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AEG Live and Action 3D will bring a series of concerts shot on HD 3D to theaters

MovieMusicby Eli Reyes

Dave Matthews Band

Why wait in line for hours to stand in an ocean of sweaty unbathed concert goers, while paying for overpriced drinks and food, just to see a band play live? Why not sit in a theater to watch that band in HD 3D... with a bunch of unbathed theater patrons, while paying for overpriced candy and popcorn?

AEG Live and Action 3D have partnered to produce a series of filmed concert events shot on HD 3D slated to be released theatrically in 3D for limited, one-week engagements. The first film to roll out will be the Dave Matthews Band headlined show, Larger Than Life...in 3D Featuring the Dave Matthews Band, Ben Harper and Relentless7 and Gogol Bordello. The film uses footage shot at the three-day Austin City Limits festival in October and will be released  on December 11th by Cinedigm Entertainment on 300-400 digital cinema screens in the U.S.

According to Network Live(a division of AEG Live) president John Rubey, the Dec. 11 release date was chosen to take advantage of the window between the release of 3D tentpoles Disney's Nov. 6 release of A Christmas Carol, and James Cameron's "Avatar," which hits cinemas Dec. 18 -- I assume he means the use of the limited amount of 3D capable theaters, and not that fans of those films will rush out to see this just because it's in 3D.

Variety reports of the partnership:

AEG claims to have the largest library of 3D music concert content, which, in addition to Matthews, includes a number of leading artists currently in negotiation with the producer. It has already been reported that AEG filmed several 3D live sets of Phish from Festival 8 in Indio, Calif., in late October. According to Rubey, the company plans to roll out "best of" edition from Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits as followups to the Matthews feature in 2010.

Since partnering in the spring, AEG and Action 3D have already compiled footage from 56 artists from five different festivals, with the goal of upping that figure to 150 artists in 2010. The strategy has been to pinpoint fests like Lollapalooza, All Points West and Austin City Limits, allowing the filmmakers to film multiple artists over the course of one event.


"Our goal was to mimic a concert," Rubey explined, likening the Matthews film to U2 3D, the first live-action digital 3D film. Released in 2008, U2 3D was cultivated from footage of the band's 2006 Vertigo tour, and took more than a year to complete. The Matthews footage on the other hand, was shot Oct. 3 and will hit the screens in December.

U2 3D and Fly Me to the Moon are the only strictly 3D released films to date, and neither did well at the box office domestically-- U2 3D making only $10 million in the U.S. Opting for a mixed 2D/3D release has faired better for other 3D concert releases, with Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: The Best of Both Worlds($65 million, U.S), and The Jonas Brother: The 3D Concert Experience($19 million, U.S.). AEG has also seen high returns for the Sony's 2D concert release Michael Jackson's This Is It, which has raked in $186 million worldwide.

I don't think there's a replacement for seeing a band in person. The energy and the electricity in the air just isn't the same. The idea that everyone around you is experiencing this one event in thousands of different and unique perspectives is something a camera can't capture. But when ya can't afford the high-priced concert tickets, I guess it's a fair compromise.

What do you think of more 3D concerts hitting theaters for limited releases?

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