`Apocalypto' ... Another near-simultaneous release ... Netflix ... `Snakes'
- Time Magazine has a report about Mel Gibson's `Apocalypto' that touches on their use of the Panavision Genesis camera. I happened to talk to cinematographer Dean Semler recently -- they're still shooting down in Veracruz, Mexico, about 2/3rds of the way finished -- and he was pretty astounded that the digital camera has been holding up in the heat and humidity of the jungle. Semler says he typically watches takes in his "Batcave" -- that'd be a black tent outfitted with a high-definition monitor. If there are three cameras being used, he can switch from one to another during a take. He's even got a remote control that lets him change the aperture of a given camera during a take. For some shots that require high frame rates (of which the Genesis isn't capable), they've used a film camera.
- The next "near-simultaneous" release from 2929 Entertainment (Mark Cuban and Todd Wagner) is the Herbie Hancock documentary `Possibilities.' In theaters in LA and New York on April 14, on DVD April 18, and on the HDNet cable channel April 23. I should note here that they now have their own DVD distribution business, just started up recently.
- The Netflix annual report says the company "continue[s] to invest resources to develop solutions for downloading movies to consumers. Our core strategy has been and remains to grow a large DVD subscription business; however, as technology and infrastructure develop to allow effective and convenient delivery of movies over the Internet and when meaningful content becomes available, we intend to offer our subscribers the choice of receiving their movies on DVD or by downloading, whichever they prefer." Let's see if they can actually make that happen. The last time Netflix talked about selling movie downloads, in October, the future didn't sound bright.
- Your daily dose of `Snakes on a Plane' news.