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Universal Pictures Hosts Special Digital Premiere Screening of Jurassic Park III

Universal's First Digital Release Features Cross-Industry Support & Kicks Off World's First Single-Server, Multi-Screen Presentations (July 17, 2001)
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(TM) digital cinema server at different times to different screens on independent Christie DigiPro digital cinema projection systems.

"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 Leoni, Alessandro Nivola, Trevor Morgan and Michael Jeter. Steven Spielberg is the executive producer.

About the Companies

Universal Pictures is a unit of Universal Studios (
a part of CANAL+, the TV and Film division of Vivendi Universal, a new global leader in media and communications.

Whether online or on the air, the Emmy award-winning Grass Valley Group, a privately held digital media leader, has the hardware, software, and new media technologies to get content wherever it needs to go. For the latest Grass Valley Group product information visit

Christie Digital Systems Inc. makes cinema come alive with the DigiPro -- the industry's preferred choice for digital cinema projection. Chosen as the first DLP Cinema(TM) licensee, Christie is an established leader in digital cinema projection technology with more than 70 years of expertise in providing film projection technology to the cinema industry. To learn more about the advantages of digital cinema projection, please visit

Loews Cineplex Entertainment Corporation is one of the largest theatre exhibition companies in terms of revenues and operating cash flow, with 2,489 screens in 282 locations as of May 31, 2001, primarily in major cities throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. Loews Cineplex Entertainment Corporation operates theatres under the Loews and Cineplex Odeon names. In addition, the Company is a partner in Magic Johnson Theatres, Star Theatres, Universal Studios, Yelmo Cineplex de Espana, De Laurentiis Cineplex d'Italia, and Megabox Cineplex of Korea.

Sunset Digital Studios, a leader in digital cinema mastering, is renowned for delivering world-class creative and technical film and video postproduction services in a variety of media and all types of data, to the Hollywood entertainment industry. For everything you ever wanted to know about Sunset, visit

The THX Division of Lucasfilm Ltd. is dedicated to achieving superior presentation quality in theatres and homes through its unique certification program and digital services. The THX Theatre Program works with the exhibition and post-production community around the world to deliver the ultimate cinema experience by building certified theatres that adhere to comprehensive and proprietary THX standards. Most recently, THX has extended this unique expertise into the emerging Digital Cinema marketplace and now offers a menu of solutions designed to help leading edge distributors and exhibitors enter the new world of Digital Cinema presentation.

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Related Keywords:filmmaking, presentation, MPEG


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