Giant Screen 101: Best Practices
Session Moderator: Diane Carlson, Pacific Science Center
Veteran content creators, new filmmakers, and production staff, as well as exhibitors—in fact, all industry professionals—are invited to participate in this launch program to the annual conference. The session's first hour will feature an engaging and informative overview of the giant screen industry and its evolution.
After a break, the participants will have the option to join one of two concurrent sessions. One session will focus on giant screen production and postproduction techniques and tips from a distinguished panel of directors, producers, camera operators, editors, sound designers, and production supervisors.
The other concurrent session will explore best practices in theater marketing, business and operations. There will be ample opportunity for interaction with audience members.
This session is consistently one of the top-rated programs. This year’s program will allow for more discussion and questions from the audience than ever before. Industry veterans will be encouraged to share ideas from the floor and the environment will be warm and welcoming to newcomers.
Tips from the Titans: Giant Screen Veterans Share Tips for Success
Moderators: Christian Fry, director of Air Racers; Daniel Ferguson, director of Jerusalem.
Panelists: David Douglas, director of photography; Brian Eimer, ImagesInSound; Myles Connolly, 360-Media; Toni Myers, IMAX Corporation
Four giant screen veterans share their thoughts on creating memorable giant screen experiences. Attendees will hear from a cinematographer, a location sound recordist/designer, a picture editor, and a writer. Each panelist will be invited to show clips from some of their films (on a large 3D monitor). The discussion will be co-moderated by first time giant screen directors, Christian Fry (Air Racers) and Daniel Ferguson (Jerusalem).
Presenters: Diane Carlson, Pacific Science Center; Paul Wild, IMAX Theatre in the Royal BC Museum; Toby Mensforth, Mensforth and Associates
Diane Carlson from Pacific Science Center will moderate the session and set the stage for an informative afternoon that is warm and welcoming to first-time attendees as well as veterans. She welcomes audience participation and questions.
Paul Wild from Victoria’s IMAX Theater at the Royal BC Museum will share his experience in presenting both film and digital programming in the same day with his projectors on a rail system. Learn about the technical and logistical aspects of this equipment usage, including minimizing the transition time between each technology.
Toby Mensforth, founder of Mensforth and Associates, draws on his extensive giant screen theater and earned-revenue experience to delve into the financial aspects of theater operations. How to maximize revenue, lower costs and set budgets? How many shows a day to program? How to maximize concessions revenue?
Giant Screen Wow Moments and Storytelling
Moderator: Daniel Ferguson, Cosmic Picture
Presenters: Stephen Low, Stephen Low Productions; Greg MacGillivray, MacGillivray Freeman Films; Toni Myers, IMAX Corporation.
Three acclaimed giant screen directors will present sequences from films that they think best illustrate the special nature of the giant screen film experience. Each will choose one “wow moment” from their own library and one from each of the other presenters. Discussion will focus on how these indelible moments were created and how storytelling for this format is unique.
GSCA Audience Research Results
Presenter: Rich Swietek, Friendly Giant Marketing
The GSCA has undertaken a major research initiative in 2014 spanning ten countries and more than 1,500 data points from audience members who’ve experienced a giant screen film in the last three months. Come to this session for an in-depth overview of the most interesting and exciting findings. Confirm your thinking on certain topics. Re-think your position on others. We have surprising results to share and discuss with those who make films, distribute them, and program them.
Marketing, Merlot and Martinis (formerly "Wake Up to Great Marketing Ideas")
Moderator: Rich Swietek, Friendly Giant Marketing
Presenters: Kim Cavendish, Museum of Discovery and Science; Mark Bretherton, IMAX Theatres Australia; Corinna Graham, Museum of Science; Jackie Mollet, Saint Louis Science Center
The popular "Wake Up to Great Marketing Ideas" session has a new time slot and a new name this year. But as always it will deliver the most ideas per minute—ideas you can put to work for your theater. Ideas from past sessions—like a kids’ film review—have been successfully replicated at other theaters. Join moderator Rich Swietek of Friendly Giant Marketing as we toast exhibitors sharing their most successful ideas of the past year. Members of the audience will have the opportunity to contribute to the dialog as well. Join us for what promises to be a happy hour of marketing inspiration and meeting colleagues.
Enhance the Visitor Experience, Increase Attendance and Gain Friends Through Community Partnerships
Learn from Kim Cavendish how the Museum of Discovery and Science created a Polynesian Culture Festival for the opening of Journey to the South Pacific 3D through community partners.
A Creative Facebook Contest from Down Under
Learn how Mark Bretherton of Sydney, Australia, used a Facebook contest to generate interest in new potential IMAX theater-goers and captured a database to mine for the future.
#findthepanda in Boston
See how the Museum of Science used costume characters with social media to generate interest and audience.
