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3D Stereoscopic Production & Delivery
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Old May 1st, 2010, 04:53 PM   #91
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Originally Posted by Robert Knecht Schmidt View Post
But it's still a gimmick;
Would you say sound is a gimmick? It seems like for a long time the film industry did just fine without it. And adding sound to a movie did not turn a bad movie into a good one. For that matter, the early sound was terrible: It was monophonic and did not cover the entire frequency of human hearing. Yet, we do not see many silent movies made anymore.

Would you say color is a gimmick? When it first came, it was terrible. It seemed unnecessary. The old school filmmakers (and photographers) thought it was taking something away. Even back in the sixties, a TV expert seriously told me not to watch color TV because it was going to hurt my ability to see colors in the real world.

Everything new that made us see and hear film and TV more like the way we see and hear the reality around us was considered a gimmick. And we cannot even think of film and TV without it these days.

The only reason that stereoscopy has not been widely accepted and even demanded yet is not because it is a gimmick but because of the need for those darn glasses.

Technological limitations are the only reason we do not have smell in the movies and do not change the temperature in the room for every scene and we do not feel the touch the actors feel. Technological limitations are preventing us from fully implementing 3D. But a gimmick it is not!
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Old May 1st, 2010, 05:02 PM   #92
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Adam and Robert,

I'd say 3D is both a great new tool (animation, some films) and a gimmick (Clash of the Titans, Piranha 3D, etc.). If filmmakers and studios can make more money, then they'll go for it.

About 2 years ago I wanted to make my next film (a superhero flick) as 3D. People kinda looked at me weird. Now, it's so overplayed that it's "another one?"

If done right, it's great. If it's done for the wrong reasons, it's a gimmick. And I'm all about making more money, just not at the expense of quality. Ie, Clash.

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Old May 1st, 2010, 06:57 PM   #93
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Adam, while I appreciate your points, your basic premise, that movies are bettered by perfecting the human sensory experience, and that only technological limitations prevent us from engaging more of the senses, is, no pun intended, nonsense.

Engaging our sense of smell is nauseating and nobody would watch crime procedurals or horror films if they had to endure smelling morgues and rotting bodies. Nobody would watch war films if it involved inhaling gunpowder and smoke for two hours. These are extreme examples, but scent-sory perception in the movies as nausea-inducing holds true even for osmic stimulants that are visually innocuous, like dogs and meadows and bubble baths. And this would be true even if the technology allowed the scents to be cleared as quickly as they could be introduced, rather than lingering and accumulating as with present technology.

Likewise, enaging our sense of touch is annoying and no one would tolerate watching movies that poked, pricked, rubbed or wetted them. Similarly, no one enjoys watching movies in the presence of perceptible electric fields. Are shaker table rides not gimmicks? Was Percepto! not a gimmick?

Sound and color are not gimmicks because the brain cannot in general accurately recreate missing sound or color, though this is more true for sound than for color, and in particular for music which is particularly effective and setting mood and eliciting emotion. It is no coincidence that music was paired with film long before synch sound, and synch sound long before color.

But the brain is perfectly capable of recreating depth information from 2-D images and this only fails in rare cases of certain optical illusions and trick images. Many perceptual cues (not just perspective, as Roger Ebert writes) contribute to this ability of ours, and 3-D doesn't really inform our brains in ways that 2-D doesn't. The sound of an actor's vocalization--whether a calm steady voice, or a shout, or whimper, or a whisper--may inform our brains in ways that are critical to the performance, and sound effects are almost as informative as to events on-screen as visual images. Color can help us vitally discriminate information that our brains in many cases would not be able to distinguish, but I don't maintain it is as important as sound in this respect, and for the most part color is similar to 3-D inasmuch as it is merely used to add versimilitude. But, especially in 2010, color does not come with additional expense or any significant disadvantages, so why not use it?

If 3-D could be produced without the glasses and without significant added production expense, I would be cheering it on. There would be no reason not to use it, even if it wasn't especially informative.

