The Establishing Shot: Titanic 3D World Premiere at The Royal Albert Hall WAS BREATHTAKING WITH FLAWLESS 3D - EVENT REPORT

Posted by Craig Grobler on Google+ On Thursday, April 05, 2012

Last week I was fortunate enough to attend the World Premiere of James Cameron’s Titanic 3D. If you remember I was lucky enough to take the lady along to one of the special Valentine’s screenings of Titanic 3D back in February - which you can read about here! But the opportunity to see a modern masterpiece screened in the stately surroundings of The Royal Albert Hall on what would surely be the pinnacle of 3D projection units was too good to pass up.

In the lead up to the premiere there was little to no fanfare - that combined with James Cameron being on an Avatar 2 inspired research mission to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, the deepest part of the world’s oceans around the same time as the premiere, led me to believe that this would be a fairly low key affair.

How wrong I was, as low key in this case turned out to mean dignified yet epic, very much in line with what one would expect from the world premiere of the epic romantic disaster film that won 11 Academy Awards and held the position of highest grossing film of all time for 12 years until Cameron’s Avatar knocked it off its pedestal. As it turns out after completing his record-breaking dive, James Cameron stepped out of his tiny one man submersible and made his way to London for the premiere.

The Establishing Shot: Titanic 3D World Premiere takes over Kensington by Craig Grobler

In contrast we made our way to the Royal Albert Hall on what must have been the sunniest and most pleasant days of the year so far. Turning the corner into the back road of The Royal Albert Hall, the full scale of the premiere dawned on me as we could see that Titanic 3D had taken over the Albertopolis part of South Kensington. With the end of Prince Consort Road and the entire stretch of majestic south stairs of the Albert Hall covered in Red Carpet and surrounded by crowds that came along to take participate in the World Premiere of Titanic 3D.

We made our way along the Red Carpet spotting stars; Billy Zane, Kate Winslet and legendary Composer James Horner being interviewed by Alex Zane before heading to the Spitfire to freshen up before the screening.

We were uncharacteristically early which allowed me to go into the almost empty Royal Albert Hall and take a moment to appreciate its glorious space and unique design. I highly recommend that if you are visiting London you add “experience the acoustics of a live event at The Royal Albert Hall” to your check list. It is pretty spectacular.

All too soon the hall filled up and host Alex Zane took to the stage to introduce the biggest surprise of the evening - Academy Award Winning composer James Horner had composed a melody from the score of Titanic especially for the evening and we were treated to a special live performance of the haunting Titanic score accompanied by Norwegian opera star Sissel Kyrkjebo, a full orchestra and choir. Apologies in advance for the quality of the video below.

     The Establishing Shot: The Titanic 3D World Premiere at The Royal Albert Hall with James Horner 

I have to say it was quite the privilege experiencing Mr Horner’s work live, as it has been on my list of things to do for a while, and hearing him at The Royal Albert Hall conducting the Titanic score was a once in a life time experience. The live performance set the tone for what was to come shortly.

After 20th Century Fox CEO & Co-chairmen Jim Gianopulos & Tom Rothman welcomed us to The Royal Albert Hall and gave us a short introduction to Titanic 3D, long time Cameron collaborator and Co Producer Jon Landau took to the stage to welcome and reunite the cast and team behind Titanic together again after 15 years. Kate Winslet, Bill Paxton, Billy Zane, Frances Fisher, Bernard Hill, Suzy Amis-Cameron, James Horner and finally James Cameron were all welcomed onto the stage where Cameron thanked all involved for making Titanic what it is.

Sadly the short introductions were over and the show began. If you read my review of Titanic 3D you know how wonderful I thought it was. You may also know that I’m an aficionado of Cameron’s earlier works and that back in 1996 the romantic Titanic was not really high on my list of films to see, but like everyone else that experienced the magic from kids to grand parents, it won me over. 

There is much to like about Titanic and it really needs a much longer piece to expound upon its many virtues, but one scene epitomises Titanic for me. I was struck just how wonderful the scene where third class Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) is seated at the first class table for dinner, and the balance of the relationship dynamics shifts. It is sublime. And as with one of my previous favourite Cameron films where the lead - Arnold Schwarzenegger - embodies not only the physical aspects but almost prophetically his 'never quit' attitude, Leonardo Di Caprio is Jack and this scene at the table, in face of a daunting odds he sways the mood and wins our hearts forever sealing in our minds that Jack/Leonardo is going places, making the ending all the more tragic

Video: Titanic 3D "First class dinner" clip - In Cinemas April 6

Something else that was blatantly obvious from this screening was just how flawless the 3D conversion is. I mention this as - if you read my earlier review of Titanic I point out that that juddering speed blur thing that occurs in some fast motion 3D scenes. Well there was none of that in this screening. It was almost a different film entirely.

I managed to catch up with Producer Jon Landau after the screening and explore this a bit further. I initially assumed that a special 3D set up possibly with higher frame rate functionality was the reason that the film was so smooth.
But Jon Landau was quick to let me know that there wasn’t anything special about the 3D projection unit and rather the Valentine’s version I had seen was not a completed version of Titanic 3D.
The 3D conversion of Titanic is flawless with James Cameron applying his perfectionist eye for detail to ensure that Titanic 3D is a landmark in 3D technology. With Titanic 3D I believe James Cameron has put his (or the studio's) money where his mouth is and shown just how good a 3D conversion can actually be - if the appropriate sensibilities and attention are applied. It is also a challenge to other film-makers to use 3D correctly and should serve as a case study for anyone wishing to undertake a conversion of their films into 3D.
The Establishing Shot: Titanic 3D World Premiere at The Royal Albert Hall - Star Bill Paxton by Craig Grobler
As I said in earlier review the remastered visuals are as fresh as the day they were made, the 3D is state of the Art but the story is still King of the Titanic and with the sobs and teary eyes in the auditorium that night I know I’m not the only one that felt that way.

Thank you 20th Century Fox for a never-to-be repeated evening.

Slideshow: Titanic 3D World Premiere at The Royal Albert Hall

Titanic 3D release date: 6 April 2012

James Cameron's Titanic is an epic, action-packed romance set against the ill-fated maiden voyage of the R.M.S. Titanic, the pride and joy of the White Star Line and, at the time, the largest moving object ever built. She was the most luxurious liner of her era -- the 'ship of dreams' -- which ultimately carried over 1,500 people to their death in the ice cold waters of the North Atlantic in the early hours of April 15, 1912.

Director:  James Cameron
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane


1 Comment
  1. Mformartian said

    I am a huge fan of James Horner and Sissel. I have learnt that James conducted an orchestral piece at the premiere. Would you mind to upload the whole performance of them?
    Thanks a lot!

    Posted on 8 August 2013 at 22:05


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