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Author Topic: Superman Returns
Bob Brown
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Posts: 146
From: Grand Rapids, MI
Registered: Apr 2002


 - posted 03-31-2006 08:38 AM      Profile for Bob Brown   Author's Homepage   Email Bob Brown   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Warner Bros. Pictures' Superman Returns to Become World's First Live-action Hollywood feature to be Converted into IMAX(R) 3D

Bryan Singer Film Makes History with IMAX's Proprietary 2D to 3D

Conversion Technology

LOS ANGELES, CA, March 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - IMAX Corporation and Warner Bros. Pictures today announced that Superman Returns, directed by Bryan Singer, will become the world's first live-action Hollywood feature to be converted from 2D to IMAX(R) 3D. IMAX Corporation will use its proprietary 2D to 3D conversion technology to convert approximately 20 minutes of the film into An IMAX 3D Experience(R), the most immersive cinematic 3D in the world.

"Releasing select sequences of Superman Returns in IMAX 3D marks a groundbreaking moment in movies," said Dan Fellman, President of Domestic Distribution at Warner Bros. Pictures. "This film is going to give fans an opportunity to be immersed in a major live-action motion picture like never before."

The epic action-adventure directed by Bryan Singer (X-Men, The Usual Suspects), will be transformed into the unparalleled image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience(R) through IMAX DMR(R) (Digital Re-Mastering) technology. The film will be simultaneously released to IMAX(R) and conventional theatres on June 30, 2006. Warner Bros. Pictures will be the exclusive distributor of the film to the growing IMAX theatre network worldwide.

"The test scenes that have been converted into IMAX 3D look, sound and feel absolutely amazing," added Bryan Singer, Director of Superman Returns. "The magic of IMAX 3D will envelop audiences in this story, enabling them to feel the emotion, drama and suspense in a completely new and unique way."

During select sequences of the film, a visual cue designed by Singer will indicate when audiences should put on and remove their IMAX 3D glasses. [Confused]

"We are delighted to partner with pioneering visionaries Bryan Singer and Warner Bros. Pictures to transform part of this highly anticipated release into An IMAX 3D Experience," said IMAX Co-Chairmen and Co-CEOs Richard L. Gelfond and Bradley J. Wechsler. "Today's announcement is a culmination of a great film, a great filmmaker, a great studio, and great technology - all working together to produce the most powerful and immersive cinematic experience available to moviegoers worldwide."

"Five out of the seven films in our 2006 line up now feature IMAX 3D," said Greg Foster, Chairman and President of IMAX Filmed Entertainment. "We are thrilled that moviegoers will be able to experience Bryan Singer's unique and exhilarating vision. Through the magic of IMAX 3D, they will feel as if they are actually flying alongside the man of steel, weaving in and out of Metropolis."

Following a mysterious absence of several years, the Man of Steel comes back to Earth in the epic action-adventure Superman Returns, a soaring new chapter in the saga of one of the world's most beloved superheroes. While an old enemy plots to render him powerless once and for all, Superman faces the heartbreaking realization that the woman he loves, Lois Lane, has moved on with her life. Or has she? Superman's bittersweet return challenges him to bridge the distance between them while finding a place in a society that has learned to survive without him. In an attempt to protect the world he loves from cataclysmic destruction, Superman embarks on an epic journey of redemption that takes him from the depths of the ocean to the far reaches of outer space.

Warner Bros. Pictures presents Superman Returns, directed by Bryan Singer and starring Brandon Routh (Clark Kent/Superman), Kevin Spacey, Kate Bosworth, James Marsden, Hugh Laurie, Sam Huntington and Eva Marie Saint. Written by Dan Harris and Mike Dougherty. Produced by Gilbert Adler, Jon Peters and Bryan Singer; co-produced by Stephen Jones; and executive produced by Chris Lee. Superman Returns is based on the DC Comic Book Superman.

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Mark J. Marshall
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From: New Castle, DE, USA
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 - posted 03-31-2006 09:05 AM      Profile for Mark J. Marshall     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
This is exciting and stupid at the same time. What the hell? Either do the whole movie in 3D, or don't do it in 3D at all! Doing it partially in 3D just adds to the "3D is a gimmic" mentality. Doing the entire movie in 3D would help to finally widdle away at that mentality.

I'm guessing that this is a last minute decision, and that there is a time constraint in doing the whole movie at this point. I only hope that maybe after seeing what's possible in this movie, others will start to jump on the 3D bandwagon again.

I'll definitely go see it, but the thought of seeing the whole thing in IMAX 3D... wow, that would have been really cool.

And now for a technical question... does this mean that they still need two eye prints, and that one will be mostly black slug? Or can the second eye start up mid show and catch up to the first projector in exactly the right spot?