I haven't yet seen or heard of a movie for which 3-D was important to understanding the story. That is not true of sound and color.
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Old May 1st, 2010, 10:08 PM   #94
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OK, I'll bite: Please explain how color is important to the understanding of the story? Especially when so many people watch movies on their horribly misconfigured TV sets! Would you not understand the story of most movies if you watched it on a black-and-white TV?

There are so many things that seemed like unnecessary gimmicks at first. We used to make movies (well, those before us did) without moving the camera, without using wide angle lenses, without closeups. Not so long ago, we did not change the view every 2-3 seconds (and in Asia and much of Europe they still do not).

Just take a look at the 1902 Le voyage dans la Lune to see how a great movie was produced without all the "gimmicks" we use today. So, none of them are really necessary. But they sure are useful and good. And so is 3D.

3D is not a gimmick. It is a way of presenting what we want to present. It certainly can be abused, especially in the hands of someone who does not know what he is doing. And it that case it is used in a gimmicky way, but that does not mean 3D itself is a gimmick.
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Old May 2nd, 2010, 08:06 AM   #95
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I don't know if 3D is the future of the movie industry, but I sure hope not. I can't stand the format. I hate wearing the glasses. I hate how dim the picture is. Worse, the effect gives me a headache, and doesn't add one thing to the movie experience, it just takes away from it. I think those 3D televisions are just stupid. No way am I going to sit in my own house wearing those awful glasses. I can't believe anybody would.
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Old May 2nd, 2010, 11:39 AM   #96
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Here's Roger Eberts view on 3d.

Roger Ebert: Why I Hate 3-D Movies - Newsweek.com

Critic Mark Kermode has his view on the subject

BBC - Mark Kermode's film blog: How to Enjoy a 3D Movie

To be honest Avatar looks more impressive with the 3d glasses off.
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Old May 2nd, 2010, 02:22 PM   #97
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Originally Posted by Adam Stanislav View Post
OK, I'll bite: Please explain how color is important to the understanding of the story?
??? I specifically said that for the most part color is not critical to understanding a story, but that it contributes to verisimilitude without drawback (no added cost, no special glasses, no headaches, no dimmer picture). Then I said "I haven't yet seen or heard of a movie for which 3-D was important to understanding the story. That is not true of sound and color." Perhaps you misunderstood this to mean that color is essential to the story of every film. Instead, it means only that there exists at least one example of such. The Wizard of Oz, Schindler's List and The Matrix come to mind as having stories that benefited from color, each for a different reason: one mood, one symbolism, one simple differentiation of a plot device. In The Wizard of Oz, color signals a whole different land, with different rules and worries. In Schindler's List, a color film shot entirely in black and white, color is employed to strikingly underline evil and its effect on a people as exemplified by one member of that people. In The Matrix, Neo's choice early in the film would carry less meaning if the blue pill and the red pill were indistinguishable from each other. I'm sure there are other examples, and better ones, but these are the ones that came to mind most quickly.
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Old May 2nd, 2010, 03:25 PM   #98
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Very well, then, I misunderstood you. I need to add, though, that those few movies where color was essential to the story only appeared long after color was a standard.

Threediness is still very new. I am not talking about 3D as such here, since 3D movies have been coming and going since before color. I am talking about threediness, that special quality that exists only in 3D movies and that has not been used much (though it has been abused for all those gimmicks I also hate).

When 3D movies are made because the marketing guys think it is good, the results are usually disastrous. When 3D movies are made because the director feels the need to express his creativity through 3D and he actually knows what he is doing, the results are great.

For an example of a movie that used threediness nicely and creatively, take a look at the 2008 Journey to the Center of the Earth and watch the scene where Sean (played by Josh Hutcherson) is crossing over an abyss on floating magnetic rocks. That scene would never have the same impact in 2D. Too bad they released the DVD using green/magenta glasses, though.

And yes, I agree the glasses are a drawback. Indeed, I said they are the reason why 3D has not taken off. Robert Rodriguez has an interesting way of dealing with that. In The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3-D he shows the real world in 2D (and has a "glasses off" message when he switches to it) and the fantasy world in 3D (and has a "glasses on" message shortly before switching to it). You could not do that with every movie, but it worked for that one.
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