http://today.reuters.co.uk/news/newsArt ... ILM-3D.xml
Lucas plans 3-D Star Wars
Fri Mar 18, 2005 8:53 AM GMT
LAS VEGAS (Hollywood Reporter) - George Lucas is such a fan of the latest 3-D technology that he is planning to remaster all of the "Star Wars" films for rerelease in 3-D.
Appearing as part of a sextet of high-profile directors promoting 3-D and digital cinema at film industry convention ShoWest on Thursday, Lucas said he hadn't yet committed to a precise schedule but hoped to have the first film ready for the 30th anniversary of the original "Star Wars" movie in 2007 and that he would then rerelease one "Star Wars" film per year in 3-D.
Lucas was joined by James Cameron, Robert Zemeckis, Robert Rodriguez and Randal Kleiser. Peter Jackson joined the group via a pretaped 3-D segment. They all implored the exhibition community to invest in digital projectors, which would allow theatres to show their upcoming movies in 3-D.
Cameron is in preproduction on the 3-D film "Battle Angel," planned for a 2007 release. Zemeckis has two 3-D features in production, and Rodriguez is readying "The Adventures of Shark Boy & Lava Girl in 3-D" for release in the summer. Jackson, who is currently filming "King Kong," announced no specific 3-D plans, but according to sources he has installed a 3-D master suite in his production offices in New Zealand.
The filmmakers showed clips of their earlier work -- some of which was filmed in 3-D and some of which has been converted to 3-D -- and promoted digital 3-D during a screening sponsored by Texas Instruments' DLP Cinema.
Lucas' appearance in support of digital projection created a moment of deja vu for ShoWest attendees who had seen the filmmaker advocate digital cinema before the release of "Star Wars: Episode II --Attack of the Clones" when he proclaimed that the movie would screen in 1,000 d-cinema theatres.
"I'm sort of the proverbial digital penny that keeps showing up every other year," Lucas joked. "(Each time I am) saying, 'Why haven't you got those projectors in the theatres yet?'"
Lucas said he has seen many 3-D tests in the past 25 years, but because of advances in digital cinematography, postproduction and projection, the time has come for 3-D to become a more mainstream moviegoing experience.
To prove that point, he showed clips from the original "Star Wars: Episode IV -- A New Hope" and the most recent "Star Wars: Episode II -- Attack of the Clones" that had been "dimensionalized," or converted into 3-D, in postproduction by the Agoura Hills, Calif.-based firm In-Three.
"It's really a beautiful system, and one of the reasons I'm promoting it today is I'm extremely anxious to reissue that old group of films I did so long ago in a galaxy far away," Lucas said. "When you see some of this test footage, it's shockingly good, and you can see how people would want to go see it. It means we can repurpose a lot of old movies, and at the same time it really gives a whole new dimension to the movies we're making now."
Jackson joined the others to lend his support to "one of the most exciting developments in cinema in a long, long time."
"It's not just the use of digital projection, which we all know is on the horizon," Jackson said. "But that the particular technology can be used to create three-dimensional movies that go far beyond the quality and the spectacle of anything we've ever seen before. Forget the old days of wearing the red and blue glasses and the eyestrain. All of that is behind us now. These new active glasses that you're wearing and seeing 3-D with are a breakthrough in technology."
Jackson screened remastered portions from the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy that featured a looming Gollum and battle dust that virtually fell onto the audience.
"I'm a man on a mission when it comes to 3-D," Cameron said. "I will be making all of my films in 3-D in the future. We need exhibition to come in to own a big chunk of the (emerging 3-D) market."