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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The HD Report: David Fincher and Clint Eastwood ... Also, Disney Movies on Demand

- David Fincher shot his forthcoming feature, `Zodiac,' with Grass Valley's Viper digital camera. (Here's a piece from the San Francisco Chronicle, and another from Digital Content Producer.)

Now, they've posted trailers, including one in 1080p HD. `Zodiac' will be out in January. Cast looks incredible: Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey, Jr., and Jake Gyllenhaal.

- In other HD news, Clint Eastwood's cinematograher, Tom Stern, apparently used Sony HDV cameras in a very limited way on `Flags of Our Fathers,' according to this piece from Digital Content Producer. But Eastwood isn't entirely sold yet. From the piece:

    “I looked at all the [available] digital cameras, and tested them against film to see if the digital age was here completely,” Eastwood recently told Millimeter. “I know, some day, that will be it. But for this project, I felt HD did not hold up quite enough compared to film for the way I wanted it to look. It obviously had some advantages, but I just felt I couldn’t control atmospheres as well—I couldn’t get quite as deep into the blacks as I wanted. So I decided to shoot film. It was almost like they needed to go another millimeter before HD gets to where I want it to be. I’m sure [manufacturers] will get there before long the way things are progressing. They are already so close. But for me anyway, the main advantage I’m looking for is portability—small cameras. Some of the systems we tested were really big..."

- Finally, Disney has struck a deal with Comcast to make movies available on cable pay-per-view just 15 days after the DVD is out. Joseph Menn of the LA Times writes:

    Until now, Disney has generally followed the industry practice of releasing movies to pay-per-view between 30 and 45 days after DVD release. Now all Disney theatrical releases, with the possible exception of animated films, will automatically go to Comcast in a 15-to-45-day window. Other cable operators are likely to get the same earlier access in the future, said one person familiar with the agreement.

Variety has more on the deal, which has numerous other facets.