3D team effort at Cannes

Shingles embrace format at market

As at last year’s Cannes film fest, 3D pics have been the talk of the Croisette, with the advent of 3D TV providing added value for library titles this year.

“It’s been essential to have a 3D picture on your slate this year,” said Patrick Ewald, CEO of Epic Pictures, whose shingle sold Russian-produced “Space Dogs” to a number of territories, including Italy (One Movie), China (HGC) and, more recently, France (TF1). “There’s a huge demand for it, and buyers want it delivered in the next six months.”

But, echoing the concerns of Hollywood’s 3D boosters, Ewald said the biz needs to tread carefully.

“You could put a 3D sticker on 90% of the titles here and sell them as 3D,” he said. “My concern is that there is going to be a glut of low-quality 3D pictures in the next few years because people may not be selective enough with their productions.”

Mark Lindsay, president of sales and acquisitions at Arclight Films, said 3D is now a business model and genre in its own right. His company, which this year has sold 3D pics “Bait” and “Mulan” in Spain to digital 3D systems company Xpand through its distribution operation, said the company will “absolutely add more 3D pictures” to its future slate.

“3D is not a fad,” he said. “It’s a business now that we have to pay attention to. If it’s the right type of product, then it’s definitely something that we’ll keep on our slate.”

Lindsay said Arclight has considered shooting its Andrew Lloyd Webber pic “Bombay Dreams” in 3D.

Producer James Dudelson of horror-focused Taurus Entertainment, is currently producing a remake of George A. Romero’s “Day of the Dead” in 3D and said many buyers have requested 3D conversions of classic 2D movies because “3D works well for certain genres, like horror.” But, he cautioned, “You can’t just slap a 3D conversion on the wrong type of film.”

There were a number of 3D titles pitched on the French Riviera this year — French company Pan Europeenne announced that it’s developing a $37 million 3D biopic on Jacques-Yves Cousteau, and Italy’s Colorado Film is developing live-action 3D trilogy “Chronicles of the Overworld” — but the impact of 3D will likely be greater once the format crosses over into home entertainment.

Damian Wader, VP of business development at In-Three, the 3D conversion company that partners with media giant Reliance, said the goal is working toward a viable 3D model that can translate to the home.

“This is the Wild West,” he said, speaking at an I3DS event hosted by Xpand at the festival. “With 3D now we have to do everything we can to support the medium and work toward participating in fulfilling the hours of content that the audience demands. And the audience is demanding more.”

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