WB Dazzles Comic-Con, Hall H With Supersized Screens

Warner Bros. Screens Comic-Con
Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images

To flex its muscle, Warner Bros., Hollywood’s largest studio, more than doubled its number of screens at its presentation at Comic-Con in San Diego on Saturday, creating a state-of-the-art presentation for its upcoming films.

Warners brought 465 feet (as opposed to its 199 feet in 2013) of screens — each of which are 20 feet high — which cost the studio hundreds of thousands of dollars.

No other studio is allowed to use them, and Warner’s partner, AV Concepts, invaded Hall H a week early to run diagnostics and set up the screens (which took four men to open) to run their special illustrations and first-look footage.

Warner and AV also schlepped down custom servers and 22 projectors with 200,000 lumia of projection that allowed for 25,000 pixel-wide images. They used Comic-Con’s sound system, but created specific panel art for each film.

“We go big every year but we had to go bigger,” said Sue Kroll, president worldwide marketing and international distribution. When asked about 2015, Kroll called it both “tough” and “full.”

“The Hobbit” artwork began as a Photoshop file from Peter Jackson. AV took that and created 600 layers of animation. The minute-plus-long sequence began as parchment paper and turned into movement, water and fire. It ended as a series of images from the films.

“People line up for days waiting to see our presentation and we wanted to give them an experience,” Kroll added. “To have them see something special, you have to create something they can connect with, that they can see and feel and experience and take with them.”

For “Jupiter Ascending,” the Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis-led sci-fi pic, which the studio pushed from the summer until February, it created a series of layered files, using the concept of the Big Bang to position the film in familiar territory.

“Mad Max” began as a sandstorm and dove deeper into some of the character profiles, including those of Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy.

And although it kicked off the presentation, “Superman v Batman: Dawn of Justice” images were simply hand-drawn stills from the film’s artists that were merged with some live illustration, including rain and wind. The sneak peek of Batman and Superman facing off, eyes lit up with fury, was solely for Hall H.

“That’s just going to live in that hall. We’ll post extended trailers and stills, but that presentation, that was just for those fans,” said Kroll, meaning those who saw it were the first and the last — except of those for those who took pictures and posted them.

[This post has been updated.]

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  1. Wagner says:

    They also used it during their DC presentations on Saturday night. It was awesome when presenting Flash. Having a bolt of lighting going from one end to the other.

  2. Jonathan says:

    RE: Batman v Superman footage: Wow, that is really awesome that THOSE fans were lucky enough to see that. That is so great for them. You know what, they are so special, maybe they should be the only ones that go see the movie too. I know it will never happen, but I would love it if everyone boycotted Batman v Superman except THOSE fans who they are so concerned with. I will probably just go see Cap 3 opening weekend now and wait to see BvS. I would LOVE to see a high quality release, but apparently Warner’s doesn’t care about enticing me to see the movie. So tired of an era where digital distribution is so easy and Warner’s could easily let all the fans of BvS in on the fun, but are not going to. “Hey you! The fans that went and saw Man of Steel multiple times at the theater, yes, the ones that also saw all of the Chris Nolan Batman films multiple times each at that theater too, and have bought multiple versions of them on Blu Ray and DVD over the years. Thanks and all, but because you didn’t have thousands of dollars to drop on Comic Con this year, you don’t get to see the new footage. But make sure you read all about it and then come see it in theaters in two years. Because we really don’t care about you, just your $.” Jerks.

  3. Angeleno says:

    When the Warner Bros. panels roll out on Saturday morning in Hall H, and they open up those huge incredible wraparound screens, there’s just no other experience like it. With overwhelming sound booming through the room, and gorgeous images flowing across those screens, all you can do is just stand there in awe. It’s a whole body experience. That experience does live in Hall H, because no matter how many pictures, or even video, you might post online, you’ll never come close to capturing what it’s like to be in that room. Thank you, Warner Bros! (ps to WB – Whoever designed that display for you? You’re not paying them enough!!)

  4. John says:

    Superman v Batman: Dawn of Justice? NEVER HEARD OF IT!
    That hall was magnificent with all those screens

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