Giant Screen 101: Lessons for Success
In this consistently highly evaluated program, experienced giant screen experts share insights and answer questions on many different aspects of the industry. This is an excellent launch into the full conference program, providing an opportunity for people to meet other delegates and get a head start on networking and maximizing the value of the conference. Light refreshments will be provided. Moderator: Diane Carlson, Vice-President Guest Services and Theaters, Pacific Science Center and former GSCA Board Member.
- Charles Auger, CEO of the high-grossing IMAX® Quebec City (IMAX Des Galeries De La Capital), reviews the 10 top functions that he demanded for his new ticketing system. These are functionalities that he feels are key to improving bottom-line performance.
- Jim Barath is a 25-year veteran of the giant screen industry. He has a formal background in physics and acoustics and heads up Sonics ESD, which has advised on over 130 giant screen theater projects in 26 countries. In addition to dealing with theater acoustics and projection, he has experience with theater renovations, upgrades and new construction. He will review ongoing theater maintenance considerations—screen replacement, seating, and technical considerations of transitioning to digital. In December he completed the installation of the first theater rail system that allows digital and film projection to coexist at Pacific Science Center in Seattle and as a result, 30 other giant screen theaters in North America and Europe made the same modification.
- Toby Mensforth is a 25-year veteran of the giant screen industry and has worked for the Museum of Civilization, Smithsonian Institution and IMAX Corporation. He also served as the Chair of the GSCA. He will review the key financial parameters of theater operation, including pricing and auxiliary revenues from concessions, ticketing service fees, and retail. His presentations have earned top evaluations due to the valuable information presented in an easily understood manner.
- Sean Philips is a highly regarded giant screen cinematographer and technical innovator. He will discuss the elements that must be taken into account for appropriately filming in 3D for the giant screen. He will also review the key concepts of filming effectively for the dome. This kind of information is not only helpful for filmmakers but also for exhibitors so that they can better interact with the press, donors, and other staff at their facility.
Making the Case for Digital
The majority of museum theater operators who have not transitioned to digital want to learn from their peers who have. In this session, representatives of four digitally equipped giant screen theaters, each representing a different “before/after” scenario, will present their case study. Each presenter will share their data and helpful insights. They’ll explain their rationale for exploring digital, the decision-making process, options considered, what they chose—and why. They’ll offer a post mortem on their experience and results to date. We’ll also present findings from the GSCA’s summer 2012 research study to help explain why many operators have put their digital decision on hold. Q&A will follow. Moderator: Paul Fraser, Blaze Digital Cinema Works.
- Tim Hazlehurst, Marbles Kids Museum (replaced their IMAX film system with IMAX digital)
- Chris Hurtubise, COSI (replaced their Iwerks film system with Christie digital)
- Kim Nickels, Putnam Museum (replaced their IMAX film system with Barco digital)
- Diane Carlson, Pacific Science Center (added IMAX digital to theater with IMAX film system)
Wake Up to Great Marketing Ideas
Ideas to get you going first thing in the morning. This session promises to give exhibitors the most ideas per minute of session time. Not only will panelists share creative and innovative ideas but the audience will be asked to share their winning strategies for increasing attendance and the bottom line. This session is meant to be a crowdsourcing of information, so come prepared to share (breakfast provided). Moderator: Paul Wild, Theatre Director, IMAX® Victoria Theater In the Royal BC Museum.
- Ron Bartsch, Senior Theater Manager IMAX® Projection and Programming, The Henry Ford IMAX® Theater. "Titanic: An IMAX 3D Experience: Using Social Media and Staff Interests to Market a Film"
- Dave Duszynski, VP of Featured Experiences and Customer Service, Cincinnati Museum Center. "Rocky Mountain Express: How to Get the Police to Your Door Because You Are So Successful"
- Katy Burgwyn, Marbles Kids Museum, "Marketing To The Arctic 3D"
- Maureen Sullivan, Maryland Science Center, "Flight of the Butterflies: Engaging Educators in a Film."
