Giant Screen 101: Retooling the Basics for a Changing World
This perennial favorite is always one of the most attended and highly rated sessions of the conference. Experienced giant screen experts share their insights and answer questions on many different aspects of the industry. With valuable information for industry newcomers and veterans alike, this is an excellent opportunity to get industry insight, meet other delegates, and get a head start on networking and maximizing the value of the conference. The following presentations will be included in the session:
- Negotiating Film Contracts
Jonathan Barker, executive producer of the award-winning giant screen film Bugs! and producer of the award-winning Flight of the Butterflies and the upcoming release Amazon Adventure, reveals the mysteries of negotiating film contracts.
- Marketing and Distribution
Mary Jane Dodge, director of marketing at MacGillivray Freeman Films, discusses the importance of marketing and how to do it effectively. She presents results-oriented marketing ideas from a number of distributors and provide insight on how to maximize the theater-distributor relationship.
- The Business of the Giant Screen
Paul Wild, Theater Director at IMAX Victoria, reviews how exhibition in the giant screen documentary business differs greatly from the Hollywood model. This presentation outlines those differences and presents current examples of the different programming models that will be of interest not only to exhibitors but also to producers and distributors.
Moderator: Diane Carlson, Pacific Science Center. Presenters: Jonathan Barker, SK Films; Mary Jane Dodge, MacGillivray Freeman Films; Paul Wild, IMAX Victoria.
Technology Trends and the Future of Giant Screen
presented by the GSCA Technical Committee
The dawn of the digital cinema era broke 10 years ago this year. The giant screen marketplace began to embrace digital soon after. Today, flat GS screens are ahead of GS domes in adopting digital, for some good technical reasons. The complete transition for the GS market has a ways to go, while new technologies are being introduced or coming soon. Digital projection has evolved from 2K to 4K, and up to 8K for domes. Lasers are beginning to replace xenon as the projection light source. Fulldome has made inroads in the GS dome sector, and we’re on the cusp of seeing two new 4:3 digital solutions for GS domes. Meanwhile, digital cameras continue to improve, making it possible to create images worthy of the giant screen.
What are the key technology developments we should be following? How will they serve to improve the GS experience and maintain its distinctiveness from theatrical screens? What are the technology trends in the wider cinema space, and how will these affect the GS industry? What will the industry look like 5 years and even 10 years from now?
For this lively and multi-topic panel discussion, we’ve assembled a diverse panel of experts, representing projector vendors and integrators, and an accomplished GS director. We’ll address technology developments for both flat screens and domes. Some panelists will have materials to present during the discussion. A Q&A session with the audience is included.
Moderators: Paul Fraser (Blaze Digital Cinema Works), Martin Howe (TEQ4).
Panelists: Bill Beck, Barco; Larry Paul, Christie Digital; Derek Threinen, D3D Cinema; Art Mercurio, D3D Cinema; Michael Daut, Evans & Sutherland; Sean MacLeod Phillips, MacLeod Productions; Glenn Smith, Sky-Skan.
My Theater Had a Great Year (And Other Tales of the Unimaginable)
In a world of increasing demands on time and money spent on out-of-home entertainment, it is increasingly challenging to get people to our theaters. This multi-faceted session is dedicated to showcasing innovative and risk-taking initiatives that have helped giant-screen theaters achieve success. Individual presentations and short panel discussions include:
- Great Ideas that Worked: Hear from a few theaters who had a good year and learn how did they did it.
- Exhibition Sponsorships: Learn about sponsorships that can supplement a theater’s marketing for a new film, and drive ticket sales too!
- Effective Ticketing Strategies: See practical illustrations of wrangling multiple admission categories to boost overall theater revenue. Hear how one theater built a successful subscription model that grosses a million dollars per year.
- New Ways to Use Your Theater: Check out how a few theaters are attracting a new demographic with alternative content and some unusual uses of their theater space.
This mega-session provides plenty of good ideas that theater operators can put in motion immediately. Who knows? It just might lead to unimaginable success.
Presenters: Peter Bak-Larsen, Tycho Brahe Planetarium; Steve Baker, TELUS World of Science-Edmonton; Dave Duszynski, Cincinnati Museum Center; Paul Fraser, Blaze Digital Cinema Works; Chris Hurtubise, COSI; Julie LaRoche, Montreal Science Centre; Jackie Mollet, Saint Louis Science Center; Gil Perez, Museum of Science and Industry-Chicago; Ruben Piza, Papalote; Amy Quesinberry, Orlando Science Center; Berend Reijnhoudt, Omniversum; Paul Wild, IMAX Victoria
All That Stuff Besides the Film: Giant Screen Ancillary Educational Materials
This session, sponsored jointly by the GSCA's Research Task Force and Lifelong Learning Committee, presents the results of two coordinated surveys of filmmakers/producers and exhibitors that looked at all that stuff besides the film—the ancillary materials created to promote and extend a film’s reach to the viewing community. Following a short presentation by the moderators of the results of the surveys that asked about production, use, and value of these materials, the audience is invited to participate in breakout groups to extend the analysis of the survey results. Results of the workshop will be disseminated to the giant screen community in a blog post as well as will be used for a survey of K-12 educators asking them about their needs and interest in giant screen ancillary materials.
Moderators: Mary Nucci (Rutgers University), Alan Nursall (Telus World of Science-Edmonton)
Great Results With Great Marketing
GSCA’s 2014 Audience Research Report indicated that nearly 80% of audience members say being able to see a giant screen film increases their likelihood of visiting a venue. So why are so few institutions marketing this valuable asset? Born out of the idea exchanges that take place among colleagues at the conference, this “how to” session brings those ideas and best practices front and center. A panel of industry experts shares how to optimize marketing to boost theater ticket sales through web design, social media, analytics, ticketing, signage, outdoor, paid advertising, and more. Sometimes small tweaks can bring big results. This energetic session provides ample time for questions and for audience members to contribute their great ideas as well. Be prepared to come away with a list of ideas you can put into practice to ensure your theater is being utilized as an asset that attracts audiences independently from the rest of the venue and is being leveraged to increase overall venue attendance.
Moderator: Richard Morrison, IMAX Melbourne/Museum Victoria. Presenters: Diane Carlson, Pacific Science Center; Marlene Janetos, Museum of Discovery and Science-Fort Lauderdale; Tanya Vomacka, Museum of Science and Industry-Tampa.
Motion Versus Resolution in Giant Screen Productions
For giant screen filmmakers, image quality is paramount, and 15/70 film has been the benchmark against which all other options are judged. In the digital era, camera sensor resolution (spatial resolution) is one of the main factors driving camera selection and many postproduction processes (frame extension, for example).
A sensor's resolution, however, is only a container for detail. It’s not the final determinant for image quality. Motion can degrade detail and generate images that have far less perceived quality than what the camera can capture while stationary. One can compensate for lost spatial resolution by increasing the frame rate (temporal resolution), but that has its own issues. With dramatic motion from the camera, its subject, or the cumulative effect of both, it’s not unusual to end up with a level of detail inferior even to High Definition (HD) video.
During this presentation, advanced imaging expert Pierre (Pete) Routhier shares examples, mathematical models, and tips on how to manage motion during a giant screen production to optimize image detail and match the camera system to the situation for a cost-effective production.
Presented by Pierre (Pete) Routhier, Happy Planet Productions