Radio City unwraps new Christmas film


The Radio City Christmas Spectacular in New York has a new version of the 70mm 3-D film that has opened the show since 2001.

Synthespian Studios produced about 47 seconds of new material, and some of the original sequence was enhanced. The new film begins with Santa and his reindeer bursting out of the clouds on a journey that leads to Niagara Falls before swooping down the Hudson River and under the George Washington Bridge to link with the old version at the Statue of Liberty.

Synthespian's Jeff Kleiser and Diana Walczak -- who also created the 2001 version -- directed, working closely with the show's director-choreographer Linda Haberman.

Kleiser -- whose visual effects credits include "Tron" -- noted that the 3-D is presented using 70mm film in order to accommodate the large screen at Radio City, which is 70 feet wide and 30 feet high.

Kleiser and Walczak are developing a 3-D feature based on "Corkscrew Hill," an animated 3-D theme park ride located at Busch Gardens Williamsburg in Virginia. The pair, who wrote and helmed the ride for Busch Entertainment, would co-direct the feature. Synthespian Studios would produce in partnership with Busch.