Is There a Crowd in the Cloud?
Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Foursquare, LinkedIn…how do you keep your brand consistent across so many different social media/mobile marketing outlets? How do you convert followers to loyal brand advocates? How do organizations with limited budgets and personnel resources manage so many powerful marketing tools without being overwhelmed? This session will feature social media experts and giant screen industry professionals who are successfully navigating the cloud to generate box office revenue. Moderator: Jackie Mollet, Senior Director—Theater, Retail & Exhibitions at the Saint Louis Science Center.
- Jeannie Christensen, Marketing Strategy and Social Experience Manager at Sapient Nitro, the world's largest integrated marketing and technology firm.
- Rebecca Davis, Executive Vice President at Social@Ogilvy, where she manages the digital strategy, design and development, and content teams serving Ogilvy’s corporate, social marketing, and public affairs clients.
- Marlene Janetos, has served as Vice President of Visitor Services, Marketing and Communications at the Museum of Discovery and Science in Fort Lauderdale, Florida since 2002. She directs all marketing, advertising, public relations, sales and social media efforts in addition to overseeing IMAX, visitor services, retail, concessions, membership, and graphics.
In the Sweet Spot: Pleasing Domes and 3D Flat Screens
As the number of digital 3D productions rises and 65mm film capture declines, are giant dome theaters in danger of being left behind? Is it possible to make a 3D film that works as well on the dome? Can a film that was shot in 2D and converted to stereo truly be considered a 3D experience? Are giant screen filmmakers forced to favor one segment of the industry at the expense of another? Using specific examples from recent giant screen releases, this session will examine the growing division between dome and flat screen needs in our industry and feature a cross-section of opinions and experiences from giant screen filmmakers, exhibitors, and distributors. Moderator: Filmmaker Daniel Ferguson, who is currently in production on Jerusalem 3D.
- Phil Streather, BBC Earth and Principal Large Format Films
- Stephen Low, The Stephen Low Company
- Reed Smoot, Director of Photography
- Melissa Butts, Melrae Pictures
- Greg MacGillivray, MacGillivray Freeman Films
Maximizing the Education/Entertainment Connection
How do we maximize the educational impact, both in quality and reach (through greater attendance), of giant screen films? Many producers and distributors over the last 30 years have tried to perfect the balance of making films that are educational while being entertaining. Films that have done this well have had tremendous success: how do you achieve that same balance? This moderated panelist/audience group discussion will bring together producers, distributors, marketers, educators, and exhibitors to focus on best practices to maximize the educational impact of giant screen films. Starting with examples of successful films, we will address such issues as educational outreach from distributors and theaters, online content, exhibition synergy, marketing, co-op advertising, working with corporate and educational partners, funding/budgeting and audience evaluation.
Moderators: Dr. Mary Nucci, Rutgers University; and Shaun MacGillivray, MacGillivray Freeman Films.
- Mike Day, Senior Vice President at Science Museum of Minnesota
- Sally Edwards, President at Marbles Kids Museum
- Wayne Labar, Principal and Founder of Alchemy Studio, Former VP of Exhibitions and Featured Experiences Liberty Science Center
- Dr. Valerie Knight-Williams, Co-Director of Knight Williams Inc.
Technical Session: Technological Trends in Image Capture, Projection, and Sound
, Consultant to the Laser Illuminated Projector Association (LIPA)
, Director, Product Marketing, Laser LIght Engines
, Senior Worldwide Technical Marketing Manager, Dolby
, Senior Director, Strategic Business Development, Barco
, VP Cinema & Entertainment Systems, IOSONO
, Cinematographer, Liquid Pictures
, Director, Yes/No Productions
, Reliance MediaWorks
Member Meeting and Luncheon
A brief presentation by Francois Mantello from 3D Entertainment (luncheon sponsor), a report from GSCA chair Jeffrey Kirsch, and reports from the GSCA committee chairs.