Giant Screen 101: Lessons for Success
Monday, September 19, 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Consistently rated one of the conference’s most useful sessions, Giant Screen 101 brings together industry veterans to share insights, information, and practical tips to aid newcomers and more experienced operators. Topics will include using social media for marketing, surviving a transition to digital projection and the changes in operation, making films for the giant screen, and making the giant screen experience exceptional. An informal approach allows plenty of time for questions from the audience and an opportunity to meet other conference attendees.
Moderator: Diane Carlson
Diane Carlson originated the concept of the workshop and will moderate the session. She is a past GSCA Board Member and has been active in many areas of the giant screen industry in her role of Vice President of Guest Services and Theaters at Pacific Science Center.
Amy Hampe, Museum of Science Boston’s Marketing Manager, will discuss the marketing campaign for Tornado Alley with a special emphasis on social media components including Groupon. The Museum of Science is a past GSCA Film Marketing Award winner.
Tim Hazlehurst, of Marbles Kids Museum, will discuss Marbles’ transition from a film-based theater to a digital one. Learn about the mechanics of the change, operating details, program changes, and the surprises that Marbles has encountered living in the digital world. Tim will also answer questions about Marbles’ GSCA award-winning educational programs.
Mike Lutz, a 25-year veteran of the educational entertainment field and newly appointed VP Institutional Sales and Client Services at IMAX, will draw on experience within the giant screen cinema theater network as the head of MacGillivray Freeman films distribution and as a passionate believer in the format. He will share insights regarding the unique premium value giant screens need to provide consumers in all facets of the business in order to achieve success.
Greg MacGillivray has made over 35 giant screen films over the past 40 years, two of which were nominated for an Academy Award. Greg will share insights and challenges about filming on location in the 15/70 format. Get a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to get the beautiful images we all love on the screen.
Toby Mensforth, past GSCA chair, will discuss the financial and programming considerations in the evolving industry. His consulting firm, Mensforth and Associates, deals with all aspects of revenue enterprises in museums, including retail. A 25-year veteran of the industry, Toby managed IMAX Corporations’ Owned and Operated Theater Group for five years and most recently was in charge of the three IMAX theaters at the Smithsonian, along with food service operations, simulators, and the Digital Dome Planetarium.
The Wonder Years or Twilight Zone? What Does Digital Transition Mean for All of Us?
Tuesday, September 20, 2:30 pm - 3:45 pm
Digital technology is dramatically altering the landscape of giant screen filmmaking, distribution, and exhibition. This session acknowledges that we are living through an age of (somewhat awkward) transition and asks members from each segment of the business to share their thoughts on where we are and where we may be headed. We will examine the realities facing filmmakers as they work in multiple formats to deliver to increasingly divergent platforms (2D, 3D, Digital 3D, IMAX 3D, Digital Dome, etc.). Does the advent of digital capture open up new creative and financing possibilities? What does it mean for distributors? How are exhibitors planning for their transition from film to digital? What do these transition years mean for our identity as an industry and our ability to distinguish ourselves as creators and presenters of unique cinematic experiences?
Led by moderators Toby Mensforth (former President of the GSCA) and Paul Fraser (of Blaze Digital Cinema Works), this session will invite some of the leaders in production, distribution, delivery, and exhibition of giant screen films to offer their view of current realities and visions of the future.
Panelists include: Rick Gordon, RPG Productions; Chris Hurtubise, COSI; Don Kempf, Giant Screen Films/D3D Cinema; Dr. Jeffrey Kirsch, Reuben Fleet Science Center; Mike Lutz, IMAX Corporation; Christian Scheidegger, Swiss Transport Museum; Toby Winsett, Denver Museum of Nature and Science
Wake Up to Great Marketing Ideas
Wednesday, September 21, 7:30 am - 9:00 am
Grab breakfast and get in on great marketing ideas, meet new colleagues, and contribute your audience building ideas at this fast-paced wake-up session. One of the highest-rated sessions at last year’s conference is back for round two, moderated by Mark Bretherton from the IMAX Theatre Sydney and the world’s largest screen. Learn how he and other key industry players boost sales at their venues. Topics will include print ad strategies, boosting advanced ticket sales, re-energizing school group attendance, and creative uses of QR codes. Audience members are encouraged to come ready to share ideas in 90 seconds or less at the open mic.
