Taking the evolving digital cinema industry the next step, Universal
Pictures® this evening will host a special Digital Premiere
screening at Loews Universal Studios Cinemas of Jurassic Park III®
— the Studio's first major motion picture release in the digital cinema
format. Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment hosted the World
Premiere of Jurassic Park III Monday evening at the Universal Amphitheatre.
Tonight's Digital Premiere is the result of a standards-based,
cross-industry effort including a group of technology and cinema industry
leaders. The Grass Valley Group® provided the digital cinema
server technology; Christie Digital Systems provided the DigiPro digital
projectors; Sunset Digital handled the film-to-digital transfer of Jurassic
Park III using Christie's DigiPro, and THX installed the digital master in
the theater and is overseeing the sound and picture quality at each of the
other theaters participating in the Universal digital cinema field trials.
Kicking off the digital engagement of Jurassic Park III at the Loews
Universal Studios Cinemas, the first digital presentation at the theater,
tonight's event will also initiate the industry's first multi-channel
presentations of feature-length digital cinema content using a single server
to transmit to two independent digital projectors. While previous digital
presentations have featured multiple servers routing the same signals to
different theaters, Jurassic Park III will play off of a single,
multi-channel Grass Valley™ digital cinema server at different times to
different screens on independent Christie DigiPro digital cinema projection
"This is an industry first," said Jerry Pierce, Senior Vice President,
Technologies for Universal Pictures. "This type of architecture is viewed as
an essential component for widespread adoption of the system."
Driving for interoperability between digital cinema equipment
manufacturers, all equipment used in the Jurassic Park III digital premiere
supports MPEG+ constant quality compression based on the MPEG2 standard that
offers very high-quality images and that can scale to varying bit rates and
file sizes. This will mark the first time that MPEG, the preferred format
for many consumer applications, including DVD, has been used for a major
motion picture release.
Potentially lowering capital expenditures required for digital cinema,
the Universal Studios digital premiere today also supports the emerging
Digital Theatre Interim Mastering Format (DTIM), an interchange format which
enables one digital master to be played on multiple projectors from
different manufacturers and is suitable for digital cinema field trials.
Designed to be supported within current post production system
architectures, the DTIM sets the resolution of how images are captured off
film, and ensures that proper color spaces are defined so that the final
product is true to the original material.
"I believe that emerging digital cinema systems and technologies are
beginning to show promise," said Pierce. "We also see the promise of the
MPEG and DTIM standards, and innovative technology, such as single-server,
multi-channel-based digital presentation."
Jurassic Park III continues the series that began with Jurassic Park and
The Lost World: Jurassic Park. Directed by Joe Johnston and produced by
Kathleen Kennedy and Larry Franco, the film stars Sam Neill, William H.
Macy, Tea Léoni, Alessandro Nivola, Trevor Morgan and Michael Jeter. Steven
Spielberg is the executive producer.