There are what I call “Hollywood insiders” involved in the entertainment industry. These people are so well connected that they have their finger on the pulse of Hollywood the degree to which they can make accurate predictions as to what’s going to happen 6 months from now, a year from now or even 2 or 3 years down the road and beyond. President and CEO of the International 3D and Advanced Imaging Society, Jim Chabin is one of those people. It has been a while since this reporter sat down with Mr. Chabin for an exclusive Examiner.com interview so without further ado, let’s get to it.
Examiner: I have two questions. The first one takes us back to the past. The second question is in the moment. What’s happening now and what do you see happening in the future?
Let’s start with the first question. The last time we spoke, you had just formed a merger between the International 3D Society and the 3D at Home Consortium. A lot has happened between the time of that merger (around mid-August 2012) and now. Could you give us a brief overview of what’s been happening since the last time we sat down and talked?
Jim Chabin: We can start by what’s happening in the industry. 16 of the top 20 worldwide box office movies in terms of gross dollars were 3D movies last year. Only 2 movies in the last 12 months have surpassed one billion dollars at the box office and both of those were 3D movies; Ironman 3 and Frozen. Since Gravity was the number one winner of Oscars at the Academy Awards, 3D movies are increasingly now scoring critical success and economic success. So, on the movies side it’s very exciting and there are great things to come. They’re just beginning production of the next Star Wars in London. Ridley Scott’s new movie, Exodus; which is a re-telling of the story of the Ten Commandments with Christian Bale as Moses; will be out this Christmas. There are some incredibly awe-inspiring 3D effects in that film so we have a lot of great movies coming along and we have had very successful years at the box office in the past.
When it comes to television, more and more 3D sets are going into the marketplace so that if you want to watch a specific movie on a blue ray 3D movie at home, you can do that but more importantly, we are entering an age in which glasses-free TV sets are coming into the market. We’ll see them in the next two to three years [these displays are available now but are cost-prohibitive to the average consumer] and you’ll be able to watch 3D programs on your television set without even wearing 3D glasses so it’s an exciting time for 3D. In the next ten years, we’ll see an increasing number of movies and TV programs rendered in 3D.
Examiner: Since you went to the CES 2014 in Las Vegas and you just got back from the International 3D Creative Summit in London (where incidentally James Cameron encouraged his fellow filmmakers to utilize 3D). What was the big buzz at the CES and what do you see moving forward?
Jim Chabin: There’s an emerging 4K technology. You’ll hear a lot about it over the next few years. Our cameras and flat screens are getting so precise, that we are entering an age of television where the pictures will be absolutely perfect. The detail in a sports broadcast will be amazing. Movies will be as bright, colorful and brilliant as you see in the movie theater. This new 4K technology is moving into the marketplace. The next generation of television sets will be ultra-high-def, retinal quality 4K flat screens and it’s going to be an exciting time for television when the image you see on the screen will be just as perfect as looking out of a window.
Examiner: This writer has known Jim Chabin for nearly 5 years and I’ve come to realize that his predictions about the future of 3D and digital imaging have always been spot on.