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IBC to Focus on 3D Advances

Is 3D the next big thing in video technology now that HD is becoming commonplace around the world? The annual IBC conference next month will attempt to answer this question, with a series of conferences and presentations, including the newest 3D movie to hit the big screen.

The first ever live transatlantic live 3D interview will be among the highlights at the show. At 6:10 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 14, in the RAI auditorium, DreamWorks SKG CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg and Elizabeth Daley, professor and dean of the USC School of Cinematic Arts, will conduct what is expected to be the first ever live transatlantic 3D interview. The interview will be photographed on multi-camera stereoscopic equipment from 3Ality Digital and packaged for delivery by satellite service company Arqiva to Amsterdam.

“This is a natural progression from last year’s Live HD interview with Robert Zemeckis,” said Phil White, IBC’s director of technology. “We are working with a group of technology partners who are at the cutting edge of 3D imaging and transmission.”

Attendees will wear Real D’s specially polarized over-glasses to view the stereoscopic image. “We manage the separate images with a special adapter that fits on the projector which then transmits the left and right eye images through the glasses to the viewer,” said Joshua Greer, president of Real D. “The vast majority of 3D equipped theatres around the world are using Real D because it’s not only simple to install but easy to operate with our very low cost glasses that users can keep. It avoids a lot of staff intensive handling and the picture quality is truly awesome.”

3D will be one of the main topics for Monday, Sept. 15. The theme, “New Dimensions for the Big Screen,” will kick off at 9:30 a.m. in the RAI auditorium with “Capturing and Creating Stereoscopic Content,” which will include panelists Steve Schklair, founder and CEO of 3Ality Digital Systems, a Los Angeles-based post production facility whose sole focus is 3D live and post production. Also on the panel will be Kommer Kleijn, freelance director of photography and stereographer, IMAGO EDCF in Belgium; Todd Cogan with PACE USA; and Darwyn Peachey, supervising technical director for Pixar Animation Studios.

At 2:00 p.m. in the RAI Forum, the session “Images of Tomorrow—Will the World Demand More Than HD?” 3D will be among the topics discussed by a panel that includes Kelichi Kubota, director-general of NHK’s Science and Technical Research Laboratories in Japan, who will focus on the network’s development of Super Hi-Vision, which will be demo-ed at IBC. Other panelists include Andy Bower, head of broadcast research and innovation (acting), BBC Future Media & Technology; Alberto Morello, director, RAI Research and Innovation Centre in Italy; Wolfgang Graf, general manager TV Audio Online, IRT in Germany; Lieven Vermaele, director, technical department, EBU, Switzerland; and Kazuyoshi Shogen, director, broadcasting systems, NHK Science and Technical Research Laboratories in Japan.

In the session “Unique to Cinema—But For How Long?” at 4:00 p.m. in the RAI auditorium, panelists will discuss whether 3D technology could be successful in transitioning from the big screen to the screen in the living room. Panelists will include RealD President Joshua Greer; Keith Elliott, director, new business technology, DLP HDTV, Texas Instruments; Ken Blakeslee, chairman, WebMobility Ventures in the UK; Robert Kisor, vice president, engineering and technical services, Paramount Pictures & president of SMPTE, which has begun a 3D standardization process; and John Zubrzycki, principal research engineer, Research and Information for the BBC.

One session on Sunday night will also focus on 3D. “Masterclass: A Production Language for 3D,” in Room L of the RAI, will look at 3D basics, as well as 3D acquisition and post. The session will be presented by Phil Streather, 3D producer and consultant, Principal Large Format in the UK, Ralston Humble, Pablo Post Facilities in the UK and Celine Tricart, an independent filmmaker based in France.

IBC’s 3D coverage will conclude on Monday night, at 6:30 p.m. when “Journey to the Center of the Earth—in 3D,” the first live action, narrative motion picture to be shot in digital 3D will be shown to IBC audiences in the D-Cinema hall. The movie stars Brendan Fraser, Josh Hutcherson and Anita Briem and comes to IBC courtesy of Warner Bros. International, Walden Media and New Line Cinema. Doors open at 6:15.

“Journey to the Center of the Earth—in 3D” is a thriller with a contemporary twist to the Jules Verne novel. The epic adventure includes spectacular photo real environments and revolutionary new filmmaking techniques that bring the viewer directly into the heart of three explorers’ voyage. The film marks the big screen directorial debut of Academy Award-winning visual effects veteran Eric Brevig, whose past credits include “Total Recall” and “Pearl Harbor”

“Taking Jules Verne’s well known novel and developing it into an up to date story with new characters, using modern technology was a tremendously exciting opportunity,” said Brevig. “My goal with this film was to capture the spirit of adventure, discovery and belief that anything is possible.”