setup this way -- these theatres are ready. The SR systems are a bit different since they are able to use a changeover for the DMR films, and might not have upgraded past the 90 minute arms, so these theatres will need an upgrade on their QTs.

We're ready for it, and Polar Express may prove to have the draw (simul. release family DMR movie in 3D) for the more 'traditional' theatres to book it and upgrade their platter systems as needed.

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Brian Michael Weidemann
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From: Costa Mesa, CA United States
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 - posted 07-11-2004 04:00 AM      Profile for Brian Michael Weidemann   Author's Homepage   Email Brian Michael Weidemann   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
When we opened our IMAX (part two: The Vengence), the QTRU installed had the upgraded platter decks 4 and 5 to 120's, but 1, 2, and 3 were still limited to 60's, as they still are. For Matrix we had the 150's upgrade on 4 and 5.

I am told that we are getting 90's upgrades for 2 and 3 for the Polar Express release, which is the bare minimum if we're to play it at all. Beyond this, I have no other info.

Is Polar Express actually DMR? The trailer looks so crisp, with none of the DMR "artifacts" that I've noticed in the Warner Bros. DMR's. So since it's all CG, I imagine it was just re-rendered; no DMR necessary. Any info on that?

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Mike Olpin
Chop Chop!

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From: Dallas, TX
Registered: Jan 2002


 - posted 07-11-2004 04:29 AM      Profile for Mike Olpin   Email Mike Olpin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I don't think it is DMR. Since it is 3D, the must have re-rendered it, and if your going to go to the trouble of re-rendering it, it would make sense to knock up the resolution a bit to take full advantage of the IMAX format.

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Adam Martin
I'm not even gonna point out the irony.

Posts: 3643
From: Dallas, TX
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 - posted 07-11-2004 01:04 PM      Profile for Adam Martin   Author's Homepage   Email Adam Martin       Edit/Delete Post 
Imax also has the technology to convert existing 2D animation to 3D. That's what was done with CyberWorld. In fact, both DMR and SANDEE (animation) were in development at the same time. CyberWorld got greenlighted because they couldn't get DMR to work (efficiently, if at all) with the technology of the time.

The real question is, how high can you push the resolution when re-rendering CGI before it takes too long to re-render and becomes cost-ineffective compared to DMR?

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Bob Brown
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 146
From: Grand Rapids, MI
Registered: Apr 2002


 - posted 07-11-2004 01:53 PM      Profile for Bob Brown   Author's Homepage   Email Bob Brown   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
To answer James question, It was my understanding that all theatres scheduled to show Polar Express have/will be contacted by IMAX to discuss the QTRU conversion. I know that both of our theatres, Grand Rapids and Lansing, are upgrading to 120 min decks. If you need any further information, you should call Chris Appleton, Aftermarket and Major Upgrade Manager at 205.733.569. If your theatre has NOT been contacted and are planning on showing Polar, I would not hesitate in contacting Chris. There is a waiting list for the conversion, which you will need to have your theatre added. I think he said the conversion would be in the $25,000.00 range. Hope this helps

[ 07-12-2004, 01:15 AM: Message edited by: Bob Brown ]

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James B. Openshaw
Expert Film Handler

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From: Mt. Pleasant, SC, USA
Registered: Jun 2002


 - posted 07-11-2004 02:16 PM      Profile for James B. Openshaw   Author's Homepage   Email James B. Openshaw   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We already have 150 min. arms on decks 4 and 5, we also have the leftover 90 min. arms from our previous upgrade.

As for contacting IMAX, since I'm not the chief projectionist or a manager, I have no authority to do that. That decision is up to my theatre director.

Personally, $25,000 to upgrade two more decks for one full-length 3D film sounds questionable; unless there are plans for more 3D full-length films very soon. Anyone have any information on that aspect?

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Bob Brown
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From: Grand Rapids, MI
Registered: Apr 2002


 - posted 07-11-2004 03:00 PM      Profile for Bob Brown   Author's Homepage   Email Bob Brown   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
James: Our QTRU's have not been upgraded at all. They are planning on upgrading ALL decks. Decks 1,2,3 will be a 90 min and 4,5 will be 150 min. I mis-spoke about the 120 mins upgrade. That is why it is costing so much to do the upgrade.

[ 07-12-2004, 12:06 AM: Message edited by: Bob Brown ]

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Robert Stawiarski
Film Handler

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From: MW
Registered: Aug 2003


 - posted 07-11-2004 03:04 PM      Profile for Robert Stawiarski     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
James, no other 3D feature length movies in the pipeline that I know of. While unlikely, it would be nice if the Shrek 3D project were picked up again.

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Mike Olpin
Chop Chop!

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From: Dallas, TX
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 - posted 07-11-2004 04:25 PM      Profile for Mike Olpin   Email Mike Olpin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It's too bad Disney got out of it. "A Bug's Life 3D" would have been breathtakinng!

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James B. Openshaw
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From: Mt. Pleasant, SC, USA
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 - posted 07-11-2004 08:44 PM      Profile for James B. Openshaw   Author's Homepage   Email James B. Openshaw   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Mike, Disney & Pixar have a 3D version of "A Bug's Life", but it's a short Disney attraction entitled, "It's Tough To Be A Bug" in Animal Kingdom at WDW. They might copy it to California Adventure (They copied everything else from WDW).

From what I know about the transfer of "Polar Express", DMR won't be necessary since the movie is all on a computer, so WB can transfer it themselves and send it to DKP70mm. It was that way with "Attack of the Clones".

[ 07-12-2004, 05:53 PM: Message edited by: James B. Openshaw ]

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Adam Martin
I'm not even gonna point out the irony.

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 - posted 07-11-2004 09:31 PM      Profile for Adam Martin   Author's Homepage   Email Adam Martin       Edit/Delete Post 
Attack of the Clones did indeed get the DMR treatment. And it was released by Fox.

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Mike Olpin
Chop Chop!

Posts: 1852
From: Dallas, TX
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 - posted 07-11-2004 10:07 PM      Profile for Mike Olpin   Email Mike Olpin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Of course. I've seen It's Tough to be a Bug at California Adventure. I especially liked the animatronic hoper that bursts out of the wall.

I was refering to watching the actual feature in IMAX 3D.

Disney has been doing a lot of copying between their parks. You guys are in for a treat when "Soarin' " opens in WDW. Thats a top-notch attraction!

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Brian Michael Weidemann
Expert cat molester

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From: Costa Mesa, CA United States
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 - posted 07-11-2004 11:35 PM      Profile for Brian Michael Weidemann   Author's Homepage   Email Brian Michael Weidemann   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Adam Martin
Attack of the Clones did indeed get the DMR treatment.
Which leads me to believe that there's no reason NOT to release Episode III with DMR, giving us IMAX folks a fine Summer '05 season of business.

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Dick Vaughan
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From: Bradford, West Yorkshire, UK
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 - posted 07-12-2004 02:22 AM      Profile for Dick Vaughan   Author's Homepage   Email Dick Vaughan   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Brian Michael Weidemann
Which leads me to believe that there's no reason NOT to release Episode III with DMR, giving us IMAX folks a fine Summer '05 season of business.


And if this time round Fox looked beyond North America we would all be happy

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