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Symphony of quality:

16 September 2014

Filmmaker and innovator Douglas Trumbull — the iconic VFX pioneer behind 2001:

A Space Odyssey and Blade Runner — received a standing ovation at his Monday Keynote as he called on the industry to advance the theatrical experience and previewed his MAGI system that he believes can deliver a “new cinematic language.”

This vision for MAGI involves projecting movies on giant screens in 4K 3D at 120fps — which he asserts will create a more immersive, unique experience that just can’t be reproduced on a TV or tablet.

“The technical standards [for cinema] are almost identical to the technology for TV, so there’s very little difference and people are finding the convenience of a tablet is outweighing the inconvenience of going to the theater,” he warned the audience. “There’s no one silver bullet [for improving cinema] — not just HDR, or HFR, or sound or giant screens — it’s all those things together in a symphony of increased quality.”

To demonstrate the potential of this plan, the filmmaker created Trumbull Studios in Massachusetts, where he made an experimental short with his system, entitled UFOTOG. It was shot using Canon Cinema EOS C500 cameras on 3Ality rigs, at 4K 60fps with the two cameras shooting out of sync to capture 120 fps. It was posted using Fusion from Eyeon (acquired by Blackmagic on the opening day of IBC).

Clips from UFOTOG were screened in 2K, 3D at 120fps using dual Christie 6P laser projectors and Dolby 3D, as well as with Dolby Atmos sound.

Trumbull acknowledged that conversations are underway with studios and filmmakers about his system, adding, “I have talked to directors who are very interested in this.”

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