Tuesday, April 12, 2011

James Cameron-Pace Group (CPG) 3D Venture for TV

Does 3D make you feel a little woozy? Don't tell James Cameron. The director on Monday teamed up with cinematographer Vince Pace to launch the Cameron-Pace Group (CPG), which will push for the adoption of 3D in everything from movies and TV shows to sports and advertising.

CPG will be the industry advocate for 3D technologies, practices, and creative tools, the duo announced. They also want to develop the "gold standard" for 3D.

"Our goal is to banish all the perceived and actual barriers to entry that are currently holding back producers, studios and networks from embracing their 3D future," Cameron said in a statement. "We are dedicated to building a global brand that is synonymous with high quality 3D and spans multiple channels, from features to episodic television, and changes the boundaries of what is understood to be 3D material."

Pace promised to deliver a number of 3D tools, including Slate2Screen 3D production services and educational workshops for industry professionals in Fusion 3D.

Cameron and Pace unveiled CPG at the 2011 NAB Show in Las Vegas.

Cameron is the Oscar-winning director of the 3D epic "Avatar." Upcoming 3D efforts for CPG include "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides," "Transformers: Dark of the Moon," "The Three Musketeers," "The Invention of Hugo Cabret," "Life of Pi," and "47 Ronin."

Cameron has not been shy about his love of 3D. He appeared at last year's CTIA Wireless trade show to discuss 3D technology on your cell phone. At the time, Cameron predicted that in the next five years, 3D technology will move from the big screen and TVs to laptops and smartphones. And the technology is such that with a smaller screen, you don't need 3D glasses. "This is where the big breakthrough is going to come," he said.

At this year's Mobile World Congress, LG unveiled the Optimus 3D smartphone, and this week at NAB LG will demo what it says is the first mobile digital TV that displays 3D images. Nintendo also recently released the Nintendo 3DS, but 3D technologies have still been slow to catch on.

According to a Monday report from NPD Group, however, consumer awareness of 3D TVs and Blu-ray players are on the rise. Awareness of 3D LCD TVs jumping from 28 percent in September to 36 percent in February, while 3D plasma TV awareness increased from 21 percent to 32 percent in the same time period. Blu-ray knowledge was up from 15 percent to 26 percent, NPD said.

Consumers are still hesitant to invest, however, because of high prices and the need to wear glasses, NPD found.

"Concerns about price and an aversion to 3D glasses both saw relative increasesas inhibitors to adopting 3D televisions," Ross Rubin, executive director of industry analysis at The NPD Group, said in a statement. "However, as prices and price premiums for 3D TV decline, glasses are becoming a more prominent inhibitor, and are poised to overtake price."

Late last month, NASA ditched plans to include 3D cameras jointly developed by Cameron on its next Mars rover. NASA said in a statement that technicians made great strides on the 3D cameras, which were to be attached to the Mars Science Laboratory mission's Curiosity rover, but the timing was not right.

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