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Author Topic: 'The Maze Runner' will be shown in three-screen panoramic format
Terry Lynn-Stevens
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 - posted 09-01-2014 09:01 PM      Profile for Terry Lynn-Stevens   Email Terry Lynn-Stevens   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The Maze Runner will be first movie presented in new panoramic Escape theater format

Panoramic films and theaters equipped to show them have come and gone over the years, but new panoramic screening technology unveiled earlier in 2014 will debut with the upcoming film The Maze Runner in September.

Digital cinema projector company Barco is hoping its three-screen “Escape” theater configuration will be the next big trend for movie houses, and the technology will gets its first test September 19 when 20th Century Fox premieres The Maze Runner – about a group of teenagers who find themselves trapped in a massive maze — in Escape-enabled theaters. The technology uses three digital cinema projectors and a trio of screens arranged with the primary screen front and center with two angled screens on either side of it in order to create a panoramic presentation.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the decision to present The Maze Runner in the Escape format was made after the film had finished shooting, so the center screen will show the film as it was shot and the side screens will be extensions of the primary scene — extending the walls of the maze around the audience, for example — created using digitally rendered effects. The Maze Runner will be the first film screened for the general public after being specially prepped for this theater configuration.

On the tech side, it’s worth noting that the method for bringing all of the primary and panoramic imagery together into a cohesive film was built using a Crytek gaming engine to render the final product. The studio is currently experimenting with using multi-camera setups to film movies with the three-screen Escape configuration in mind, as well as testing previously released films in the panoramic format.

“We did a test with The Devil’s Double (released in 2011), and now we are discussing the possibility of a re-release of that movie in the Escape format,” said Ted Schilowitz, Barco’s “CinemaVangelist” who also happens to work at Fox. Schilowitz indicated that, since the format is still so new, the production costs associated with filming a movie for this configuration have yet to be determined.

Currently, there are five theater locations equipped with the Escape configuration: Cinemark 18 and XD at the Promenade at Howard Hughes Center in Los Angeles; Cinemark Paradise 24 and XD in Davie, Florida.; Cinemark West Plano and XD in Plano, Texas; Cinemark at Seven Bridges and Imax in Woodridge, Illinois; and Cinemark Redwood Downtown and XD in Redwood City, California. Ticket prices for the Escape screenings of The Maze Runner will reportedly be set by each theater.

Read more: http://www.digitaltrends.com/movies/maze-runner-will-first-movie-presented-new-panoramic-escape-theater-format/#ixzz3C7 Tah8OP
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'The Maze Runner' will be shown in three-screen panoramic format

Some movies are just too big for the big screen. That’s the thinking behind Escape, a three-screen digital panoramic setup that audiences will be able to experience for the first time in showings of The Maze Runner starting on Sept. 19, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Escape, developed by Barco, is essentially a modernized, digital update of Cinerama—a widescreen format popularized in the 1950s that had three 35mm projectors simultaneously playing a single movie on a massive, 146-degree screen. It was a problematic, expensive format that was ultimately phased out (though some Cinerama screens are still up and running in the U.S.). Escape relies on digital technology, though, and can avoid many of the headaches that Cinerama faced.

Ideally, movies will be produced and shot specifically for Escape, and technologies to support this format are currently in the testing phase. The Maze Runner, however, is more of an experiment and was simply formatted to fit the three screens. According to THR, the center screen will show the film and the side screens will display expanded images of the shot, rendered with VFX.

Escape theaters in the U.S. include the Cinemark 18 & XD at the Promenade at Howard Hughes Center in Los Angeles; Cinemark Paradise 24 & XD in Davie, Fla.; Cinemark West Plano & XD in Plano, Texas; Cinemark @ Seven Bridges and Imax in Woodridge, Ill.; and Cinemark’s Redwood Downtown & XD in Redwood City, Calif. Ticket prices, the report says, will be determined by individual theaters.

Below is Barco’s presentation from this year’s CinemaCon, including a brief look at Escape.

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Mark Ogden
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 - posted 09-01-2014 10:04 PM      Profile for Mark Ogden   Email Mark Ogden   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
BFD. Lot of crowing over something that Abel Gance did in 1927.

