3D: The Cycle Ends

Media

3D has always run in cycles. It’s the first lesson the new Hollywood executives should have learned. There have been three major cycles, first the red-and-green lens ‘Bwana Devil’ 3D boom of the 1950s, then the polarised lens Warhol-Morrissey ‘Frankenstein’ and ‘Dracula’ of the 70s, and finally the boom started by ‘Comin’ At Ya!’ and ‘Spacehunter’ films of the 80s.

This boom was different because it was brought about by a change in filming, not by a change in viewing techniques. The digitisation of individual pixels meant no more flat planes to create the illusion of depth, but a subtle integration of layers. The process needed a decent film to kick it off and got it – Avatar – but then every producer in town jumped on the bandwagon and digitised films that had been shot in 2D in order to ride the wave.

Result? Devaluation of the product, with 3D alone no longer guaranteeing box office. Kung Fu Panda 2 and Pirates 4 have both disappointed, generating less than 50 percent of their overall revenue from the 3D versions. A year ago, 3D films were taking in 60 percent or more from the 3D editions. If the results don’t improve for Tintin and Transformers 3, studios will limit 3D films to animated children’s films or get out of 3D entirely by 2012.

But 3D will be back one day, without glasses – if someone can find a way to generate that much light and energy without destroying the planet.

4 comments on “3D: The Cycle Ends”

  1. Rick says:

    I’ll settle for 3D c3D HOUS haracters over having crap thrown at my face any day.

    Can’t think of 3D without recalling classic SCTV bits like DOCTOR TONGUE’S 3D HOUSE OF STEWARDESSES:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87WgmGHz9U4

  2. Rick says:

    damn! I hate when I hit send and see the comment has screwed up some how! Sorry about that… ONCE MORE…

    I’ll settle for 3D characters over having crap thrown in my face any day. Can’t think of 3D without recalling classic SCTV bits like DOCTOR TONGUE’S 3D HOUSE OF STEWARDESSES:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87WgmGHz9U4

  3. I’m glad the trend is dying down. I can’t watch the stupid 3D films because they make me motion sick. And really, does EVERY movie coming out need to be in 3D? Shouldn’t they be specifically tailored to 3D? All seven Harry Potters so far have not been, but for 7.2 they are of course having a 3D version to make more money. Magic is brilliant, but doesn’t really translate to 3D…

    Sorry, I shall end my rant here.

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