|CBC Newsworld Interview
I was interviewed by CBC Newsworld about the resurgence of 3D films. The segment aired as part of The Scene, an arts program, on Friday, July 25 and then again on Saturday and Sunday.
The history of stereoscopic imagery goes back to the 1850s and has seen numerous waves of popularity since then. It is currently going through another renaissance in the form of 3D movies, as more and more famous directors and movie studios jump on the bandwagon. Digital projection has been the key to unlocking this next step in the evolution of movies.
Digital projection allows a non-technical employee (the popcorn guy) to project flawless high quality 3D films from a single projector time and time again. You still need to wear the 3D glasses but it’s a small price to pay for that extra dimension of reality.
A short-lived gimmick? I don’t think so. Just as silent movies gave way to sound, and black & white was superseded by colour, so the flat screen is now being replaced with one that allows the mind’s eye to travel in all three dimensions. All these steps have brought movie-making closer to the way we naturally perceive the world. Movies have always used ‘gimmicks’ to involve the viewer more deeply in the story. If you want to tell a story without gimmicks, as someone recently commented to me, write a book!
Movie studios noticed that the popular Christmas movie Polar Express did much better box office in 3D than in regular 2D. Since then Jeffrey Katzenburg of DreamWorks has told his animation teams to start thinking 3D from the ground up. James Cameron will only make his movies from now on in 3D. Even his personal home movies are made in three dimensions!
I haven’t heard too much good news about Warner Brothers’ Journey to the Center of the Earth that’s currently playing in 3D, but the upcoming titles to watch for in 3D next year include: DreamWorks’ Monsters vs. Aliens (March 09); Pixar’s Up (May 09); 20th Century Fox’s Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (July 09); Disney’s A Christmas Carole (November 09); and James Cameron’s Avatar (December 09).