How D-Day: Normandy 1944 Connected a Theater with a Community
Jackie Mollet will discuss how this film brought the Saint Louis Science Center together with an amazing community of people.
The Digital Pathway for Domes
Moderator: Paul Fraser, Blaze Digital Cinema Works
Technology Panel: Brian Bonnick, IMAX Corporation; Ed Lantz, Vortex Immersion Media
Theater Panel: Jackie Mollet, Saint Louis Science Center; Jon Loos, Washington Pavilion of Arts and Sciences; Steen Bjerre, Tycho Brahe Planetarium
Film Panel: Mark Katz, National Geographic Studios; Greg MacGillivray, MacGillivray Freeman Films; Michael Daut, Evans & Sutherland
Very few giant screen dome theaters have replaced their film systems with digital (outside of Japan). Why is that? What is the pathway to digital for the giant screen film-based domes? Only two giant screen domes have converted to DCI digital so far. Some have replaced their film projectors with fulldome systems, and a few other domes have added digital flat screen 3D systems while continuing to use their 15/70 film projectors. This session will explore the current obstacles, options, and opportunities for film-based giant screen domes in their digital transition. To fully address the issues, there will be three consecutive panel discussions, each one including representatives from different functions within the industry: (1) dome theaters (2) technology experts, and (3) film producers/distributors.
Alternative Content: What’s It All About?
Moderators: Paul Fraser, Blaze Digital Cinema Works; Kim Nickels.
Presenters: Kim Nickels; Tim Hazlehurst, Marbles Kids Museum; Katy Burgwyn, Marbles Kids Museum; Chris Loynd, Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk; Kent Maahs, Science Center of Iowa; Chris Hurtubise, COSI
The words "alternative content" are being heard more and more in our industry as exhibitors search for ways to supplement traditional revenue streams as well as make the most of their new digital projection systems’ capabilities. Hear from a panel of your peers about their experiences with several emerging programming options: Hollywood repertory films, live streaming events, cable/satellite TV programming, local filmmaker events, kids' programming, and video gaming. Each panelist will discuss how the content fits into their daily schedule, the licensing process, content format/technical capabilities needed in the booth, target audience, marketing, and any ancillary benefits/opportunities. This session will be structured to allow for ample time for Q&A.
Cable/Satellite TV Programming
"So I can show cable TV shows on my new digital projection system. Do I want to?” Kim Nickels will talk about the pros and cons of the Putnam Museum’s experience in Davenport, Iowa.
The 50- and 60-somethings can be a nostalgic bunch for sure. There are some great concerts available on DCP from The Doors to Led Zeppelin that really draw the crowds. Kim Nickels, formerly of the Putnam Museum, will explain more.
Local Filmmaker Events
Marbles Kids Museum in Raleigh, North Carolina, is hosting premiere screenings for local filmmakers. Tim Hazlehurst will talk about how he is making DCPs for these filmmakers and how the screenings are used to promote his theater.
Young families are the core of museum visitation, so content is specifically targeted for the youngest moviegoers to draw them to the theater and sell the giant screen experience. Marbles Kids Museum created a successful package for families to enjoy a first giant screen experience … and more. Katy Burgwyn from Marbles Kids Museum will break down the elements of what worked and what didn’t.
“Everybody was Kung Fu fighting big time, playing the Kung Fu Panda video game to promote the IMAX® movie. The idea of playing Xbox® on our giant screen with 10,000-watt sound effects drew major media coverage.” Chris Loynd, Marketing Director of The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, will explain more.
Hollywood Repertory Films
COSI in Columbus, Ohio, has two years of experience running a summer movie series featuring Hollywood repertory content. Chris Hurtubise will give the inside scoop on this type of alternative programming and what they are learning from this experience.
How do you mend a broken heart? Televise your bypass surgery! The Science Center of Iowa has hosted Live From the Heart for the past four years, and Kent Maahs will update everyone on a fascinating and educational new use of your theater and classrooms.
Mastering the Giant Screen Workflow
Moderator: Christian Fry (Pretend Entertainment)
Panelists: Rick Gordon (RPG Productions), Andrew Oran (FotoKem), Alexis Cadorette-Vignau (Post Production Supervisor on Jerusalem), Myles Connolly (360-Media)
With the recent explosion of digital giant screen production and postproduction tools, producers and distributors are confronted with often overwhelming choices: Film or digital? 2D or 3D? What camera for what task? Digital intermediate or contact print from original negative? What resolution should I scan at? How much sharpening do I need?
This session will unpack the workflow choices facing the GS filmmaker in an easily understandable way. Using examples from recent releases, directors, producers, and postproduction supervisors explain why they made particular choices to ensure the best quality and why in some cases they might do it differently next time. The session will bring to light the work of the P3W (Production and Postproduction Workflow) Task Force of the Technical Committee in creating a working document for the industry outlining common production and post-production pipelines.