Two San Diego production companies, Legend Films and PassmoreLab, are teaming up to convert the cult classic “Night of the Living Dead” into 3-D.
The project marks the first time a full-length feature film has been converted, according to Legend Films, which owns the rights to the colorized version of the 1968 George Romero thriller.
The release date is April 1.
Legend will do a theatrical release in Europe and a limited release in the United States. It will also be issued on DVD in addition to a download on Rifftrax.com. Rifftrax, owned by Legend Films, pairs movies with a comical commentary by former “Mystery Science Theater 3000” stars Mike Nelson, Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy.
The two companies plan to produce 3-D commercials to accompany the release.
“When you’re sitting in a theater watching a 3-D movie, you’re not going to want to watch 2-D commercials,” said Barry Sandrew, Legend Films founder and chief operating officer. “When people walk out of the theater, they’ll be talking about the commercials as much as the films , like the Super Bowl commercials.”
Sandrew says technological improvements are spawning a resurgence of 3-D offerings.
Instead of wearing green and red lenses that zap color, viewers of modern 3-D films use polarized or LCD glasses.
The conversion of a feature film can cost between $1 million and $7 million.
“A lot of 3-D movies are coming out by DreamWorks and all the major studios,” he said. “They are committed to producing 3-D films, which will be released along with the 2-D counterpart.”
Legend Films adapted 3-D conversion technology from its digital colorization process that takes apart a frame pixel by pixel. PassmoreLab, which also developed 3-D conversion software, handles the postproduction 3-D work.
Legend Films, which has 24 employees in San Diego and 240 in India, specializes in restoring and colorizing classic films for DVD, HDTV and theaters. The company says it has restored and colorized 120 feature films in the past five years, including “It’s a Wonderful Life” for Paramount Pictures and “Holiday Inn” for Universal Pictures.
“We add value to existing entertainment by colorization or 3-D (conversion) , or Rifftrax making fun of them,” Sandrew said.
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And The Winners Are:
Connect, a nonprofit technology and life sciences accelerator, recently bestowed its 21st annual Most Innovative New Products Awards to nine companies.
The 2008 winners were chosen among 100 candidates. This round marked the first tie. Connect also added two categories this time: Action and Sport Technologies, and Aerospace and Security Technologies, bringing the number of categories to eight.
Firewire Surfboards won the Action and Sport Technologies slot with its Direct Drive surfboard, designed with environmentally friendly materials that yield a lighter, stronger and more flexible surfboard.
Two companies tied in the Aerospace and Security Technologies category. Avaak’s Vue Personal Video Network and General Atomics’ Sky Warrior Block Zero Unmanned Aircraft System received equal votes. Avaak’s wireless video system allows users to monitor homes or businesses from virtually anywhere. General Atomics’ unmanned aircraft provides long-range surveillance and tactical strike capability for the U.S. Army.
In the Clean Technology space, Reaction Design won for its Energico software solution that tests in a virtual environment the performance of low-emission power generation and transportation engines.
In Hardware and General Technology, Semtek won for its Cipher Module, a security platform to address credit card fraud.
In the Life Science-Diagnostics and Research Tools category, Silicon Kinetics won for SKi Pro, the world’s first 3-D platform that allows researchers to see how drugs interact on a molecular level.
In Life Science/Medical Products, Ablation Frontiers grabbed top honors for its Catheter Ablation System, which improves the treatment of atrial fibrillation, an abnormal heart rhythm.
In Software & IT, Photometria won for Taaz.com, a realistic virtual makeover site where visitors can try makeup and hairstyles from home.
In Wireless Communications, Mushroom Networks won for PortaBella, a wireless broadband tool that delivers one of the fastest available mobile Internet connections.
Send technology news items to Ned Randolph at firstname.lastname@example.org.