Participants: Mark Bretherton, IMAX Theatre Sydney, Moderator; Amy Hampe, Museum of Science, Boston; Dennis Laws, British Film Institute, London; Lynn Lawrence, IMAX Melbourne Museum
4K on the Giant Screen
Thursday, September 22, 1:15 pm - 3:30 pm
In response to strong membership demand and interest, the GSCA Technical Committee has organized the first in an on-going series of in-theatre digital sessions presenting visual food for thought for exhibitors and filmmakers as the giant screen industry examines its emerging digital exhibition options. Join us for an on-screen comparison between 1570 print and 4K digital projection: same content, different technologies. This session will be presented in 2D, with an emphasis on resolution, and will feature 65mm/15p original negative live action content provided by leading giant screen producers and distributors, as well as technical charts designed specifically for assessing high resolution image capture.
Tuesday, September 20, 4:00 pm - 5:15 pm
Behind the Curtain
A lively and informative behind-the scenes look at two new live-action films released in 2011: Born To Be Wild and The Last Reef. Both were shot in 65mm film and digital and went through a Digital Intermediate process. Each film team will receive the running time of an average giant screen film (40 minutes) to share stories of horror and triumph and field questions from the audience.
Panelists for Born To Be Wild: David Lickley (Director), Drew Fellman (Producer and Writer), David Douglas (Director of Photography), Di Roberts (Supervising Line Producer). Panelists for The Last Reef: Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas (Writers and Directors), David Marks (Producer), DJ Roller (Director of Photography).
The Big E’s: Examining Evaluation and Education in Giant Screen Films
This interactive, online (Pre-conference on the GSCA website, Twitter during the session) roundtable discussion representing producers, evaluators, marketers, and educators will address some big questions about evaluation and education in giant screen filmmaking that you likely are grappling with: How do you develop front-end, formative and summative evaluations for developing films and educational materials? In what way will evaluation inform and impact project development and outcomes (intended and unintended)? What is the decision process for what educational content to include in films (and their ancillary materials)? How are decisions about content made along the development pathway? What are the key factors in determining the educational content of your film? Who provides the educational expertise in filmmaking? We will start with presentations by the panelists and follow up with open roundtable discussion about these issues in film-making. Bring a business card to use in follow-up online interactions.
Panelists: Karen Elinich, Director of Educational Technology, The Franklin Institute; John Lewis, The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum; Valentine Kass, National Science Foundation; Allison Caplovitz, Technology and Education Consulting Associates; James Neihouse.
Don't Mess with Texas: Marketing Strategies from Austin Powerhouses
With a city motto of "Keep Austin Weird," there's no question Austin is a hub of creativity and outside-the-box thinking. This session will tap into some of Austin’s innovative and pioneering marketing talent. They will share the secrets behind some of their most successful theater and event marketing campaigns and provide tips for nonprofits on how social media, fundraising, volunteering, and innovation are changing the world we operate in.
Henri Mazza is creative director at the Alamo Drafthouse, the innovative, independent theater chain rated “#1 Theater in America” by Entertainment Weekly, “Coolest Movie Theater in the World” by Wired.com, and “One of the Best Theaters in the Country” by Fandango.com.
Aaron Bramley is the Director of Digital Media for Ridgewood: Ingenious Communication Strategies. Focusing on nonprofit and public sector organizations, Aaron works with his team to create integrated communications strategies that use the most current tools including social media, video, mobile technology and more. Aaron is also Co-founder and Director of Lights. Camera. Help., a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to encouraging nonprofit and cause-driven organizations to use film and video to make their messages have more impact.