At a screening during yesterday’s ShoWest convention–it’s the movie-industry’s yearly hypefest, with more trumped-up awards than the AMAs–audience members got to see a few minutes of U2 3D, the 90-minute concert film that was shot last year in South America. Its producers claim that the movie is the first to be shot and exhibited entirely in 3-D, and they promise that Adam Clayton’s never-changing smirk will be in your lap the whole time. But U2 3D poses a problem for die-hard audiophiles:
Ironically, the quality of the 3-D picture in “U2 3D” may reveal a whole new set of challenges for cinema owners, warned sound maven Michael Leader, prexy of Leader Cinema. “Cinema sound systems are not up to what we just experienced,” Leader told Daily Variety after the “U2 3D” preview.
He said that current theater sound systems don’t even play back all of what’s on typical movie soundtracks, especially in the bass, and don’t have anything close to the dynamic range needed to properly play rock-concert films. “You need a Formula One racing engine in your sound system to do this,” Leader said.
Pumping up the volume on the bass would also exacerbate problems with sound leaking between theaters in multiplexes, he said.
All M/A/R/R/S jokes aside, better sound systems could be a boon to the music industry, which for the last few years has been making some on-the-side cash by exhibiting concerts from the likes of Prince, Green Day, and Bon Jovi; if more movie theaters decide to upgrade, then there will be plenty of screens available to exhibit Rod Stewart and his latest assortment of jukebox warbles.
ShoWest gets peek at ‘U2′ [Variety]