Holding the honor of putting on ShoWest's centerpiece luncheon was Technicolor Digital Cinema, a joint venture between Technicolor and QUALCOMM that specializes in the digital delivery of motion pictures into theatres. Undoubtedly, most in attendance were there for the meal (its oh-so-California main course merely being a grilled chicken caesar salad) and the nice goody bag (a large pleather duffle bag with a T-shirt inside) than for the hard sales pitch for the new technology (which was met with much skepticism at a post-event press conference).
That said, it afforded the opportunity to glimpse more film footage, and in crystalline digital format. The first clip was a dialogue-free ten-minute combat sequence from MGM's Windtalkers, which just intensified the buzz on the John Woo film. Many came out the luncheon calling it "Saving Private Ryan with a higher body count," a description that is not all exaggeration; simply imagine the Spielberg film's opening with the flailing and flying bullet-riddled bodies of a typical Woo actioner, and you get the idea. This was followed by a funny if brief clip from DreamWorks' computer animated feature Shrek, which would screen in its entirety later that evening; and, inexplicably, some disjointed footage from New Line's disjointed drama 15 Minutes.
The consensus opinion was that the true indication of what the digital projection system could do came in the final clip: footage from a Pink Floyd concert. One of TDC's big selling points for their technology is the that it gives exhibitors the choice to show what they call "alternative programming" on their screens: concerts, sporting events, Broadway shows. Of course, there is no evidence that a market for such programming in moviehouses exists, but without film-to-digital transfer issues (as good as the feature clips looked, it was still only a step ahead of traditional film) there was no doubt that these programs would look and sound the best on the new system.
The next major event of the day was Pepsi Cola's Tomb Raider-themed cocktail reception, which in addition to serving plenty of Pepsi also offered guests various alcoholic beverages (hence the word "cocktail" in "cocktail reception" as well as various noodle dishes and hors d'oeuvres--which is all well and good, but seeing that a number people went to this event in lieu of a formal dinner, the slim pickings were hardly satisfying. The big presentation at the event was that of the trailer for the Paramount film and the unveiling of a large Pepsi/Tomb Raider display for supermarkets and convenience stores. This big cardboard cut-out of Jolie as archaeologist Lara Croft was one of many around the Paris' Champagne Ballroom. Alas, Jolie herself was nowhere to be found.
The day's events were capped off with two screenings of a work-in-progress cut of DreamWorks and PDI's latest computer animated feature, the fairy tale satire Shrek, at the Paris Théâtre des Arts. Unlike previous nights, the two showings did not sandwich a reception of some sort; in their place were complimentary popcorn, soda, and Sour Punch Straws, plus a pair of lovely green Shrek ears that theatre ushers placed on the head of everyone in line not unlike how the new Miss Universe is crowned by the reigning queen.
However, like the Miramax presentation the night before, the SKG show began with in-person appearances by talent. The "K" in the mogul triumvirate, Jeffrey Katzenberg, came on stage without any introduction (or introducing himself), cutting straight to the chase in pushing Ivan Reitman's summer alien comedy Evolution. Stars David Duchovny, Orlando Jones, and Seann William Scott as well as director Reitman were on hand to premiere the film's new and fairly amusing trailer.
The feature presentation was preceded by a brief video primer on the animation process that explained the various stages the film was in. Not that it mattered, though--even if the film were 50% in storyboards (in reality, the film was 85% finished), the clever script and spirited voice performances alone would have secured a positive buzz.