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Old 07-18-2008   #1
The Kipnis Studios
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Redding, CT USA
Posts: 203
Exclamation Warner Bros. new movie policy — everything will be released in 4K!

Warner Bros. is to release its films in 4K. “It is
Warner Bros. policy — everything will be released in
4K,” says Spencer Stephens, vice president and
general manager of Motion Picture Imaging at
Warner Bros.
The Warner Bros. 4K facility is already making life
easier for film-makers as they move to the higher
quality 4K d-cinema standard. 4K images contain
four times the information of 2K.
Feature films, says Stephens, are being
distributed through the Digital Cinema Initiatives
(DCI) standard, which allows the picture to be played
on both 4K and 2K projectors. A cinema can take the
same version of a film, whether it has 4K or 2K
projectors. Either way, research shows that
audiences prefer watching a movie on a digital
projector than a 35mm film projector, allowing a title
to make more money when shown digitally.
But, says Stephens, audiences would rather watch
in 4K. “People prefer to watch in 4K than 2K.”
Stephens says the human eye can start seeing the
pixels in a 2K picture when they are sitting at a
distance from the screen that is less than three
times the height of the screen. You can get a lot
closer to a 4K picture without the picture being
compromised, which makes the 4K experience more
enjoyable. “Over here (in the US), all new theatres
have stadium seating, where the audience is closer
to the screen and the screen is a lot bigger,”
Stephens explains.
British-born Stephens heads up the Warner Bros.
4K production facility in Los Angeles, which has
pioneered the 4K pipeline for
making movies. The facility is run as a
commercial operation and attracts work
from other top studios in Hollywood as well
as Warner Bros. It also remasters classics
for the Blu-ray market. For instance, it
recently restored The Godfather Parts I, II
and III for Paramount. “It now looks
absolutely phenomenal,” says Stephens.
“4K is the future, there are absolutely so
many reasons for it. One of them is that
there is not much difference between 2K
and HD and most people who want to go to
the cinema, want to have a better user
experience than at home.
“The work we do is 4K end-to-end,” he
adds. “Whether it starts out as film or a
digital 4K camera, we scan at 4K and have a
complete 4K digital pipeline. Some people
have a pipeline where they scan at 2K, but if
you up-res from 2K to 4K, 75 per cent of the
pixels have been guessed at by the
computer. At 4K, you can keep all the
original resolution.”
The industry, he says, is starting to accept
the logic of 4K. “I think some film-makers
are getting it. It depends to some extent
what camera you shoot with, how it is set up
and what the DoP thinks of it.”
It does not have to cost more to create a
4K movie, he says. “It is a myth about the
cost of 4K. We built a 4K pipeline three years
ago from the ground up so, from our point
of view, it is the same cost as 2K.
“The only thing is how long you have to
stay on the scanner. It takes maybe three
times longer to scan a film to 4K. But, so
what? You can leave it running. Otherwise,
there are no other cost differences.”

- 4k Cine Alta Newsletter (Summer 2008)
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Jeremy

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