3-D Video-Enhanced Movie Posters

Further evidence that we’re now living in the future: a Canadian company called XYZ RGB (even the company’s name is futuristic!) has created what it calls the “next-generation movie poster”:

Using cutting-edge technologies, XYZ RGB can turn an eight-second video into a full-colour hologram and place it in a plastic film that can be posted in malls, pasted to billboards or even wrapped around a can of soup.


The energy needed to make it work? Only a source of light.

The effect is described as similar to those newspapers in the Harry Potter movies that show a looped film clip over and over.
To be honest, I find that I’m rather ambivalent about this development. I’m totally wowed by the concept and the technology, and given that I used to collect movie posters, I think this may be a great way to revive what has deteriorated into a sadly unimaginative art form. However, if this technology becomes commonplace and ends up on everything from giant billboards to soup cans, I fear that the novelty will fade very quickly and we’ll be left with just so much additional noise in an already-deafening environment. I’ve become very conscious in recent years of how many commercial messages we receive during the day and frankly I resent them. It would be nice to find a way to turn down the volume, and I’m not sure this is it. I imagine that “video posters” will be pretty damn distracting once we start seeing them out in the wild; I can’t wait for the first 30-car pile-up because someone was checking out that amazing new sign looming over the freeway.

Of course, these posters may never rise beyond the level of novelty. The production process currently takes too long for any kind of large-scale implementation — a couple of hours are required to produce a single poster — and the company may never manage to improve on that. But I suspect they will. And the year 2015 may look a lot more like Back to the Future II than we ever expected…

You can see a video of the Terminator 2 demo poster here (the 3-D effect is great, but the video doesn’t demonstrate the embedded film clip very well); I originally found this story here.


3 comments on “3-D Video-Enhanced Movie Posters

  1. Brian Greenberg

    It’s SO funny you mention this. I was just noticing today, as I walked the streets of New York, that most theaters that used to have posters outside have now replaced them with high-resolution flatscreen monitors.
    The pictures they choose to put on these monitors are basically still photographs, but often there’s a section on them that has moving video, or a particular person in the picture will periodically move around.
    My first thought was, “Man – we’re living in Harry Potter’s universe!” And once I noticed it, I’m telling you – they’re everywhere. Someone must have won a big supplier’s contract or something.
    Not quite holograms, but still pretty cool that the movie has so convincingly come to real life.
    (Oh, and I wouldn’t worry about 30-car pileups. In six months, these things will be the norm, and no one will consciously look at them anymore – just like the movie posters of old…)

  2. Cranky Robert

    Complete agreement about the potential for annoyance. Also, if this video was a test of the technology, I’d say the test failed. I couldn’t see a thing.

  3. jason

    Brian, once again New York is on the cutting edge – I haven’t seen anything like what you describe around here. We’re still doing your standard vinyl banners and paper posters. But the way Utah follows trends, those flatscreens ought to be arriving in my local multiplex in, oh, about five years. 😉
    Robert, when the guy held up the plastic sheet in front of the poster I could definitely see two horizontal strips in the same shape as a widescreen movie image, and I thought I saw movement in the bottom one. But I couldn’t tell what exactly I was seeing. Perhaps it’s more impressive in person?