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James Cameron and Vince Pace Forecast Future of Broadcast 3-D at NAB 2012

Thompson on Hollywood By Valentina Valentini | Thompson on Hollywood April 17, 2012 at 3:26PM

Las Vegas...If anybody deserves to brag, it’s James Cameron and Vince Pace. And that is exactly what the two 3-D giants did for the first 10 minutes of their panel at the National Association of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas.
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James Cameron at NAB
James Cameron at NAB

If anybody deserves to brag, it’s James Cameron and Vince Pace.

And that is exactly what the two 3-D giants did for the first 10 minutes of their panel at the National Association of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas. Over 27 projects so far have been filmed under the Cameron-Pace Group (CPG) banner, ranging from sports (PGA Championship, Winter X-Games, live NFL and NBA games) to theater (Cirque du Soleil, "Justin Beiber: Never Say Never," the English National Ballet) to feature films "Avatar," "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" and "Hugo." They debuted over 14 new products at this year’s NAB alone.

“We’re in it to win it,” said Cameron. “And the future of 3-D is in broadcast. Even though we’re ahead of the curve in movies relative to broadcast, we’re dealing with the same transition we saw from standard def to HD – the growing pains, the questions, the uncertainty, the doubts, the naysayers. But also, the success stories.”

CPG is trying to take the aesthetic philosophy they used on "Avatar" and are quantifying, patenting, and inventing it, which is evident in their product line. But Pace emphasized that they aren’t trying to sell a product, but rather an approach.

“We’re at the crosshairs of divergent technology development working on a common platform,” explained Cameron. “We can’t, just the two of us, produce enough content to make the needle move at all. The message used to be ‘You don’t know what you’re doing, therefore you need us.’ Now the message is, ‘You know exactly what you’re doing, we will enable you to get what you want.’

Granted, the two weren’t explicit in how they were going to achieve this. They did mention some of the shiny new pieces added to their already advanced arsenal of 3-D hardware, including Shadow D, a 2-D and 3-D broadcast camera rigged together (either side- or top-mounted) able to shoot the same image in both formats at the same time, and the Shadow Control Panel, which can manage up to 40 cameras at a time.

“I just got back after five months at sea,” joked Cameron, who has been filming "Deepsea Challenge" (temporary title) about his excursion to Earth’s lowest point, the Mariana Trench, “and I didn’t even recognize the products in the booth here. All the gear we talked about last year, solutions that make sense and are profitable for the people using them, that’s all here now. We’re using a lot of untraditional technology to meet traditional needs.”

This article is related to: James Cameron, James Cameron, James Cameron, Festivals, Festivals


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.