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Bob Brown
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From: Grand Rapids, MI
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 - posted 03-31-2006 02:58 PM      Profile for Bob Brown   Author's Homepage   Email Bob Brown   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Mark:

It depends on which IMAX system you are running. The MPX system has the capability to start and stop so the left eye would not have to be entirely black eye with the 3D print attached. With the SR systems, I think with some software upgrades, this system could do it also. SR do have this capability to a degree, with a changeover feature. But if you are running a GT,then you will be forced to use the black eye. Anyway they do this, it will be interesting and I hope not to distracting for the guests. Now that I think of it, the SR system will be able to run like the MPX system does, due to IMAX writing a software program for a theatre to do this. This program is property of the theatre, so I don't know how this will work out, but the technology is there for MPX and SR systems. We shall see what happens

[ 03-31-2006, 06:45 PM: Message edited by: Bob Brown ]

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Mike Blakesley
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 - posted 03-31-2006 05:25 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Mark J. Marshall
I'm guessing that this is a last minute decision, and that there is a time constraint in doing the whole movie at this point.
Either that or the filmmakers assumed -- correctly -- that the audience will get sick of wearing the stupid glasses after a few minutes.

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Brian Michael Weidemann
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 - posted 03-31-2006 09:06 PM      Profile for Brian Michael Weidemann   Author's Homepage   Email Brian Michael Weidemann   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I don't think the article used the word "convert" enough.

With Ant Bully, Open Season, Happy Feet, (apparently one more I can't seem to recall, unless it's refering to Deep Sea) and now Superman all full-feature 3D films this upcoming season, the whole ordeal for us is going to be a logistical nightmare, if not downright impossible, given our complete lack of print storage capabilities (and no room to build/install any), and limited platters. Opening one right after another, or--and this is really making me nervous--playing alternating shows on the same schedule, is going to be a feat for us operators if there ever were one.

Also, do we run the polarizer mount during the WHOLE show? It can't be mounted or removed while on screen without, in some way, obstructing the screen for a distracting moment ... but leaving it on the whole time means that the audience is going to fail to enjoy MOST of the feature as brignt and colorful as it should be.

I know this is just a press release so far, but I really hope that Warner Bros. and/or IMAX have given hefty thought to the practical issues and limitations on the operator side.

This ordeal screams "gimmick" and probably had all the execs wetting their pants when someone tossed out the idea. I, however, thought immediately about the extra 10 hours it would take me, pulling a necessary all-nighter, assembling just the 40 reels of black slug film!

Oh, wait, no, I'm not whining. This project excites me and I look forward to working on this, helping to immerse fans in a major live-action motion picture like never before! [Roll Eyes] [Frown] [Big Grin] [Razz]

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Paul Linfesty
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 - posted 03-31-2006 09:07 PM      Profile for Paul Linfesty   Email Paul Linfesty   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
They're also referring to this as an IMAX DMR conversion. But isn't that supposed to refer to a film conversion? Grain removal, etc?

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Mark J. Marshall
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 - posted 03-31-2006 11:13 PM      Profile for Mark J. Marshall     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Mike Blakesley
or the filmmakers assumed -- correctly -- that the audience will get sick of wearing the stupid glasses
It's true that there are always a handful of people who boo-hoo about wearing glasses, but those people can always just pay the lower ticket price and see the 35mm show instead. I doubt that had any bearing on them deciding to only do part of the movie in 3D.

Putting the glasses on and taking them off is more distracting for the audience than just putting them on and leaving them on. Talk about being sucked out of the movie while you try to fumble around and find your glasses. [thumbsdown]

I wonder if all of the black slug reels will be individually numbered (if they do it that way).

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Jeremy Jorgenson
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 - posted 04-01-2006 12:28 PM      Profile for Jeremy Jorgenson   Author's Homepage   Email Jeremy Jorgenson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
re: numbering slug film...

Yeah, good question. I would think it would have to be ... with a leader so the person assembling the print knows where to splice. If the operator has to count frames for a whole feature ... that would be wonderful. [Roll Eyes]

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Frank Angel
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 - posted 04-18-2006 05:20 AM      Profile for Frank Angel   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Angel   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
So the assumption here is, when they say "conversion," are not just talking about the computer-to-film DMR transfer, they are actually about one of those new systems that Lucas is always crowing about which imports a 2D film image, does its digital thing, and out comes two images from the computer, one for each eye and (supossedly) 3D, correct?

Or were these sequences actually SHOT with a two camera 3D rig for REAL 3D?

While I won't go as far as to say I think making 2D into 3D CAN'T be done (usually the way the world works is, you can't make something from nothing....yes, digital zealots, even if you ARE using a computer -- remember what colorization looked like?), I am still very skeptical that 2D original can possibly look as good as REAL 3D shot with a dual eye perspective system.

So if it IS the propriatary 2D manipulated to simulate real 3D, then this SUPERMAN FINDS HIS WAY BACK will be the first commercial test of that process, right? It should be VERY interesting to see.

