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Tag: Tech (1-10 of 33)

'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.

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Tech innovators honored at Oscars dinner

A room full of engineers, computer whizzes and technicians brought the crew of the Starship Enterprise down to Earth for a night at the Sci-Tech Oscars.

Zoe Saldana and Chris Pine hosted the annual awards dinner in which the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences beams its spotlight on the latter half of its name.

“We’re truly humbled, by all means, man. We can fly into space because of you,” Saldana told honorees at the event Saturday night. READ FULL STORY

'Full Metal Jacket' at 25: Matthew Modine tries to answer, 'What was Stanley like?'

In his 30 years on the big screen, Matthew Modine has worked with some of the most talented and revered directors, including Robert Altman, Oliver Stone, and most recently, Christopher Nolan. But there remains one director and one production experience that people never fail to ask him about. “What was Stanley like?” says Modine. “You can see it coming out of people’s mouths before they say it.”

Stanley, of course, is the incomparable Stanley Kubrick, and their collaboration, Full Metal Jacket, is celebrating its 25th anniversary this week with a new special edition Blu-ray. The 1987 Vietnam epic was essentially two interlocking films — the grooming of young American Marines at Parris Island, and the upside-down world they encounter when unleashed on the chaos of Vietnam. Like the war it portrayed, the production famously turned into a quagmire — no one knew how the film should end, R. Lee Ermey’s car accident and other difficulties delayed shooting.

The two-year odyssey made a profound impression on the young Modine, who accepted Kubrick’s assignment to keep a production diary as part of his research of playing the role of a Stars & Stripes war reporter. In 2005, he published the magnificent limited-edition Full Metal Jacket Diary, which revisited his journal entries documenting the personal and professional drama that occurred behind the scenes. Today, that rare collectible becomes more widely available, making the digital leap as a stunning iPad app that brings you face to face with Kubrick’s genius, Lee Ermey’s rage, and Modine’s hopes and fears.

The film’s star, now 53 and currently starring in The Dark Knight Rises, recently chatted with EW about that defining episode of his life.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: When did you first hear whispers that Stanley Kubrick was looking for actors to star in his Vietnam movie?
MATTHEW MODINE: I was doing Vision Quest when I heard about the movie. I didn’t know anything about him. I mean, I knew 2001: A Space Odyssey, and I really loved Spartacus, but I didn’t know his full filmography. I just knew that he was respected filmmaker, but I was only 23 or 24 when I heard about the film. You saw my story in the book about Val Kilmer? READ FULL STORY

'2001: A Space Odyssey' tech pioneer on 'Hobbit' footage: 'A fabulous and brave step in the right direction'

Douglas Trumbull knows a little bit about movie visual effects. In his mid-20s, he worked with Stanley Kubrick to create the look and feel of the final frontier in 2001: A Space Odyssey. He later helped craft the effects for Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind and the gorgeous futuristic visuals of Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner. Last year, after nearly 30 years away from the Hollywood business, he collaborated with Terrence Malick for the symphonic visuals in The Tree of Life.

Trumbull has always been an innovator. For decades, he’s been tinkering with technology to enhance the audience experience, and he knows all about the recent hubbub over frame-rate after Peter Jackson unveiled the first extended footage of The Hobbit — An Unexpected Journey last week at CinemaCon. Jackson is shooting his Lord of the Ring prequels at 48 frames per second, twice the industry standard since the advent of talkies. But when audiences expressed skepticism about the new viewing platform — complaining of a glossy “TV soap opera” effect — one of Hollywood’s surest things suddenly found its Oscar-winning director asking for some faith and patience.

Trumbull must be chuckling a little to himself. Back in the early 1980s, he developed the Showscan system that filmed movies at 60 frames per second. Imagine if the CinemaCon crowd knew he was now plotting his own movie — a giant 3-D space epic shot digitally at 120 frames per second! The Oscar winning effects guru recently chatted with EW about his friend Peter Jackson’s ambitious movie, his own filmmaking, and the future of movies.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: You’ve been wrangling with these frame-rate debates for decades. Why did you initially look in this direction and what did you learn?
DOUGLAS TRUMBULL:
I got hooked on immersive cinema when I worked on 2001, which was initially shown on these Cinerama screens, which were all 90 feet wide and deeply curved. It was a spectacle that we don’t see today at all, even in IMAX. I was just an impressionable kid, and Kubrick was doing these lengthy sequences of pure visual effects — they called it the ultimate trip because it abandoned conventional cinematic wisdom in favor of a pure experience. That profoundly effected me, and I’m saying, “Holy sh–, this is so cool. I want to make movies like this, and I want to explore this cinematic language.” READ FULL STORY

Peter Jackson responds to complaints about 'The Hobbit' footage -- EXCLUSIVE

Peter Jackson says the negative reaction this week over new technology he’s using to shoot The Hobbit won’t hold him back, and he hopes moviegoers will give it a try and judge for themselves.

“Nobody is going to stop,” he said. “This technology is going to keep evolving.”

