Tech Check

Avatar Hype Soars Thanks to Tech


Sunday will be a huge sports day: NFL games, Game 4 of the World Series. And now it will be a big movie and tech day as well.


There's probably no bigger blockbuster this year than James Cameron's technological showpiece called "Avatar," his first film since "Titanic," and billed as the greatest 3D tech film ever produced. Cameron's been working on this concept for 14 years, but not until computing power caught up with his concept could he actually begin the production process.

Images have been shrouded in secrecy; he and his team actually created some of their own hardware and software to make this film, which is widely expected to be the single biggest catalyst yet to bring 3D filmmaking mainstream. Not since Dreamworks' Jeffrey Katzenberg announced that all his studio's films would be 3D has an event had such a major influence on this kind of filmmaking.

Even when a chunk of this movie was being shown in theaters, it became an "event," a tough ticket to secure. The blogs went nuts. The hype is already at fever pitch.

Which leads me to Sunday. In partnership with Fox, Avatar will become an afternoon event with its own kind of Super Bowl of advertising. A 3 minute, 30 second trailer of the film will be shown on the world's biggest HD screen, the 4-sided Mitsubishi Diamond Electric monster at the new Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, TX. The screen measures 72 feet x 120 feet, stretches from 20 yard line to 20 yard line, weighs 600 tons and features 10.5 million LED lights. Stunning.

Fox will switch all its programming to it. The trailer will air during the Fox pre-game, and then shorter ads will run across all of Fox's programming through the day.

Fox estimates 1 million people will view this trailer's debut, making it the biggest trailer premiere ever.

It's about the power of the technology, not just in the film's production, but the film's advertising and distribution. The blogosphere is going nuts for this picture, and come Sunday, Fox will feed the beast another small morsel.

Let the Avatar tech hype continue.

The movie opens December 18 - while you wait, check out the trailer.

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