As for the headgear, I just saw THE DEEP and although the (real) 3D was spectacular, I must say that having to keep that clunky thing on my head any longer and it would have become a real problem. At the end of the hour that thing was actually causing discomfort (I have eyeglasses under it and the weight presses on the ears and the bridge of the nose enough to make it border on pain). The simpler polarization filter system was much less problematic. I saw two other 3D IMAX films using the passive filter system and they went totally unnoticed by me.

Are these two systems interchangable, i.e., is the projection system the same and you just need to swap out the LCD system for the filter system at the front end?

If it comes to pass that a full length feature is actually shot and presented in IMAX 3D, then I would really be worried about sitting for two hours with that thing on my head.

Another question for your IMAX whiz-kids....how did they come up with DMR, for Digital Re-Mastering? Wouldn't that be DRM not DMR or did someone have dyslexia? Or why isn't it DRT? for Digital Remastering Technology? Inquisitive minds want to know. And what exactly does IMAX stand for, if anything. I am thinking Maximum Eye....I-MAX.

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Brian Michael Weidemann
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 - posted 04-18-2006 07:41 AM      Profile for Brian Michael Weidemann   Author's Homepage   Email Brian Michael Weidemann   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yep, I think this is the first big roll-out of that 2D to 3D digital fakery. Well, maybe that's not true. Although it wasn't IMAX, I think Chicken Little was the first attempt. A second eye was not rendered from a second camera position, but the single eye movie was digitally fudged into two, to simulate 3D. It wasn't too bad, though ... but considering it wasn't live action, I can't vouch for how "realisic" the 3D was. Superman will be indeed interesting, and I'm curious for the same reasons.

The big, clunky headsets are both polarized as well as LCD flickering. The first IMAX system I worked with had them, and both filtering techniques were used simultaneously (and had ZERO ghosting because of it). If you viewed a movie with a normal set of, say, the paper polarized glasses (45 degree), you'd see double, since THOSE polarizers were 90 degree offset. However, there's no reason one couldn't mount 45 degree polarizers on the projector/port glass instead, in which case the cheapy-glasses would work for you, when everyone around you has the clunky headsets (which would no longer work right, since they're 90's!) [Wink]

We don't have the shutter/LCD flicker system in the GT projector I work with now, so we'll be passing out the cheap, paper glasses. And since you'll only have to wear them for 20 minutes, it won't be very painful! [thumbsup]

Although it's heresay, I've been going along with the knowledge that "Image Maximum" was the etymology behind the brand. Can't help you with the "DMR" thing, though. I agree, however. It was never made clear how the acronym fit.

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Lyle Romer
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 - posted 04-18-2006 06:59 PM      Profile for Lyle Romer   Email Lyle Romer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
DMR=Digital Movie Remastering?

Is there a technical term for "grain" that starts with an "M"? If so it could be Digital M_____ Reduction.

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Mark Lensenmayer
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 - posted 04-18-2006 08:29 PM      Profile for Mark Lensenmayer   Email Mark Lensenmayer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
From looking around on the IMAX site, DMR does not seem to be an abbreviation or acronym. It is listed as being the NAME of the software that does the Digital Re-Mastering.

I don't think they would use DRM, as that is commonly known as Digital Rights Management, and it might get confusing.

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Dan Suomi
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 - posted 04-20-2006 10:22 AM      Profile for Dan Suomi   Author's Homepage   Email Dan Suomi   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
We don't have the shutter/LCD flicker system in the GT projector I work with now, so we'll be passing out the cheap, paper glasses. And since you'll only have to wear them for 20 minutes, it won't be very painful!
That is really sad to hear that you are going to go with the cheap paper 3D glasses. I think that really cheapens the experience and your guests will be not to happy either. I would be angry that I just paid 12-13 bucks to see Superman and you give me paper glasses, especially since I have seen IMAX 3D with the better glasses.

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Bobby Henderson
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 - posted 04-20-2006 12:30 PM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm very skeptical that producers will be able to make any truly convincing 3D out of 2D filmed material. I think we're going to see flat looking cut outs of people and other foreground elements floating above a Photoshop/After Effects cloned and altered background.

Some advertisers are currently in love with using such fakery on still photographs. I've seen several commercials where it looks like the camera is moving through a snapshot like it is 3D. The trouble is the people and other elements in the shot look flat. The most convincing shots are ones actually based on multiple exposures (at least one clean background shot and then other exposures from the same fixed camera position).

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Brian Michael Weidemann
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From: Costa Mesa, CA United States
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 - posted 04-20-2006 04:32 PM      Profile for Brian Michael Weidemann   Author's Homepage   Email Brian Michael Weidemann   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Dan Suomi
That is really sad to hear that you are going to go with the cheap paper 3D glasses. ...
I'll respond the only way we can, and that our Customer Service people do every day: "I'm sorry, sir. Here's a Customer Comment card we encourage you to fill out and send to our corporate office. They are already aware of our input on the matter, and yours would help greatly."

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