3D Cinema – Is This the Future of the Entertainment Industry?
With 3D cinema now being big business, this article explores the future for this medium and whether it will replace normal 2D film.
In every multiplex these days it seems that 3D cinema is taking the film business by storm. Crowds flocked to see blockbusters such as Avatar (2009) and Alice In Wonderland (2010). Although not a new concept, 3D films are being touted as the future of cinema with big name directors such as James Cameron, Tom Burton and even Steven Spielberg adopting it.
The History of 3D
The concept of 3D is not new. It has been around since the 1950s, albeit with very poor quality which tended to be blurry images of something coming towards you from the screen. Although a dying art, it picked up a bit of momentum in the 1980s with Jaws 3D and the Nightmare On Elm Street series trying it out to boost flagging franchises. It is only now with advanced technology that a new 3D environment can be fully imagined.
It was perhaps only a matter of time that 3D would make its comeback. With computer technology coming on in leaps and bounds, a film could seem dated within a couple of years of release. Tentative steps were taken in the horror fraternity, a genre not afraid to experiment. However, it was the vision of the man who created Titanic that would open up a whole world of possibilities.
Avatar: Pandora’s Box
Avatar hit the cinema’s amid a storm of hype and media frenzy. The production had been kept under wraps, with James Cameron only letting slip that he had invented all new technology to realize his dream. This would be 3D like we had never seen before. Cameron wanted to bring to life an entire alien world where we could immerse and lose ourselves.
Avatar was a huge success and it was not hard to see why. The visuals were stunning and through the use of CGI and new 3D, people were catapulted into an experience which they had never witnessed before. It seemed like you were running through the forests of Pandora or stuck in the midst of a huge battle.
All of a sudden, it seems like most new films are going to be filmed in this medium. From Pixar picking it up to Spielberg adopting it for Tintin, the future looks bright. But is it really the future and are all movies going to be filmed this way?
As good as this new medium is, in a way it detracts from what a film really needs. Although Avatar was stunning visually, it was also helped by a plot which kept viewers riveted. There is no point in making a film unless the viewer has a story to latch onto and characters to believe in. From the myriad of 3D films that have been released or are coming out soon, only a handful will have a decent storyline. The rest will use the medium as a way to make quick money. This may seem churlish considering Hollywood is a business and business means money.
Movie Review – The Future of 3D
It is in the future when we look back at these films that we will realize how many are classics. Yes, Avatar will be rightly remembered and more than likely so will all four Toy Story movies. But who is going to remember Clash of the Titans in years to come?
Associate Editor of Variety magazine David Cohen has postulated about the future of 3D cinema. He states that, “The revenue for 3D movies is limited entirely to theatres.”
This is a valid point as at the moment television technology hasn’t moved that far. That will mean that 3D films are not going to be the same experience on DVD.
While this may seem irrelevant, we need to remember that a great deal of revenue from a film will come from DVD sales. It is becoming par for the course now for the DVD to be released only a couple of months after the cinematic release as a way of capitalizing on profits. This is giving a film a shorter shelf life, which could be an argument behind the decision to raise prices for a 3D experience in the cinema.
Another point to remember is that 3D is great for big blockbusters but that isn’t the be all and end all of cinema. It is hard to see a new Meryl Streep character study being filmed in 3D. There would be no point. A film such as this would rely heavily on plot and little CGI would be involved. The 3D cinema certainly has a future but it is not going to completely take over from the classic form. As soon as the hype dies down, cinema earnings will drop and film companies will think twice about spending big money on this new medium.