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'Maze Runner' Will Be First to Try Out Panoramic 'Escape' Screenings

by
August 29, 2014
Source: THR

The Maze Runer

We just got word that Wes Ball's adaptation of the young adult novel The Maze Runner will heading to IMAX theaters the same day it hits standard theaters on September 19th. But the film will also be the first to try out a new projection system that could make the big screen experience even more immersive. THR has word that digital cinema maker Barco and their new Escape projection configuration will debut to the public with a little help from The Maze Runner. The film will be the first feature that has been specifically modified to project extra elements on two other screens to the left and right of the center screen. Read on!

However, the film won't be stretched into these side screens so that you have to look in three different directions to see all the action. Instead, this is just meant to make the world of the film that much more encapsulating by extending the scenery. For example, you'll see more of the maze on the two side screens. You can get a taste of what this will be like in Barco's CinemaCon presentation right here:

Here's the list of theaters that will have The Maze Runner in the Escape format:

Cinemark 18 & XD at the Promenade at Howard Hughes Center in Los Angeles, California
Cinemark’s Redwood Downtown & XD in Redwood City, Calfornia
Cinemark Paradise 24 & XD in Davie, Florida
Cinemark Legacy Theatre & XD in Plano, Texas
Cinemark @ Seven Bridges and IMAX in Woodridge, Illinois

However, this won't necessary be the most effective way of showing off the technology because the film wasn't shot with the format in mind, and will use visual effects to extend the scenery. But that doesn't mean Fox and other studios aren't already figuring out how they can specially shoot films to take advantage of this new technology. We're hesitant to call this the future of movies, because this seems a little overwhelming to the senses. But still, this could be something that gets audiences interested in seeing movies on the big screen again instead of staying at home. Are you interested in this Escape format?

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Reader Feedback - 29 Comments

1

I'm not really impressed by their video presentation. The side screens are more distraction than enhancement. At least that's how it seems when looking at it on my computer screen.

DaveLister_JMC on Aug 29, 2014

2

I have to agree, I think I would become distracted by the additional side screens rather than immersed more into the film

cg on Aug 29, 2014

3

I promise it is pretty cool when you see it in person. It's like a diorama.

DAVIDPD on Aug 30, 2014

4

This new format is about as immersive, cool, and necessary as having a desktop background that spans two or three monitors. (Spoiler alert: it's not)

BJ Orbase on Aug 29, 2014

5

Awesome.

Xerxexx on Aug 30, 2014

6

The marketing team behind this video needs to be fired, pure garbage in my opinion. I also agree, the side screens seem like a major distraction. And what was with that music?

CShane on Aug 29, 2014

7

That music? It was sampling some of Deadmau5... I'm guessing illegally...

Kento on Aug 29, 2014

8

Ah, didn't know what Deadmau5 was, had to google it. Not my cup of tea.

CShane on Aug 29, 2014

9

Bummer. He's one of the best producers working today and his stage show is insane.

Kento on Aug 29, 2014

10

I love what Joshua Davis did for him, his work is incredible. I think they've been doing some live animations with Processing. Here's a video about the headphones they made https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5D6knnbPzk0

Carpola on Aug 30, 2014

11

You were better off not knowing.

DAVIDPD on Aug 30, 2014

12

It's just for theaters, right? It's a sales pitch for old white dudes.

DAVIDPD on Aug 30, 2014

13

Abel Gance's "Napoleon", anybody?

davidnuss on Aug 29, 2014

14

I'm going to be seeing The Maze Runner in this format next month in Redwood city. I'll be blogging about the entire thing as soon as it's over.

Kento on Aug 29, 2014

15

You're going to love it. Just be open to it.

DAVIDPD on Aug 30, 2014

16

Yeah, it doesnt look THAT cool. I think if this format were to be most effective, it would have to be utilized more innovatively with the narrative, IE, separate events happening simultaneously on more than one screen. I feel like it could be really trippy and exciting for a fast paced thriller or action film. Unfortunately, that type of film would probably need a huge budget, and in order to make back that budget, this format would have to be available for screenings all over the place, which it is not. So it will probably not happen any time soon.

jay on Aug 29, 2014

17

This sounds like a variation of Cave automatic virtual environment. Three sided CAVEs can be effective in conjunction with 3D projection. However, it cannot save poor source material. Too bad this is not at 5 sided CAVE (front, rear, left, right and top). Theater owners need to warn that kind of presentation should not be seen by people suffering from vertigo.

dandassow on Aug 29, 2014

18

Can't wait for all the upchucking stories to start coming in...

DAVIDPD on Aug 30, 2014

19

I'm hoping that BARCO has already done sufficient research regarding motion sickness / vertigo induced with this technology. Otherwise, I expect to hear about people getting sick in these theaters until the full extent of motion sickness for affected people is determined. Ironically, even veteran combat pilots have been known to get sick in dome simulators because they do not have a reference point and the visuals gives a different sense of position than what their body tells their brain.

dandassow on Aug 30, 2014

20

The times I have seen this tech implemented it has been great. But choosing the right scenes will be crucial in the future.

DAVIDPD on Aug 30, 2014

21

It's the sort of thing that would suit a more arty narrative at the moment, maybe when they can record 360 degrees in the near future it will be better. I've been doing some projection stuff like this lately with my animations being a lot less rendered and hand drawn, but it seems most people go for badly rendered 3d animations, it's strange.

Carpola on Aug 29, 2014

22

This.

Xerxexx on Aug 30, 2014

23

I think there is potential with a concept like this but the video didn't convince me it just gave me a headache. Ugh that music.

Nathan Williams on Aug 29, 2014

24

Agreed.

Xerxexx on Aug 30, 2014

25

Are they gonna have those awful black lines through the screens the whole movie? Yikes screw that mess

SkyNet300 on Aug 29, 2014

26

They way they incorporate it in ads and some films here, it works. NO BLACK BAR BS!

DAVIDPD on Aug 30, 2014

27

They've been doing this here in South Korea for awhile. Granted it is very limited and usually done for ads. I LOVE the effect it gives to the cinema.

DAVIDPD on Aug 30, 2014

28

Yikes.

Xerxexx on Aug 30, 2014

29

I got to experience this film with this format and I got to say I have mixed feelings. At times it was used veeery well, for example the very first sequence it's used in the elevator. Felt very immersive, but later in the film some shots didnt match up accurately skewing perspective and became distracting and almost nauseating. So there's definitely potential here, but make sure the film is intended to be used with such a format and not just thrown in without much thought. I have a scenic design, film, and architectural background 🙂

Steven Joseph Lopez on Oct 19, 2014

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