ScreenX is here!
What is it?
There you have it, ScreenX has landed. The latest in cinema technology, allowing cinemas to project movies in up to 270°, immersing you in the movies.
How do they do it?
So the cinema had to raise the roof slightly, fitting four projectors to steel girders above. The four projectors are aimed at the side walls, two for each wall. The walls are covered with a special fabric which holds the image. At certain points throughout the film (bear in mind it’s not 100% of the film), the side screens begin to show extended images down the side of the cinema.
The Good Bits
Immersion within a movie is truly fantastic. You can see from the above video that it really puts you into the action. There’s stuff going on all around you, allowing you to look beyond what you would normally see on the centre screen.
When there’s movement on the screen, you really do feel the sweeping movement of the cameras as the room literally feels like it’s moving, without inducing any kind of nausea.
One thing I also REALLY liked, which someone I was with didn’t realise had happened, was that the images on the Side Screens were different in some parts of the films. So in The Nun that I saw in Preview, there’s a moment where a character is trapped in a coffin and is going crazy trying to get out. The two side images switched away from just being extensions of the screen and showed other images, which really conveyed the madness the character on screen was experiencing. This could be used to very good effect down the line in other films.
And finally, one good effect is when the Side Screens are not being used, then all of a sudden turn on. This was used in The Nun to great effect during a couple of the jump scares when those screens suddenly came on just as the action on the main screen made the necessary horror-style scare.
The Bad Bits
Here we go. Unfortunately there are a few…
Firstly, with two projectors on each side of the screen, naturally you are going to have some overlap of the two images that are being projected onto the wall. Because of this, when the side screens are not in use, there is a band of light down the middle of the side walls. I noticed it instantly and it was a little off-putting once I knew it was there. However, once the film is being projected onto those screens, you do lose a lot of that overlap light, but The Nun is a dark film…so it was still noticable.
Secondly, the brightness of the side screens seems a little turned down from the main screen, meaning the image can be noticeably different.
Thirdly we weren’t quite sat in the centre of the screen. Because of this, the right hand wall was much closer to us than the left side was. It actually made it fairly hard to see some of the action on the wall closer to us, and the angle of it can be a little annoying. However, the darkness of this film didn’t help.
ScreenX is innovative and fun. The Preview film was a better production than The Nun, so I expect it suffered because of it.
I think any film with more colour and more light to it will be fantastic on these screens. There’s mention that Aquaman may be shown on these screens and that would go down really well.
I would highly recommend seeing something in this screen, but bear in mind that not everything will look as good as everything else on the screens.