Music video may never look the same again, thanks to an agreement that brings together Interscope Geffen A&M Records — home to Dr. Dre, Eminem, U2, Gwen Stefani, 50 Cent, Sheryl Crow, Pussycat Dolls and many others — and Academy Award-winning director James Cameron. Using new digital technology, Interscope and Cameron plan to produce 3-D presentations of everything from music videos to concerts, commercials to stage musicals.
“Jimmy Iovine and I instinctively gravitated together on this because we both believe that music and media are changing, and we want to be at the cutting edge,” said James Cameron. “We want to provide audiences with a more intense musical experience. 3-D amplifies everything, it puts you closer to your favorite artists than you ever imagined. What we’re doing can redefine the relationship between music and visual media.”
Cameron wrote, directed and produced Terminator 2: Judgment Day and Titanic, the highest-grossing film in history.
The venture is all-encompassing, from 3-D commercials to be shown before concert films to a circuit of 600-1,000 movie theaters that will regularly show the productions; from selling subscriptions to a series of 3-D concerts to merchandising that includes music artists designing their own 3-D glasses that viewers may take home with them to use for subsequent screenings.
3-D content will be shot using the Fusion digital stereo camera system, developed by Cameron with Vincent Pace. The cameras duplicate human vision, putting the audience on stage with the performers. Music concerts in particular will be experienced in theaters like never before. The first concert is expected to be released theatrically within six months.
“We’re always looking for ways to improve the experience of music,” said Jimmy Iovine, Chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M Records. “When I saw what James Cameron was doing with his dedication and wizardry to the 3D platform, it seemed like the perfect combination for us to do some groundbreaking work.”
The project was launched last year after Gwen Stefani’s “Wind It Up” video was filmed in 3-D alongside the released version. That unreleased test video so impressed Iovine that he decided to join forces with Cameron, who will provide 3-D production expertise as well as proprietary equipment, while Interscope offers its artists and music expertise.
“To bring people back to movie theaters you have to do something different,” said Kirkwood, who has produced such films as Rocky, The Idolmaker, The Pope Of Greenwich Village and Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ as well as, with Iovine, the current HBO music interview series “Off The Record” hosted by Dave Stewart. “Ticket prices, for movies and for concerts, are high. You have to give people their money’s worth. This new 3-D format gives them both an amazing concert experience and an amazing film experience. This really is a new form of entertainment.”