August 21, 2009
There's been talk of making 3D restorations of formerly 2D films for some time now. Apparently, the technology exists that makes it a possibility. Well, the first film to be hit with the new process is George Romero's public domain classic "Night of the Living Dead." And the premiere takes place in October.
PassmoreLab saysthe film's 3D conversion is complete and its world premiere is now set. San Diego based 3D producer PassmoreLab, in conjunction with the Johnny Ramone Army, has confirmed that the World Premiere of the movie will take place at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles on Saturday, October 3, 2009, as a part of the 5th Annual Johnny Ramone Tribute.
"Johnny was a huge horror movie buff, and 'Night of the Living Dead' was one of his top ten horror film favorites of all time. We've started a tradition screening some of Johnny's favorite movies, paired in a double feature with vintage Ramones concerts each year at the annual tribute," said John Cafiero, Chief of Staff of the Johnny Ramone Army. "We are working with PassmoreLab on another project, and it was just great timing and a perfect fit to show 'Night of the Living Dead 3D' for the very first time at the tribute. You couldn't ask for a better setting… It's going to be spectacular."
"Night of the Living Dead", originally shot in black and white over 40 years ago, was painstakingly restored, colorized and converted, frame by frame into full 3D using Passmorelab's proprietary technology. The process, which took over 12 months to complete at a cost greater than the film's original production budget, was no small feat.
"I am a huge fan of this movie, and so it had to be done with complete precision," said Greg Passmore, president of PassmoreLab. "We love the genre and as cult classics go, this is mother of them all. If you are going to convert a horror classic, this is the one you want to see in 3D."
"Night of the Living Dead" is perhaps one of the greatest low budget cult movies ever made and is certainly one of the most influential. Its brutally harrowing documentary-style shooting can be seen in many latter-day films including "The Blair Witch Project" and "Cloverfield", which earned hundreds of millions of dollars worldwide, respectively.
"Night of the Living Dead" was #9 on Bravo's 100 Scariest Movie Moments and #4 on Johnny Ramone's top ten list of horror movies. In 2001, the American Film Institute (AFI) named the film to a list of 100 important thrillers.
"We think fans of the film, young and old, will really like zombies in 3D," said Steve Glum, PassmoreLab's head of Branding & Distribution. "For the purists out there, this is the original film, converted into 3D for everyone to enjoy again, but now in 3D for the first time. The fact that we are premiering it at the cemetery will just add to the history of the film and its enduring legacy as one of the greatest of all time."
The World Premiere of "Night of the Living Dead 3D" and the Johnny Ramone Tribute event are open to the public for a $10 per person minimum donation entrance fee with net proceeds benefiting the Johnny Ramone prostate cancer research fund at USC Westside Prostate Cancer Center lead by Dr. David Agus. Gates for the event will open at 5:30pm, and picnic dinners, drinks (including alcohol), pillows, blankets and small chairs are permitted. Attendees of the event will get free commemorative 3D glasses upon entering. Celebrity guest speakers will be in attendance and autograph signings will be scheduled with sole surviving founding member, Ramones drummer & producer Tommy Ramone, and youngest member CJ Ramone. Rare memorabilia will be exhibited along with an art show (curated by Barbara Ramone), of original paintings by the legendary Ramones bassist Dee Dee Ramone, who will receive special homage at the event, as well. Opening featurettes include animated music videos from the Johnny Ramone Army and Osaka Popstar, presented for the first time anywhere in 3D by PassmoreLab. The evening concludes with a vintage Ramones concert shot in 1977 entitled "Its Alive" and the world premiere of "Night of the Living Dead 3D".
"Johnny felt this movie was shot amazingly and looked genuinely scary," said Linda Ramone, wife of the legendary guitarist. "He would have been thrilled that the 3D version of the original 'Night of the Living Dead' had its world premiere at his tribute. He loved horror movies and he loved the polarized 3D exhibits, so experiencing one of his favorite films that way is something Johnny would have really enjoyed. It's perfect for the event."
"Night of the Living Dead 3D" can be seen in selected US theatres and in wide release in 3D theaters in Europe, starting in October. "Night of the Living Dead 3D" will be available in anaglyph DVD on Amazon.com by Christmas, and a 3D TV version will be available when 3D BluRay becomes commercially available.
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