Giant Screen Cinema Association & a Tribute to a Friend

Giant Screen Cinema Association & a Tribute to a Friend

I just returned from Sacramento, California where I was fortunate enough to participate in this years’ Giant Screen Cinema Association as part of the “Jerusalem IMAX 3D” (working title) delegation (wow…how formal that sounds!). It was an experience to remember!

GSCA was far from the typical “Hollywood” environment. In fact, it could not have been more opposite from what I imagined. Everyone I met was warm and welcoming, talented, down to earth, worldly, learned and in many ways, “geeky” (from a film technology perspective). In addition, I not only met film producers, directors, cinematographers but also film buyers (within the museum world), distributors and film marketers. In my four days at the conference, I attended lectures and discussions, watched an abundance of IMAX films as well as listened to presentations by distributors and film producers introducing clips of upcoming films which were still in production.

It was an eye opening experience as I came away with an entirely new appreciation of the IMAX world and especially that of the IMAX 3D world. In short, IMAX films focus on educating the audience and bringing awareness around issues which need to be addressed. I would imagine the goal after watching these types of films would be to become an advocate of the cause or get involved from a philanthropic angle. Adding in the 3D element is brilliant as it brings the audience into the film rather than just being an observer. It creates an emotional bond between the audience and the subject matter and for me, I certainly felt the impact.

Many of the topics were subjects I had never given much thought to. For instance, films such as “Space Junk”, which focused on the amount of hardware we have floating in the earths’ atmosphere to “The Last Reef” which discusses the deterioration of the coral reef due to human negligence and greed, made me think about a subject matter which could not have been further from my mind.

I was very proud to be part of the “Jerusalem the movie” IMAX 3D contingent and although the film is not due to have a soft release until the end of June 2013, everyone at the conference was very well aware of the film due to its subject matter, the brilliant team of producers, director/writer and staff and most importantly, its incredibly accomplished, well-respected and hugely talented executive producer, Jake Eberts, who recently passed away.

It is because of Jake that I was introduced to the producers of this film. Having heard about the film through friends in Montreal, I immediately reached out to Jake. After all, what an opportunity to learn about a project that focused on Jerusalem!!

Although we had not been in touch for close to 15 years, when I did reach out to Jake, he responded to me immediately and with great enthusiasm. Jake had this remarkably optimistic way at looking at life and to convince you that all was possible. I truly believe that Jake had the Midas Touch. Every project he worked on turned to gold. From Chariots of Fire to Gandhi, from A River Runs Through It to Dances with Wolves, from a Journey to Mecca to March of the Penguins, there was absolutely nothing Jake could not do.

When I think of all of the people I have met in my life, Jake was by far the most accomplished and at the same time, the most modest. This is a rare character and one to be prized. I have had the opportunity to meet many people in my life and one of the traits I will always remember about Jake is that no matter how busy he was (and trust me, he was busier than most humans on this earth), he always made time for you…something from which we can all learn (especially in NYC!). He was truly a gem. As they say, only the good die young…

I would have loved to share my experience at the GSCA with Jake. But I do understand why he started to evolve into the world of IMAX. The opportunity to create change, to advocate for a better world, to create a stronger message through the world of film is the core of IMAX.

I have included a short clip of “Jerusalem the movie” here to give a taste of what is to come. Of course, my favorite clip which is where the producers of the film introduce the purpose of this film and share their innermost thoughts. This clip is private however should you be interested, do let me know as would be more than happy to share in order to spread the good word! Also check out the website, and corresponding facebook page.