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Library titles get 3D treatment

3D Entertainment Summit 2012

The resurgence of 3D in theaters and the growing number of 3D-capable TVs has dusted off an axiom in Hollywood: Everything old is new again.

Several studios are digging deep into their libraries to bring both recent hit films back for second theatrical runs in 3D and reviving old classics for 3D home conversions. And the trend isn’t showing any sign of slowing down.

Disney’s seeing some of the biggest benefits from this. Last year’s re-release of “The Lion King” earned $94 million domestically for the Mouse House and opened the floodgates for a slew of others, including the just-released, re-rendered “Finding Nemo 3D.”

“We’re sort of spoiled in how we make our movies,” says Bob Whitehill, stereoscopic supervisor at Pixar. “We make them in 3D space in the computer. … Once we have the movie up and running in our software, we’re able to film the exact same movie with the same lighting and voices.”

Universal, meanwhile, is planning a 3D re-release of “Jurassic Park” and George Lucas has five more “Star Wars” films being converted.

Long before 3D’s current age, though, anaglyph 3D films (viewed through glasses with one red lens and one cyan lens) ruled the theater — and those are making a comeback as well.

On Oct. 2, Universal will release a restored version of 1954’s “Creature From the Black Lagoon” on 3D Blu-ray for home audiences as part of an “Essentials Collection” of eight classic horror films.

Each has been given a thorough density and contrast correction to improve its appearance on high definition TV sets.

Also in October, Warner will release a 3D Blu-ray version of “Dial M for Murder,” a film that was shot in 3D in 1954, but few have ever seen in that format.

“This is not a conversion from 2D to 3D, but an original work … that illustrates just how good 3D can be,” says Jeff Baker, executive VP and general manager of Warner’s Theatrical Catalog. “We’re hoping ‘Dial M for Murder’ is the first of several classic 3D films to be released, with the long-awaited, much requested ‘House of Wax’ expected next.”

VISIONARY

Thursday 11:30 a.m.
Special 3D Visionary Award Presentation: 3D Visionary Award presented to James Cameron and Vincent Pace, co-chairmen and co-founders of Cameron | Pace Group – Followed by onstage interview of Vincent Pace by Variety technology columnist David Cohen.

HIGHLIGHTS

WEDNESDAY

8:45 a.m.
Opening Remarks: Exclusive One-on-One Taped Interview in 3D with Bob Dowling, conference chairperson, 3D Entertainment Summit & Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO, DreamWorks Animation

1:45 P.M..
Keynote: Lenny Lipton, 3D inventor and Ray 3D Zone, artist, speaker, film producer

3:15 p.m.
Featured Speaker Presentation: A Watery 3D Odyssey – The Making of “Storm Surfers 3D”: Marcus Gillezeau, producer, and Rodrigo Balart, editor, “Storm Surfers 3D.”

THURSDAY

11:30 a.m.
Keynote Conversation: Joe Letteri, senior visual effects producer, Weta Digital (“The Hobbit,” “Lord of the Rings,” “Man of Steel,” “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”) with Variety’s David Cohen

12:05 a.m.
International 3D Society – Your World in 3D. Panelists: Bob Whitehill, Stereoscopic Supervisor, Pixar Animation Studios; William Sherak, president, StereoD; Bryan Burns, vice president, strategic business planning & development, ESPN; Dan Schinasi, senior marketing manager, Samsung Electronics America; Don Bland, executive producer, 3net. Moderator: Jim Chabin, president, Interna

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