In 2009, James Cameron debuted the movie Avatar, a film that would come to reintroduce and revolutionize the idea of capturing a movie in 3-D. Since then many movie studios and production companies have tried to recreate the success and creativity that made Avatar a worldwide success by incorporating 3-D technology into what would seem to be as many projects as possible. Unfortunately, it seems the excitement and consumer drive for 3-D pictures has reached a stand still. The WRAP columnist Brent Lang, while writing a guest article for Business Insider, cites a financial report from Morgan Stanly on the topic proclaiming that “3D attendance has been declining on a per-film basis since the release of ‘Avatar,’ and we expect the growth in 3D film releases to flatten out.”
In her article, “The End of the 3-D Movie Boom”, Think Progress blogger Alyssa Rosenberg gives more perspective on why other 3-D films could not replicate the same success as Cameron’s Avatar. Rosenberg states “There’s a reason Avatar is the highest-grossing movie, 3D or otherwise, to ever be made. James Cameron designed a fiendishly creative world, made it gorgeous, and used 3D to make his fictions real. If he was shooting on a real planet with familiar flora and fauna, Cameron could have counted on our minds to pop out the plants and animals we’d seen before and make them feel visceral and alive. Instead, he let us play.”
With so much criticism and skepticism towards the future of 3-D, it seems almost fitting then that the one who brought the technology to the forefront may also be the same one to save and transcend it. James Cameron, along with his production company the James Pace Group, has been developing 5-D; a production style that would shoot 3-D as well as 2-D film footage simultaneously. While speaking at the NAB 2012 conference Cameron defended his belief on the relevance of 3-D by stating “Human beings love to watch human beings but only 3D can give a sense of proximity and immersion on the screen! The 3D is not a gimmick, it will become more widespread but an industrialization of workflows enabling an economy of scale is essential … ” He further argues his point by saying “The future of 3D is the broadcast! We need to build an economic workflow by developing a range of complementary tools from A to Z. We must now look to plan things in 5D; that means developing productions simultaneously in traditional 2D and 3D. The concept is to link the 3D camera to the 2D cameras, the rig being enslaved to the 2D camera controls.”
Will the technology live up to the expectations that were placed on it only a few years ago, or if it will fall to the wayside? What are your thoughts?
James Cameron @ NAB: www.dimension3-expo.com
Alyssa Rosenberg’s Think Progress Blog: Think Progress.org
Brent Lang for Business Insider: Businessinsider.com
Photo Source: Roi Boshi, The 3D movie “OcéanoSaures” at La Géode, Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie, Parc de la Villette, Paris