BARCELONA, Spain -- The prospect of Peter Jackson delivering hismuch-anticipated movie The Hobbit having shot it with a higher frame ratethan the current standard set chins wagging as this year's Cine Europeconfab got underway.
The four-day conference, aimed primarily at European theater operators,kicked off with exhibitors and distributors hearing that the filmmaker'svision to shoot his fourth Tolkien adaptation using 48 frames per secondrather than the current 24 fps or 25 in some part of Europe, will cost themmoney.
Warner Brothers is orchestrating a worldwide distribution rollout plan forthe film and will deliver the movie in various formats for the theaters.
Delivering a digital film shot at that speed -- the amount of imagesdelivered to the theater-goer -- enhances details and sharper and morecolorful images but will mean upgrades to movie-projection systems toproperly handle the shows.
European Digital Cineman Forum CEO David Monk, who has helmed a unitedeffort to seek standards across the industry since digital movie deliverywas first talked about more than 12 years ago, said the adoption of higherframe rates is driven by the filmmakers.
"Movie costs will be higher," Monk said. "And the films will cost more todistribute and it will cost the exhibitors."
Filmmaker James Cameron, who has attended the European exhibition shindig inthe past to extol the virtues of all things digital and 3D was also citedduring the panel, entitled "What Next For Digitial Projection?"
Cameron has told distributors and exhibitors alike he plans to shoot Avatar2 and 3 using digital equipment that delivers 60 frames per second.
"As we know software updates are not free to exhibitors. They take time andmoney and you have to shut down the systems to install. Then they have to betested," Monk said.
He noted that the speed of adoption by exhibitors will likely depend on thebox office success of the titles using it.
"It is a truth that commercial success tends to drive adoption in thedigital industry," he noted.
Other panel members on panel, staged in Barcelona for the first time afterthe show relocated from its Amsterdam home of the last 25 years, includedDPL Cinema director of technology Reiner Doetkies, Dolby Laboratoriesmarketing director Matt Luson and Sony Professional Solutions Europe head ofEuropean digital cinema sales Oliver Pasch.
European theater operator giant Kinepolis group's projection and soundmanager Nicolas Hamon chaired the panel.