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In this session:
Rob Hummel – CEO, Prime Focus
Seth Shapiro – Principal, New Amsterdam Media LLC
Warren Littlefield – Former President of CBS Entertainment
Lisa Farries – Founder of CMO, Inc.
Kris Brown – VP, Warner Home Video
Moderator– Larry Gerbrandt – Principal, Media Valuation Partners

Here are my notes from this session. I may not call out who says what here, but it is all from the panelists listed above.

  • We are spending a lot of time of the 3D convergence.
  • We have been so focused on the money making aspects of 3D, but we should also focus on the customer experience.
  • Parallels between 3D development and HD development. 3D has a slight advantage.
  • It is difficult to introduce new technologies – Larry Gerbrandt
  • Standards usually get quickly resolved out there in the marketplace. We already know that 3D has been adopted. Some people might say that 3D movies are fad – but it is going strong and consumers are still paying for them.
  • How quickly will consumers adopt this technology?
    • In the last three years – 5 billion dollars in 3D receipts – it is not a fad. It is here to stay. 3D theatricals woke up the industry. We are rapidly finding that this experience can be brought to the home. The MLB playoffs costs another 500 to 600 thousand dollars to produce in 3D – but they felt it was worth it. It is expensive. It will come down eventually. This is a significant task to get the 3D product. We are going to need more 3D product to be created to take care of the new channels coming up. 3D needs more than unicorns and rainbows – something that worked for HD just because people wanted to watch. – Warren Littlefield.
    • 3D golf is an amazing experience. 3D works well in wide shots that don’t move a lot. That is golf. You have a separation of the player from the background. – Larry Gerbrandt
    • Great expectations for passive TVs. I think there is a challenge for active TVs. I am not sure that people are going to want to spend the money for all the glasses. All these new TVs coming that are magnificent. You have that wonderful experience and it is such an immersive experience. I believe that prices will come down. There are a little under 5million 3D TVs in homes worldwide right now. – Lisa Farries
    • There is incredible potential with 3D. For TV, we did a 3D CGI and they only had the 2D renders and it came out good. It is more difficult to create for TV rather than for theater. 3D TVs boost the illumination of the show. It is not cheaper to make things for TV but we have studios that are willing to pay the price to get this accomplished. One studio will not spend more than 1 million dollars on a title to convert to 3D. It takes a lot to convert to 3D and is not for low budget movies. The things that are going to take the lead are sports in 3D. Other titles for movies – it costs 6-7 million dollars to convert to 3D. If you do it right 50-100K dollars a minute to do right. People want us to do 3D lite – something cheaper. This is not possible. 3D on the TV is more magical than 3D in the theater.. – Rob Hummel
    • The tools available today for the 2D to 3D conversion is like 15K/min to 15K/hour. – Warren Littlefield.
    • Prices are coming down for the hardware.Majority of HD TVs will have 3D capabilities. We will all be getting 3D TVs whether we want them or not. We know that we have an excellent product. TV, Games, Sports – we know the demand is there but the base is small. The base is enthusiastic. They are willing to pay a premium. We have a steady and increasing amount of revenue. – Kris Brown
    • We converted, you are creating a new copyright . – Warren Littlefield
    • The more you become used to 3D the more you expect quality. In the beginning, when you first see it – you love the crap – Rob Hummel
    • Another backing can come from cable and satellite companies.Unlike theatrical, we have a number of companies that have steady revenue streams. The greatest box office is the one in your home. These companies don’t have to do a lot to supply 3D content to the house. These companies have a vested interest in supplying content to these customers. – Seth Shapiro.
  • Is there a positive ROI for an independent producer to do original 3D productions?
    • Discovery is going to launch their 3D network shortly.
    • TV is going to dwarf movies in this arena.
    • There is a huge opportunity for people – BTW – ESPN intermingled 2D with their 3D shots as they couldn’t get 3D from every angle.
    • As the sales go up there will be more demand. As the costs go down then the independent producers can get more involved. The cameras are going to need to get smaller and smaller. it is in the future – we are not quite there yet – Warren Littlefield.
    • Shooting in 3D is better than converting – due to costs – Rob Hummel
    • Need to look at the range of distribution – there isn’t one 3D commercial planned right now. There are other opportunities right now. Theaters are looking for alternative opportunities for 3D as they have bought this equipment. – Lisa Farris.
  • Bundles are good for the market (bundling titles with hardware). We have a hardware company buying a window. It makes it more likely that more content will be produced.
  • 3D is the killer app for BlueRay. – Warren Littlefield
  • Lisa hopes that if a movie is completely converted that there is something telling the consumer that it has been converted.
  • Rob Hummel stated that there were 47 shots that we actually filmed in 2D for Avatar that were converted to 3D and that it wasn’t a good idea to inform the end user of this.
  • Once we see commercials in 3D then we will know that 3D is really here to stay.
  • 3D is a slang word – should be stereoscopic conversion. – Rob Hummel
  • Rob thinks it should be left to the critics. Some 3D convergence can be good and some can be bad.
  • There will be a lot of 3D experiences for the end user. CBS offered the NCAA basketball tournament – and people paid for the tournament to be viewed in the theaters. CBS did it because they wanted feedback from the consumers. They didn’t just sit there, they were out of their seats cheering. We will have better and better 3D experiences.
  • When will be see primetime drama in 3D?
    • It will come very very soon – Warren Littlefield
    • When Battlestar Galactica did their offering in HD – then everyone had to have it. The name brand product does 3D, that is when we will see that this will drive the home 3D experience. – Warren Littlefield
  • TV Graphics are challenging in how 2D and 3D each handle graphics differently.
  • 3D will have a major impact on the BlueRay market. BlueRay is performing extremely well. When you see a major feature like 3D – then buy rates are going to go up. – Kris Brown
Posted on Monday, October 18, 2010 6:12 AM | Back to top

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