The X: Korea Launches the World's First 270-Degree Movie
On October 28th, 2013, Variety reviewed Kim Jee-woon's 30-minute spy thriller, The X.
What makes The X unique?
According to Maggie Lee writing in Variety, it's "a string of action showpieces designed to explore the visual potential of ScreenX, a new exhibition system that provides a U-shaped, 270-degree field of vision."
The basic idea behind Screen X is to use a multi-projection system (like the original multiple-projector Cinerama from the 1950s) to deliver an immersive viewing experience to moviegoers.
How did the effect work for Variety's Maggie Lee?
"Images that are too complex, such as... [a] high-tech switchboard, can cause eyestrain when stretched across three screens. The biggest problem is not knowing where to look; by the time your eyes have found what to focus on, the image has dissolved. There’s also a marked discrepancy between the vivid image texture of the main screen and the grainier side projections. Projectors and speakers lining the adjoining walls can be distracting, although plans to embed them internally are under consideration."
Despite these problems, a number of theaters in Korea have reportedly already undergone a conversion, even though refitting a conventional theater can cost between 150 million and 200 million South Korean won (between US$139,300 and $185,800) per screening room.
And making these movies is also apparently kind of a pain: The Oct. 10th, 2013 Wall Street Journal says that to shoot The X, "over 30 people on the set had to be lined up directly behind the camera to secure an unobstructed view at one point, and lights had to be installed on cranes overhead and on the floor to avoid being shot."
Thanks to Sam Adams of indieWire for the link.