Ghosts of the Abyss footage shown

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J. Tagliere

We really need to centralize the threads for this movie (is there an administrator who can do that?) Also, it looks like there is hope for the people who don't live close to traditional IMAX theatres.

Movies - Variety

Cameron camera rises to new depths
Mon Sep 9, 8:22 AM ET
By David Bloom

HOLLYWOOD (Variety) - They were practically home movies, but stunning ones, high-definition, 3-D digital video, made with a new camera, shot miles underwater, of the wrecks of the Titanic and the Bismarck along with billowing geothermal vents teeming with life.

Consider it "Titanic" director James Cameron's version of "What I Did for Summer Vacation."

The surreal images are also a key part of Cameron's plan to goose the somnolent large-format exhibition market with 3-D, high-definition features using new technologies and newly converted "mini-Imax" theaters owned by his backer.

The screenings, including parts of the upcoming "Ghosts of the Abyss" documentary, were highlights of Digital Synthesis, a spinoff of the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival. Held Thursday through Saturday at the Bacara Resort near Santa Barbara, the conference brought together tech execs from many studios, networks and post-production houses, electronics manufacturers, documentary and large-format filmmakers.

Cameron's work is financed by Denver billionaire Philip Anschutz' Walden Media, a sister of exhibition giant Regal Cinemas, which is converting as many as 150 screens to digital projection for "Ghosts." The result, Cameron said, is "mini-Imax theaters for about a tenth the cost."

It's part of a broader set of initiatives by Cameron, who collaborated with Vince Pace to develop a lightweight digital 3-D camera. The 22-pound Reality Camera System brackets two Sony high-def cameras with slightly smaller lenses set the same distance apart as human eyes.

To reduce eyestrain so viewers could comfortably watch longer 3-D projects, Cameron used Quantel's iQ post-production system to tweak images and cut ghosting. Together, the initiatives should open up new 3-D opportunities.

"It's not Imax, but it's a very, very good process," Cameron said. "We're kind of launching an intermediate format."

A conference panel of large-format filmmakers said Cameron's work is vital to a still-struggling market. Though about 50 commercially oriented Imax theaters have been built in recent years, large format remains too small as a major business model.
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