NAME: Maria Costeira
COMPANY: XPAND 3D
OVERTIME: Born in Zimbabwe to Portuguese parents, Costeira earned a Masters degree earned in the United Kingdom. In
2004, she became the CEO and a partner in a real estate and entertainment investment fund. At the ShoWest convention in Las Vegas, NV in 2005, Costeira attended the screening of a new animated film by the Disney Corporation that featured a new single-projector 3D technology, developed by NuVision Technologies. After establishing XPAND in 2006, Costeira and XPAND acquired NuVision in the last quarter of 2007.
SCN: You were born in Zimbabwe and earned your Masters in the U.K. At what age did you develop an interest in technology?
Maria Costeira: Growing up, I was always more interested in boys’ games rather than playing with dolls, and even as a child, I was curious about the inner workings of machines and appliances. Even in education, science and math were always the subjects where I excelled.
Today, technology and research still inspire and awe me. I guess you could call me a geek!
SCN: When did you realize that 3D technology would play such a large part in the future of cinema?
MC: I have always loved 3D films. As a child I remember my visits to Disneyland and the 3D attractions there. As soon as digital cinema projectors made their way into the market, I understood that 3D would become part of the cinema life. I didn’t know how big it would be at the time, but it was big enough for me to focus my resources in this field. As the major Hollywood directors stood behind the medium in 2005, I knew that I made a very good decision and that 3D would become the new medium of cinema.
SCN: What innovations can consumers expect from 3D cinema in the near future?
MC: High frame rate 3D is the first one. During 2012 we will see the first HFR 3D movies, including The Hobbit. This technological development will mark a huge step forward in the near future. Down the road, we are also expecting other elements like 3D sound combined with 3D images, 4K, and UH D (ultra-high-definition) 3D. The future is very exciting!
SCN: How does XPAND differentiate itself from others in the 3D marketplace?
MC: XPAND is acknowledged in the 3D space as a brand of excellence. The best cinemas, the best film festivals, and the most important Hollywood premieres are all using XPAND technology as producers and directors insist on using XPAND quality. A large number of Hollywood celebrities have XPAND systems in their home cinemas. We are steadfastly committed to making sure that our 3D quality will always be superior to other 3D options.
SCN: As CEO of XPAND, what steps are you taking to grow your share of the North American cinema market.
MC: Our sales efforts are focused on premium cinemas and independent exhibitors, as both groups draw a major advantage in the marketplace by offering the American cinema-goer a superior 3D experience that some budget cinemas cannot offer.
In addition, 3D cinema and 3D at the home are merging. 3D will be part of our life in education, corporate presentation, defense, museums, home theaters, and cinema. The younger generation is growing up in a 3D world and we anticipate they will embrace the fashion aspect of 3D. XPAND Universal 3D Glasses and YOUniversal Electronic 3D Eyewear are unique products that will naturally drive this revolution in the coming years.
Chuck Ansbacher is the managing editor of SCN.