When Warner Bros. showed off 10 minutes of footage this week at CinemaCon, the annual convention for theater owners, many attendees complained that this version of Middle Earth looked more like a movie set than the atmospheric, textured world seen in The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

There was a lot of love for Jackson’s storytelling — the scenes of young Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman, from the British version of The Office) battling a trio of goblins, and Ian McKellen’s Gandalf exploring the tombs of the now-reanimated wringwraiths, received universal praise. Complaints only centered on the technology used to capture and project the footage.

Jackson hopes critics of the format will change their minds when they see the finished film, but notes that it will also be available in traditional formats in many theaters.

“At first it’s unusual because you’ve never seen a movie like this before. It’s literally a new experience, but you know, that doesn’t last the entire experience of the film–not by any stretch, [just] 10 minutes or so,” Jackson tells EW. “That’s a different experience than if you see a fast-cutting montage at a technical presentation.”

So what does he say to people who just decide they don’t like the glossy new look of the format he’s using?

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CinemaCon 2012: Dim reaction to high-def look of Peter Jackson's 'The Hobbit'

Based on the deflated reaction to 10 minutes of footage shown today from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Peter Jackson’s state-of-the-art high-definition epic may or may not forever change the way we view movies, but it will definitely revolutionize the way we talk about that strange, hard-to-describe fluorescent look HD video can sometimes have.

There are two ways to look at the clips featured at the annual gathering of theater owners: As storytelling, the first half of Jackson’s two-part adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit is perfectly in sync with the tone and quality of his groundbreaking The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

But as a platform for new cinematic technology, the clips received an underwhelming reaction at best. Read on for more details after the jump.

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Oscars to honor visual effects master Douglas Trumbull with Gordon E. Sawyer Award

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today that it will present Douglas Trumbull with the Gordon E. Sawyer Award for his body of work and technical innovation in cinematic visual effects. Before spearheading the stunning, 20-minute opening act to 2011’s Tree of Life, Trumbull’s prestigious career spanned groundbreaking work films on films including 2001: A Space Odyssey, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and Blade Runner. It’s the second Oscar for Trumbull, who shared a Scientific and Engineering Award with three others in 1993 when he developed the first modern 65mm camera in 25 years. He has been a technical vanguard in the field, securing more than a dozen patents in film technology and founding Future General Corporation, a breeding ground for filmmakers and visual effects artists. The presentation will occur at Feb. 11th’s Scientific and Technical Awards.

Read more:
Those amazing effects in ‘The Tree of Life’? Not everything was CGI — EXCLUSIVE VIDEO
‘Harry Potter,’ ‘Tree of Life,’ ‘Transformers’ make Oscar VFX short list
‘2001’ in 2008: A Cinematic Odyssey

Netflix stock sinks lower after cash infusion

Netflix stock plummeted to below $70 a share this morning, one day after the company announced plans to raise $400 million through the sale of stock and bonds, triggering concerns that they lacked solid liquidity after shelling out big bucks for exclusive content like Arrested Development.

In July, the company’s stock was selling for $304.79 per share, but it’s been battered by a series of questionable moves, including the decision to raise prices and the ill-fated Qwikster spin-off. Customers fled, and many financial observers expect the company to lose money next year as a result. This morning, the stock bottomed out at $69.00, it’s lowest price since March 2010, before inching back up to $72.04.

Read more:
The CW signs up with Netflix
Netflix abandons plan to spin-off DVD service
Netflix/Qwikster: I guess this is good-bye

Lawyers on IMDb suit: 'It's going to be an uphill fight'

In light of yesterday’s news that a 40-year-old actress has filed a million-dollar lawsuit against Amazon and its subsidiary the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) for revealing her age, we reached out to several leading privacy attornies for their opinion on whether the headline-grabbing case has a chance in court. Los Angeles-based attorney Jeffrey S. Kravitz and Michael J. Feldman of New Jersey considered the facts of the case and both concluded the suit is inherently problematic. Plaintiff Jane Doe is “going to have a very tough road to hoe,” Kravitz said, whose firm Fox Rothschild has no involvement in the suit.
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Woman sues IMDb for revealing her age

EW has confirmed that a 40-year-old Texan actress (who is withholding her name due to “fear of retaliation”) has sued Amazon and its subsidiary the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) for revealing her age publicly on the movie site. In papers filed from the from the U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington (Seattle) last Thursday, the woman claims that, after she signed up for IMDbPro to boost her career, the site cross-referenced public records against her credit card information to determine her age, then posted her age online. She further alleges repeated requests to have the information removed were denied.

The complaint claims this was a fraudulent act that violated her privacy and breached the terms of the Subscriber Agreement and Privacy Policy she signed. The actress says her career and livelihood have been compromised by the IMDb’s “malicious, intentional, oppressive, outrageous” and “callous” unwillingness to take down her real age. She is seeking $75,000 in compensatory damages and $1 million in punitive damages, plus attorney’s fees.

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