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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Greencine interview with Doug Trumbull

Greencine has a really wonderful interview with one of the cinema's great innovators, Doug Trumbull. He, of course, was responsible for the special effects in pictures like "2001: A Space Odyssey," "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," and "Blade Runner." (He also created "Back to the Future: The Ride" for Universal Studios.)

Trumbull says:

    My whole career as been about immersive media. Not movies per se but immersive media. That's why I've gotten into simulator rides and Showscan, high frame rates, IMAX, 3-D. I've been experimenting with these media experiences that I feel have the potential to be a profound personal experience for the viewer. If you could combine 3-D-like IMAX with the frame rate of Showscan, you would have a medium that is indistinguishable from reality. That's doable today, but unfortunately, it requires brute force, millions of feet of film, a lot of light and a $500,000 projector, so it's not ever going to be a huge medium. There's only a limited number of IMAX theaters in the world. But I really believe that people are profoundly affected by things that really happen to them. Not so much by stories they hear or connect to the stories or characters through an empathetic third person, observation, but by direct personal experience. So the closer you can take the medium to delivering the direct personal experience through 3-D, through high brightness, through high clarity, through wide view, through binaural sound and even physical sensations like we've done with simulator rides, you completely take over someone's nervous system and throw them into the movie, he ain't never gonna forget it.


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