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A 3-D Imax Super Bowl

This is pretty cool. NFL Films and a production company called Cobalt Entertainment are going to be capturing Super Bowl XXXVIII in 3-D for viewing in Imax theaters next year:

NFL Films, a part of the National Football League, has been gathering awards for its cinematography since the 1960's. But in repeated discussions since the early 1990's about shooting in Imax format or with various 3-D systems, the company had always said no. Among other issues, the cameras were too bulky to get close to the field without possibly hurting a player, and without compromising the cinematic intimacy that has long been a hallmark of NFL Films.

"These sorts of projects have been pitched to us for 10 years, but the equipment was never there," Steve Sabol, the president of NFL Films, said in a telephone interview. "It was big and bulky and it was dangerous to put on the sidelines. It was cost-prohibitive, too."

"But the technology has gotten to the point now where we feel we can give this a shot, and it's exciting to do things that have never been done before," he added. " ...

The plan is to use the scenes shot [at the NFC Championship game in] Philadelphia and Houston to make a short trailer or preview...

NFL Films hopes that the league will use the trailer over the summer to interest corporate sponsors and mainstream film studios in the project, with an eye toward shooting a feature-length 3-D Imax film over the course of next season. Such a film could be released around the start of the 2005 season.

I'd like to be on the sidelines for an NFL game someday. Pending that, this sounds like the next best thing.

Also note that the Carolina Panthers will appear in all the shots in the trailer, since they played in the NFC Championship and moved on to the Super Bowl. That worked out nicely!

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