4K system screened by Sony


Sony unveiled plans for its 4K digital camera and image storage system Thursday at ShowEast, where it demonstrated the new, high-brightness 4K SRX-R 220 projector.

Company executives estimated that it will take two to three years to release the camera and system, which they said will create better resolution when combined with their 4K projector, providing the quality of a 65mm film like "The Sound of Music."

They cited a recently released study from the USC Entertainment Technology Center that claimed their SRX-R110 4K projector, which made its debut last year at ShowEast, met or far exceeded every Digital Cinema Initiatives specification from color and contrast to resolution.

Clips were shown from the 65mm travelogue film "Baraka" as well as 2K trailers for "Click" and "Casino Royale" and a 4K trailer for "Mystic India."

"4K has four times the pixels of 2K, " Sony SXRD Systems marketing manager Andre Floyd said. "The pixels are much smaller and much closer together, so you have to get very close to the screen to distinguish them."

The ultimate goal, he said, is to have 4K cameras shooting 4K films with an exact match in resolution.

To those satisfied with the current 2K digital-projection systems in U.S. theaters, Floyd said "it may be coming from the fact that we have no install base of SXRD in movie theaters. There are just a dozen projectors at Landmark theaters at this time, but all the larger circuits are in the midst of testing this now."

Meanwhile, at ShowEast's final-night banquet and award ceremony Thursday, 20th Century Fox's Chris Aronson and Bert Livingston each received a Show "E" Award, Paramount Pictures' Patricia Gonzalez received the Al Shapiro Distinguished Service Award and Cinemark's John Lundin took home the Salah M. Hassanein Humanitarian Award.

The biggest star of the night was actor-director Christopher Guest, who took home this year's Kodak Award after screening his Oscar race satire "For Your Consideration," which is being released by Warner Independent Pictures. "It's surreal," he said. "I make small movies, so it's even odder. If someone gave me $100 million to make a movie, I wouldn't be able to do it."

Guest has won a Grammy and an Emmy but said "this is different because it's from the industry," which he noted was ironic given the industry satire he just directed. When asked whether he had words of wisdom for up-and-coming filmmakers, he replied, "Get a good night's sleep and wear comfortable shoes. It really helps."