WELLINGTON, New Zealand – (November 21, 2012) – The technology on display at the premiere of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” presented by Warner Bros. Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM), and New Line Cinema, represents years of effort and a bold step forward in the ultimate cinema experience. To do justice to Academy Award-winning director Peter Jackson’s vision, Christie® has been chosen to supply the digital cinema/HFR projection technology for the world premiere, to be held at the Embassy Theatre in Wellington, New Zealand, on November 28, 2012.
Two top-of-the-line Christie Solaria® CP2230 series digital projectors will flood the screen for the highly anticipated film premiere with more than 12 foot lamberts (ft-L) brightness, revealing astonishing detail in the scenery, costumes and expressions of the characters. The current standard for 3D light levels on screens is 3 to 4.5 ft-L, while 2D light levels are standardized at 14 ft-L. The Christie Duo integration kit combines the intensity of the dual CP2230 projectors.
“With Christie's support, our Wellington Premiere will present ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ at its full technical potential – in vibrant, bright High Frame Rate 3-D. I thank Christie for helping us push the boundaries and give audiences a glimpse into the exciting future of cinema presentation,” director Peter Jackson said.
Jack Kline, president and COO, Christie Digital Systems USA, Inc., was equally enthusiastic. “Endorsements from industry leaders like Peter Jackson and Warner Bros. Pictures, MGM and New Line Cinema compliment Christie’s leadership position in the visual technology world, which we’ve achieved by consistently delivering what exhibitors and audiences want.”
Christie’s digital projectors, installed by its Xebex cinema partner, will also play a leading role in the Tokyo premiere of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” taking place at the Toho Cinemas in Roppongi Hills on December 1st, with Mr. Jackson in attendance.
Christie, Park Road See Fruits of Joint Research
Christie signed a technology co-operation agreement with Park Road Post Production Ltd. (“Park Road”) and Weta Digital Ltd. (“Weta”) in April 2012 to work together to advance the state of the art of digital cinema production and projection, with an emphasis on high frame rate (HFR) delivery.
As part of that agreement, Park Road and Weta upgraded their facilities with Christie projectors and provided Christie with review, testing and feedback on new hardware and software developments related to high-bandwidth interfaces and HFR technology, as well as sample movie content (consistent with the content owner’s permission) for Christie to use in testing its projectors and integrated media block (IMB) units.
“The success of our joint research and knowledge exchange has led to the creation of the most reliable high frame rate IMB/projection solution available and this will be evident to all at ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ premiere and beyond,” said Cameron Harland, General Manager, Park Road, “and using the world’s first totally integrated and commercially available dual-projection system, we are anticipating a stunning rendition of the film.”
Park Road is an award winning, post-production facility based in New Zealand and is known for its digital intermediate and sound mixing work on many award-winning films. Park Road has been instrumental in the development of the HFR pipeline for ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’. The facility was involved throughout the production and post production process, providing full on-set services and graded/stereoscopically aligned dailies, final grade, exhibition and final delivery. Park Road also engaged with global partners throughout development to implementation and managed the HFR workflow, and ensured the integrity of the film from capture to exhibition.
Christie’s Commitment to HFR
The two main goals of Christie’s HFR activities are to help the industry develop the best HFR content and the best delivery system for HFR content. The first goal involves assisting leading-edge filmmakers and post-production companies in perfecting HFR movie creation, so the industry has the most engaging, entertaining content possible. The second goal is to assist exhibitors in showing these 3D HFR movies in all their glory. To these ends, Christie is helping create the standards for 3D HFR movies through formal and informal technology-development alliances with major producers and directors, post production facilities, studios and technology partners. On the exhibitor’s front, Christie provides one stop shopping for all the hardware, software and services that enable exhibitors to deliver a filmmaker's vision in stunning 3D HFR quality. For more information visit http://www.higherframerates.com.
Christie Digital Systems USA, Inc. is a global visual technologies company and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ushio, Inc., Japan, (JP:6925). Consistently setting the standards by being the first to market some of the world’s most advanced projectors and complete system displays, Christie is recognized as one of the most innovative visual technology companies in the world. From retail displays to Hollywood, mission critical command centers to classrooms and training simulators, Christie display solutions and projectors capture the attention of audiences around the world with dynamic and stunning images. Visit www.christiedigital.com for more information.
About “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”
From Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson comes “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” the first of a trilogy of films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien. The three films tell a continuous story set in Middle-earth 60 years before “The Lord of the Rings,” which Jackson and his filmmaking team brought to the big screen in the blockbuster trilogy that culminated with the Oscar®-winning “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.” The screenplay for “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” is by Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens & Peter Jackson & Guillermo del Toro. Jackson is also producing the film, together with Carolynne Cunningham, Zane Weiner and Fran Walsh. The executive producers are Alan Horn, Toby Emmerich, Ken Kamins and Carolyn Blackwood, with Boyens and Eileen Moran serving as co-producers.
Under Jackson’s direction, “The Hobbit” Trilogy has been shot in 3D 48 frames-per-second and will be released in High Frame Rate 3D (HFR 3D), other 3D formats, IMAX and 2D. Production took place at Jackson’s own facilities in Miramar, Wellington, and on location around New Zealand.
“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” and the second and third films of the trilogy are productions of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM), with New Line managing production. Warner Bros. Pictures is handling worldwide theatrical distribution, with select international territories as well as all international television distribution being handled by MGM.
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