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Mark Gulbrandsen
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 - posted 09-01-2014 10:18 PM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Fine for a documentary but I'd find it very annoying for a regular movie.

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Scott Jentsch
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 - posted 09-02-2014 10:19 AM      Profile for Scott Jentsch   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Jentsch   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
If the side screens are going to look like they do in the demo video, anyone comparing the experience to Cinerama should be taken out back and shot!

I took a screen capture and posted it in an article that I wrote on Friday:
"The Maze Runner" Gets Wider with Extra Screens in "Escape" Theaters

I just don't see how this would gain traction, in theaters or with audiences. It seems like a gimmick at best.

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Mike Blakesley
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 - posted 09-02-2014 11:30 AM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
And if it did "catch on," the idea of "decor" in a theater auditorium would eventually become a thing of the past as venues are converted to having the side walls undecorated and painted white so as to maximize "picture" quality.

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Frank Angel
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 - posted 09-02-2014 11:55 AM      Profile for Frank Angel   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Angel   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I don't understand why there are three distinct screens? With available digital/video technology from a decade ago, digital images from multiple video projectors can easily be blended to make one full, panoramic image with the joins practically invisible. Why break up the screen into 3 distinct segments? Seems very counter intuitive. You could do the exact same thing to even better effect with a wrap-around cinerama-type curve. Now if you wanna REALLY talk "gimmick," to impress me, they'd need to do it, but in 3D...which I am sure will be the next, next "big thing."

As for the first film with which they have chosen to launch this thing -- TEENAGERS (who would have guessed) caught in a maze. Real food for deep thought here. And after this one, it will be teenagers caught in a haunted house or teenagers in a spring break romp.

And as the marketing BS says, "some films are just too big for the big screen."

Save me.

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Jarod Reddig
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 - posted 09-04-2014 03:52 AM      Profile for Jarod Reddig   Email Jarod Reddig   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Gimmicky more than likely but Id really like to see a movie in this format.

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Marcel Birgelen
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 - posted 09-04-2014 12:14 PM      Profile for Marcel Birgelen   Email Marcel Birgelen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
This just looks stupid, unrealistic and utterly distracting, but it's rather easy to figure out why they went this route: The composition of the movie itself can remain unaltered. There is no need for a special version of the main movie. The extra images can be "bolted on" rather cheaply, without even the need to touch the original content.

Like Frank already pointed out, modern projection technology should be able to almost seamlessly blend multiple projected images together. It could fix all the remaining issues with the Cinerama format. Unfortunately, this would require a whole new format, causing massive compatibility problems with existing systems. And creating two distinct version adds to the costs, without any guarantee of success.

I hope this miscarriage leads to an early abortion though. We don't need more stupid gimmicks. Message to Barco: Next time you dream up a new immersive technology, make it awesome please. Will the new Cinerama please stand up?

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Mike Blakesley
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quote: Marcel Birgelen
We don't need more stupid gimmicks.
Exactly. Better movies, is what we need.

Seems like all the best ideas these days are being made into TV shows, while movies get the retread stuff. I suppose it's because it's cheaper to make stuff for TV. This doesn't bode well for the future.

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Connor Wilson
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 - posted 09-04-2014 03:06 PM      Profile for Connor Wilson   Email Connor Wilson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Didn't Disney do something like that on Blu-rays of their old 30's-40's cartoons? They'd have your original 1.37 image in the center, but with backgrounds on the sides of the picture to fill those black bars. I only experienced this for 40 seconds at a friend's house with his "Pinocchio" Blu. Beforehand I was curious what this "DisneyVision" was and my friend just said "It sucks." After watching the movie with those beautiful BLACK bars, we took a look at "DisneyVision" and turned it off immediately.

It looks like "The Maze Runner" will be augmented with such an experience. Why would I pay to see something where 1/3 is a finished movie and 2/3 are just some annoying effects that remotely relate to the movie? And it also looks like Cinemark is installing Escape at locations with an XD screen. Is Escape going to be part of the XD experience? Aren't the XD screens constant height/fixed flat and Escape was tailored for 2.39:1? It's probably going to the large non-XD screens.

