Technicolor shows off 3D system at Cannes

Company promises exhibitors will see lower costs

CANNES -- Technicolor showed off its new 3D system for 35mm projectors, dubbed Technicolor 3D, to producers and exhibitors at the Olympia Cinema in Cannes on Monday.

Despite the accelerating rollout of digital 3D screens, most theaters still rely on 35mm projectors, and Technicolor's new system is designed to allow exhibitors to screen 3D titles in those auditoriums at a relatively low cost.

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"Technicolor is invested heavily in both 3D digital and digital cinema," said Simon Wilkinson, managing director of Technicolor Creative Services in London. But it has developed the system so that exhibitors who haven't converted to digital can "maximize on their investment in a wider number of screens."

The system requires a 35mm print, created during postproduction, which utilizes an over/under format to create polarized right-eye and left-eye images. Technicolor then provides exhibitors with a new projector lens that translates those images to the screen.

The system requires the same type of silver screen used for digital 3D and polarized 3D glasses.

Exhibitors can lease the projector lens at the cost of €1,500 per feature, with an annual cap of €9,000. Or, optionally, they can lease the lens for €22,500 for a three-year term.

To demonstrate the system, Wilkinson screened trailers for the upcoming 3D animated movie "Despicable Me" and the horror pic "Piranha 3D" as well as trailers for "How to Train Your Dragon" and "Shrek Forever After" and a sequence from "Clash of the Titans."

Introduced in January, the Technicolor 3D system has been installed on 200 screens in the U.S. and another 50 screens in the U.K. and Europe to date, Wilkinson said.
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