Scott Waugh to Make First Movie Shot Entirely for Barco Escape's Cinerama-Like Format

The 'Act of  Valor' helmer, who is in preproduction on the survival story, says the "theatrical experience needs to be more immersive than ever."
Colin McConnell
Scott Waugh

Scott Waugh, the director behind Act of Valor and Need for Speed, is in preproduction on the first film that will be shot entirely for Barco's Cinerama-like tri-screen theatrical exhibition format.

The untitled film will be produced through Waugh's Rock Pile Productions. A distribution deal isn't finalized yet, though the producers are eyeing a late 2016 release.

"I couldn't be more excited as a director to use the new canvas of Barco Escape to tell my story," said Waugh in a statement provided to The Hollywood Reporter. "The theatrical experience needs to be more immersive than ever, and Barco Escape's technology is the answer that opens up infinite creative possibilities. I feel privileged to be the first director to use this format in its entirety for my film."

The film is an outdoor survival story that will be shot on location with a single camera using wide-angle lenses, according to Barco Escape's vp studio partnership Jeff Wilk.

The Escape format is designed with three screens and three projectors — one in the front of the auditorium and one on each side — to create a Cinerama-like immersive experience. It debuted with Fox's The Maze Runner, which included the expanded tri-screen imagery in seven minutes of the film (at supported theaters), followed by Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, which incorporated 20 minutes in the Escape format.

By the time Scorch Trials opened, there were 20 Escape-equipped theater auditoriums worldwide (15 of which are in the U.S.), and by the end of the year, the company aims to have 100 to 150 screens worldwide, according to Wilk. He added that Barco hopes to exceed 3,000 such installations within the next five years.

In 2015, Barco announced a deal with Jerry Bruckheimer to produce one new movie and one reimagined version of one of his classics. Additionally, last year a Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga concert was created for Escape in postproduction, and a theatrical release is being discussed.

Calling the Escape format "baby steps to virtual reality," Wilk commented that "as some filmmakers are already deep into VR, we hope that could naturally fill our pipeline."

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