News item : coming soon to a theater near you, a 3-D version of Star Wars.
Innovation. It drives the economy, it changes our world, it is unstoppable. And when a paradigm changes, everything changes, and everyone gets on board. If they don’t, they are left in the dust.
Avatar has gone over $1.1 billion in ticket sales, and is now the second highest grossing movie ever world-wide. (Yes, James Cameron is now #1 and #2). The book Trade-off by Kevin Maney begins with a story of the author’s interview with the man who developed the 3-D technology for the film. And seeing Avatar in a theater is an example of a genuine high-fidelity experience.
Well, the news of the 3-D craze is building. There are already steps being taken to turn some earlier action films into 3-D. Here are excerpts from the article Avatar sparks 3-D makeover for action classics from the Timesonline (UK):
Hollywood is preparing to re-release some past hits, including Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings trilogy, in 3-D following the record-breaking success of Avatar.
Studio executives are drawing up schedules of popular films that will be “retro-fitted” with 3-D technology after the science fiction blockbuster, directed by James Cameron, last week became the second highest grossing movie of all time.
Retro-fitting a screen classic with 3-D imagery could take as little as four months, using software to manipulate a digital copy of the film.
Peter Jackson, director of The Lord of the Rings, said last spring that he wanted to reissue the trilogy in 3-D if Avatar persuaded enough cinemas to put in new 3-D projectors. Last week technicians at Weta, the production company that had worked on the trilogy, said they had experimented with 3-D battle scenes and proclaimed them to be “gob-smacking”.
The Lord of the Rings is expected to be re-released after Jackson has finished producing the two-part version of JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit over the next two years. This would mean that a 3-D version of The Fellowship of the Ring, the first part of the trilogy, could be in cinemas by Christmas 2012.
The “Avatar effect” means that conventional 2-D films commissioned last year are already being updated. Sir Ridley Scott has asked for a further $8m from his backer, Universal Films, to add an extra dimension to his untitled Robin Hood venture starring Russell Crowe in the lead role and Cate Blanchett as Maid Marian. Two versions of the film will be released in May.
Imagine Top Gun, The Matrix, and many other movies reissued with the new 3-D technology. And for those of us who love Star Wars, here is the news:
(The Lord of the Rings) may be beaten to the screen by a revamped version of Star Wars. George Lucas, the director, spent $13m filming the original in 1976, added special effects in 1997 and 2004, and will now spend another $10m to change it into a 3-D spectacular.
“George cannot leave it alone,” said an associate. “He is salivating at the opportunity to play with it again. This time the Death Star is really going to explode all over the audience and leave them gasping.”
So, the news is about 3-D changing the movie going experience, providing new life to film makers, movie theaters, and movie lovers.
But the underlying news is this: when an innovation hits, the right one at the right time, everything changes, and everyone has to adjust. This could be just such a time.