3D cinema, oh gawd, not that old thing again it's so 19th century....
Saturday, October 2, 2010 11:05:44 PM
For those born yesterday (or with short memories), 3D films with the same polarising glasses technology being used today were also briefly popular about 25 years ago, I recall seeing Friday the 13th in 3D for instance, with blood-soaked axes etc protruding out of the screen at you. But 3-D films soon died a death because in the end it's just a gimmick.
What matters is not the extra visual realism of 3D (or in previous eras, colour) but the realism of the story. If you have an unbelievable story it won't engage the viewer that much more in 3D than in 2D, conversely if you do have a beleivable story then you can even show it as animated drawings or inked words on a page and people will still find themselves immersed in its reality.
People used to think that photography would kill painting because of its superior realism, but as any fule kno, it didn't happen. People like Disney also thought that cgi would kill cel animation, but in the year they made their cel animators redundant, the Oscar for the best animated film went to a cel animation work by Miyazaki (Spirited Away) which trounced its cgi rivals simply because it was a better film (ie story). I can't help feeling that all those people investing in fancy 3D TV equipment are soon going to be finding themselves owning lemons as the fad fades away as it has done every time in the past.
Let's not forget that 3D was also once "the future" of still photography, Queen Victoria was very taken by stereo photographs as were Victorians in general. The immersive realism of 3D photographs was hailed as a viable alternative to travel, with plans to set up a global library of 3D views so that you could experience any place on earth in the comfort of your own home with nothing more than a stereo picture viewer and some 3D photos borrowed from your local library. What became of this exciting dream? Nothing apart from a few dog-eared stereo photos to be found in junk shops. If you're not a devotee of the history of photography you won't even have heard of this stupendous advance in photography that had people all agog a hundred years ago. This time next year the same will be true of 3D films and television.