3D Entertainment Summit: A Year Full Of Growth
The 3D Entertainment Summit has experienced extreme growth in its three years of existence. Starting as a small group of enthusiasts, the show has grown into a must-attend for business heads and decision makers eager to become savvy with the 3D model.
"Each year this show changes. The business is really young," said Sandy Climan, CEO, 3Ality Digital, LLC and a presenter during the Third Annual 3D Entertainment Summit. "The first year of the conference everyone was trying to validate that there was a 3D model. This year, you saw a plethora of companies making headway and helping to define the industry. What people are trying to figure out now is what role they all play in this industry."
Bob Dowling, Co-Producer and Conference Chairperson, welcomed the crowd of roughly 800 attendees. After marveling at the growth of the show over the last three years, he informed the crowd that the panels were designed with their needs in mind, and that their participation was not only encouraged but necessary.
“We’re migrating into a period of adolescence. 3D needs a lot of guidance and development,” said Dowling. “Challenge our speakers. Ask them questions, and make them hard ones. Remember, we are in a period where it is all or nothing. Everybody has to succeed.”
With panels that focused on the use of 3D in gaming, advertising, home and theatrical entertainment over the two day summit, the keynote address featuring Jeffrey Katzenberg drew the largest crowd.
Katzenberg focused on the positive movements in the 3D industry and the advancements to come, including the laser-based projectors that will be rolling out into cinemas over the next 12-18 months. In addition to providing superior image quality and proper light and color settings, the new projectors will cut power usage in half, resulting in significant savings for theater operators.
Katzenberg also addressed the declining 3D box office tallies some have indicated is the demise of 3D. With a shortage of 3D screens at theaters nation-wide, films are being pushed out to make way for new releases while they are still earning box office grosses.
“We’re running too tight in a four week period,” said Katzenberg. “There aren’t enough 3D screens, and new releases are pushing out movies that are still in play. If anyone has any doubt, notice that six of this year’s top ten grossing films of this year are 3D releases.”
In a study presented by Screen Digest to the attendees, 3D theatrical releases have been the single largest driver for theaters who have installed digital screens over the past year, with 80% growth rate. In the last six months alone, 5,000 new 3D screens have been added in the US alone. Studies in box office revenue indicate that the viewing public have become discerning, choosing to see 3D releases on a case by case basis.
Katzenberg felt the public’s determination of what to see in 3D should be a focal point to studios. The success of 3D throughout 2009 led to some poor decisions and sloppy execution.
“The movie industry continues to find new ways to make a bad movie worse,” said Katzenberg. “A turkey will remain a turkey, no matter how you dress it up.”
Members of the technical industry agree with this sentiment. Before 3D is introduced into the equation of any product, its value and use to the end result must be considered and proper training and equipment must be provide to the production community to provide a successful outcome.
”What is the difference between conversion and dimensionalizing 2D? What is the cost? Is it comfortable to the end user? We are able to create a different product, but significant creative decisions come into play,” said Climan. “We are able to create and design the equipment that’s intuitive to use, that’s quick and provides the best visual product. At 3ality, we train people for days or for weeks: it really depends on their skill level. At the end of the day, the success of 3D falls to the role of the new players."
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