The only shame Barco is feeling now is "The Maze Runner" appearing to not be available in Barco's 11.1 format. I personally think Dolby Atmos is a better companion for Escape.

And the CinemaCon video showcasing Escape has the Disney Castle. It's "DisneyVision" all over again.

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Mike Blakesley
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 - posted 09-04-2014 03:16 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It's just all part of the campaign to make everything "immersive" (the current new buzzword) these days.

The idiots don't seem to get that you don't go to a movie looking to see everything around you. You go to see a picture in front of you. The rest is just a gimmick, as has been stated.

I always thought those Disney attractions where the screen wraps completely around you were stupid. Sure it's kind of cool once or twice to turn around and see what you just passed, but who cares? The thing you really want to see is right up in front.

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Terry Lynn-Stevens
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 - posted 09-04-2014 07:43 PM      Profile for Terry Lynn-Stevens   Email Terry Lynn-Stevens   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Mike Blakesley
It's just all part of the campaign to make everything "immersive" (the current new buzzword) these days.
I do agree, but I do like the idea and I always wondered if they might do it with digital projection, I am going to wait till I see the finished product in person before I pass judgement.

However, I must say, all these different formats is getting a bit ridiculous. Not all of them can succeed and there really is way too many competing technologies/formats. What is also obvious is that there are less and less people going to the movies every year, this is not good for the industry long term and the more "immersive" formats they bring out is not going to change anything. If the studios really want people to go the movies, they need to make the home video significantly longer. I think it is down to less than 90 days now in some instances. The studios need to work hand-in-hand together to make the movie theater the prime option for watching s movie.

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Marcel Birgelen
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quote: Connor Wilson
Didn't Disney do something like that on Blu-rays of their old 30's-40's cartoons? They'd have your original 1.37 image in the center, but with backgrounds on the sides of the picture to fill those black bars.
They sometimes do something similar with those awkward "portrait" mobile phone videos if they show them TV. They put a stretched and blurred version of the video in the background. The exact purpose isn't clear to me, the notion of having black bars on either sides is probably too shocking...

quote: Mike Blakesley
I always thought those Disney attractions where the screen wraps completely around you were stupid. Sure it's kind of cool once or twice to turn around and see what you just passed, but who cares? The thing you really want to see is right up in front.
I do largely agree on that one. Although it was sure cool to see those 9 screens around you. Also, if you look at the efforts they went through to actually film those things with their custom rig of nine 35mm cameras... But that gimmick had just limited use, it didn’t really add to the "immersion", as you were still clearly looking at nine different screens. It did add to the confusion though... Where do I have to look for the good stuff?! Still, it was only used for theme parks, for shows that last at most about 20 minutes. And I actually quite liked the Parisian version, at least I liked it better than the attraction that replaced it [Wink] .

quote: Mike Blakesley
It's just all part of the campaign to make everything "immersive" (the current new buzzword) these days.
It's just a pity those Buzzword Bingo playing execs and sales figures got the concept of "immersion" totally backward. Immersive isn't a synonym for distractive, it’s quite the opposite. Let's vote with our dollars and let them immerse their immersive gizmos where the sun won't shine.

quote: Terry Lynn-Stevens
I do agree, but I do like the idea and I always wondered if they might do it with digital projection, I am going to wait till I see the finished product in person before I pass judgement.
Do what with digital projection? Projecting multiple images synchronously? Or annoying the shit out of people? Both have been done with digital projection many times before.

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Terry Lynn-Stevens
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Mike Blakesley
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 - posted 09-07-2014 08:38 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Just what we need, a bow tie-shaped movie screen.

Anyone who sits anywhere besides the three or four seats in the center of each row is going to have a crap experience...in the stadium sections, at least. For the people who sit in the front floor section, the side screens are pointless. (Well they're pointless for everyone I guess.)

EDIT: On closer inspection it looks like the front seats are covered. So that's one smart thing. Still, the sides of each row will be worthless so this auditorium is probably reduced to what, about 40 good seats?

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