The 4DX Experience AKA The future of Movies
Here’s a question for you. What’s the best way to experience a movie? I’m talking about a real tent pole / blockbuster movie experience! Let’s say a movie you’ve been waiting for is finally coming out. How do you want to experience it? Do you want reclining seats? Do you want a huge screen? Do you want the sound to be incredible?
What if I told you that there was an even better way to experience a film? A way (several ways, actually) where you were practically in the film?
Well, that’s EXACTLY what the good people at CJ 4DPLEX are doing. I was fortunate enough to get an in-house demo of their amazing technology at their i-Studio in Hollywood and let’s just say I was blown away.
I arrived at their facility and was led into a small theatre with chairs that had an amusement park roller coaster feel to them. They were just as comfortable as regular movie theatre chairs but there was a lot of tech surrounding them.
As I took my seat I was told that the goal of 4DX was to create a more immersive movie experience. The representatives told me that as home theatres and streaming services are continually upping their game when it came to watching movies the same bar keeps getting set higher and higher in terms of providing compelling reasons for crowds to leave their homes to go to films.
An interesting point came up during our discussion about James Cameron and how he had to develop new technology for filming and developing the masterpiece known as Avatar and how it’s powerful movie going experience (in terms of the emotional points it hit with the audience) was a huge part of its success. That, in essence, is what the 4DX technology developed by CJ 4DPLEX is going to do for those who want to feel and experience the movie as much as they want to see it.
At that point the lights went out and I EXPERIENCED trailers for both Shazam and Detective Pikachu. Yes, I experienced the trailers as much as I watched them.
Let me explain.
Keep in mind I had already seen Shazam before this demo (and absolutely loved it!). So when the Shazam trailer started I was immediately blown away!
Why? Well, in the opening sequence the chairs were moving and shifting abruptly with every hit given and taken by Shazam. The bigger the hit the more the theatre chair I was sitting in reacted. And then when Shazam flew through the air I felt a gush of air blow behind my head. And then when the iconic scene of Billy Batson running and jumping off the roof top and yelling Shazam came on the chair again moved perfectly with what was happening on screen!
I was sold…well, even more sold than before.
But that wasn’t the most interesting part. I quickly saw how much the 4DX technology is a game changer while watching the Detective Pikachu trailer.
Let’s put this in perspective; I’m not a huge fan of Pokemon. My kids are but I’m not. I could take it or leave it. So when the Detective Pikachu trailer came on the screen I can tell you that I’d probably only go see the actual film because Ryan Reynolds was in it and IF my kids wanted to go. However, once the 4DX technology kicked in I became a big Pokemon fan in a hurry. Why?
Well, the 4DX theatre chair exploded into perfect movement and reaction with every pokemon characters move, blast, or hit. If Pikachu jumped you felt it. If something else got hit with an energy blast you felt it. Explosions? The expressed explosive blast and vibrations were perfectly synced in with the chairs. Falling through the air? Again, you felt the wind blowing around you.
In short, the 4DX technology changed my mind about the Detective Pikachu trailer. I now want to go see the movie AND experience it! Would it be too socially awkward if I started collecting and trading Pokemon cards?
After the lights came back on my mind starting racing with possibilities and questions. The main question that came to mind was how many movies did I previously not want to watch but would want to watch and experience NOW in 4DX?
The representatives could tell I was excited. Maybe a little too excited!
I had to put this into perspective and really understand what the 4DX technology was trying to accomplish for the moviegoer.
I asked the representatives to provide some more context by taking me through 4DX technology applied to something small…like the soon to be released Godzilla movie.
They revealed that they wanted movie goers to have the ability to some degree to feel what it would be like to be Godzilla, Mothra, or even a person who is seeing a giant Kaiju monster walking through the area. He then brought up another possibility. Imagine you could choose which perspective from which you want to see the film.
Me: Wait a minute…are you saying with the 4DX technology we could choose which character or side we want to ‘feel or experience’? As in, we can go see a movie and experience it from one perspective and go back and see the exact same film but experience from another?
4DX Representative: That’s quite possibly something you could see more of in the future!
Think about that for a second. You could go see the SAME movie more than once but have COMPLETELY different experiences each time.
I was then taken into another screening room that featured the ScreenX technology. In short, imagine watching a movie where the projection of the film was on the front screen as usual but also on the walls to the left and right of you. You would be completely in the movie, literally. I was able to see this in action when I watched Captain Marvel at a theatre that had the ScreenX tech. I was shown a short scene of Bohemian Rhapsody (another fantastic movie) where Freddie Mercury first appears with Queen. The ScreenX technology had Freddie Mercury in front of me with the audience watching him perform in the scene being projected on the walls to my right and to my left. In effect, I was also in the audience of that scene watching Freddie Mercury perform.
After the clip, I was told some interesting things about ScreenX:
The material on the side walls in which the film is also projected is super durable and easy to clean. Not that you want people touching it repeatedly but it turns out that the side screens of ScreenX tech are very strong and very easy to maintain.
The representatives told me about a future goal they had which was for movie makers (directors, producers, DP’s, etc.) to be able to understand how to create a film that took advantage of the full potential of 4DX and ScreenX. Again, this is reminiscent of how filmmakers had to be involved with the pre-production stages of a film in order to take advantage of 3D capability. Just imagine a superhero film made for 4DX!
With all of that said, it’s safe to say that if you want to recapture the ‘magic’ of the movie going experience in a way that puts you into the movie itself do yourself a huge favor and go see that major blockbuster action film in a theatre featuring 4DX and/or ScreenX technology. You’ll be glad you did!
Written By James Gavsie
Host, #WhoWouldWin Show
Twitter: @JamesGavsie and @whowouldwinshow