Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

10 Ways Our Movie-going Experience Will Change


2
ScreenX
ScreenX promises an immersive, visually stunning way to take in movies. © TheScreenX, used under the Creative Commons 3.0 license.
ScreenX promises an immersive, visually stunning way to take in movies. © TheScreenX, used under the Creative Commons 3.0 license.

Legacy movie screens are flat. And although modern 3-D technology provides the illusion of space, it's not real and it often fails to suspend disbelief in audiences. With ScreenX, however, two-thirds of the theater (the main screen and side walls) suddenly become part of the projection.

It's a bit like surround sound, but for your eyes. During wild car chases, the sides of the theater might blur as streets and buildings whiz by at a frenetic pace. Or if a character enters a dance club, the laser light and strobes could pulsate from all around, making you feel like you're actually part of the bumping and grinding crowd on the dance floor.

The system is still in testing stages in South Korea. To dodge costly renovations, it relies mostly on adding two inexpensive projectors to each side of the primary projector, ultimately creating a 270-degree view for the audience.

Effectively utilizing the extra wall space places all sorts of new demands on lighting and camera equipment during film production. From a creative and psychological standpoint, it also adds degrees of difficulty to the director's job, as they learn to use that space for effective storytelling instead of just as a pointless special effect. But if and when ScreenX goes mainstream, it could pull viewers into the action in a whole new way.