This week, on Thursday 11 September, the Toronto International Film Festival is staging the first public showing of UFOTOG, an experimental sci-fi adventure film written and directed by Trumbull. At the event – which will be moderated by Scott Feinberg – Trumbull will also deliver a keynote speech about the creation of the film.
UFOTOG is designed to showcase MAGI – a new combination of technologies that will, Trumbull believes, take motion pictures to the next level and compete with the various technologies threatening to draw audiences away from conventional theatrical presentations.
“Younger audiences are enjoying the benefits of low cost and convenience via downloading and streaming, causing tidal shifts in the entertainment industry, and particularly in theatrical exhibition. Theaters must offer an experience that is so powerful and overwhelming that people will see the reward of going out to a movie.” – Doug Trumbull
Trumbull is no stranger to stretching the boundaries of cinema. After supervising the groundbreaking visual effects of 2001: A Space Odyssey, he went on to develop Showscan, a 60fps film process which, had it taken off, would have brought high frame rates to theaters nearly thirty years before Peter Jackson managed it with The Hobbit.
UFOTOG was shot on a combined laboratory/stage/studio, with 120fps 4K 3D live action being staged inside virtual environments, and the results being relayed to a large screen adjacent to the shooting space.
MAGI isn’t just about high frame rates. According to the Trumbull Studios press release, UFOTOG “explores a new cinematic language that invites the audience to experience a powerful sense of immersion”. In collaboration with Christie Digital and Dolby Laboratories, Trumbull aims to transform the theatrical experience by improving screen size, image brightness, atmospheric sound and the effectiveness of 3D, as well as optimising the colour saturation and dynamic range of the projected image.
“We are exploring and discover a new landscape of audience excitement and do it inexpensively and quickly – we are pushing the envelope to condense movie production time, intending to make films at a fraction of current blockbuster costs, yet with a much more powerful result on the screen.” – Doug Trumbull
Watch the teaser trailer for UFOTOG: