nWave Pictures is Producing on Fly Me To The Moon,
nWave Pictures, one of the world’s largest suppliers of stereoscopic entertainment, has begun production on Fly Me To The Moon, the first computer-animated feature film to be conceived, designed and created in 3D. Directed by nWave co-founder Ben Stassen, Fly Me To The Moon centers on three tween-aged flies who buck the conventional wisdom that “dreamers get swatted…” and stow aboard the Apollo 11 flight to the moon. The film is a funny, heart-warming journey that includes a thrilling, edge-of-your-seat ride alongside astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins.
Fly Me To The Moon is the first feature length animated film conceived and created as a 3D experience. “Recent advances in computer technology make it possible to convert 2D films to 3D,” says nWave chairman, Eric Dillens. “However, while converted films like Chicken Little and Monster House will be crucial to spurring the development of digital 3D theaters, to fully utilize the potential of 3D cinema, you must design and produce a film differently than you would a 2D film. It’s a different medium. It involves more than just adding depth and perspective to a 2D image. There’s a very strong physical component to authentic 3D,” Stassen adds.
Stassen speaks from experience as nWave has produced nearly one quarter of all films ever made in 3D IMAX™, including 3D Mania: Encounter In The Third Dimension, Wild Safari 3D and Haunted Castle. “Haunted Castle has attracted a half-million people to one venue in Berlin. It wasn’t because of the cast or the script. It was the experience of 3D.” nWave’s films have generated over $150 million in grosses in less than 150 theaters, without the benefit of big stars or major marketing support. “That’s a clear indication of 3D cinema’s appeal,” says Stassen.
nWave Pictures’ entry into feature filmmaking comes at a time when the industry is recognizing the value of 3D digital projection to attract audiences to theaters. Along with the industry’s recent adoption of specifications for digital cinema have come 3D film announcements from blockbuster directors George Lucas, James Cameron and Robert Zemeckis. “These are very encouraging signs that Hollywood is starting to pay attention to the 3D revival spreading worldwide through the giant screen theater network,” observes Stassen. The Polar Express benefited from a great 3D IMAX™ version, which generated over $40 million of the film’s $283 million worldwide grosses on only 64 screens. That is phenomenal. It won’t take long for exhibitors to see 3D as a formidable draw against home theater competition.”
By summer 2007, when Fly Me To The Moon is ready for release, “there will be hundreds, maybe thousands, of digital 3D theaters worldwide capable of showing authentic 3D along with over 200 IMAX™ theaters.
Stassen expects that distributors’ interest in 3D will grow exponentially as 3D films from Robert Rodriguez, Zemeckis and Cameron arrive in the next couple of years. “It’s a natural evolution”, says Stassen. “While we are not suggesting that every feature film released in the future will be in 3D, the pressure to create event movies in stereo will increase once audiences get a taste of good 3D presentations in their local multiplex”.