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ShoWest gets peek at ‘U2’

3-D film gets the rock star treatment

LAS VEGAS — ShoWest saw another boost for 3-D content on Thursday morning when Real D unveiled the first previews of footage from the upcoming concert film “U2 3D.”

Aud watched the teaser trailer and perf of the song “Sunday, Bloody Sunday.”

Pic’s producers call it the first live-action film to be shot, posted and exhibited entirely in 3-D. It will include 14-15 songs in 80-90 minutes.

Shot at the band’s concerts in South America, the film was independently produced by 3ality Digital. Producers are hoping for a fall release though a distributor has not yet been secured.

Film will play only in 3-D-capable digital theaters.

Real D prexy Joseph Peixoto made a point of telling the aud that the presentation was shown with a single 2K Barco digital projector — a typical commercial digital projection system.

That became a concern after it turned out that Sony’s Wednesday presentation of 3-D footage from the NBA All-Star game, while impressive, was shown with two projectors, a setup far too expensive and high maintenance for most commercial applications.

Producer Jon Shapiro of 3ality said U2 was the perfect subject for a 3-D concert film because “there’s a connectivity at a U2 concert you can’t describe unless you’ve been there.”

Film’s directors, Catherine Owens and Mark Pellington, have long experience creating the band’s concert visuals.

Ironically, the quality of the 3-D picture in “U2 3D” may reveal a whole new set of challenges for cinema owners, warned sound maven Michael Leader, prexy of Leader Cinema.

“Cinema sound systems are not up to what we just experienced,” Leader told Daily Variety after the “U2 3D” preview.

He said that current theater sound systems don’t even play back all of what’s on typical movie soundtracks, especially in the bass, and don’t have anything close to the dynamic range needed to properly play rock-concert films.

“You need a Formula One racing engine in your sound system to do this,” Leader said.

Pumping up the volume on the bass would also exacerbate problems with sound leaking between theaters in multiplexes, he said.

Preview was part of Real D’s demonstration of 3-D for alternative content. Demo also included a look at the “Chicken Little” videogame in 3-D.

“A lot of people spend a lot of time in front of computers, and they are people we want back in theaters,” said Peixoto.

Demonstration did not include multiplayer games, however, and Peixoto spoke only of single-player games.

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