Is 3D here to stay?--

old photo of audience wering 3d glasses


There seems to be a conflict of beliefs when it comes to 3D in
film and television. A lot of people are now calling it a fad while some of
the industry and manufacturers are saying that 3D is here to stay.

Personally I've never been a fan of 3D movies and I honestly believe that it
was a poor attempt for cinemas to find a way to offer something new that TV
didn't have. Obviously it wasn't long before the television manufacturers
caught up.

I think the question that really needs to be asked is

"Does 3D allow the viewer to feel more submerged within the story than traditional

Movie making has been trying to do this for years and the key to getting
this right is to replicate things that we experience in the real world.


   Dolby logo       technicolor   


Sound was the first thing to be added, then of course there's colour. Both   
of these are essential sensory clues that help us feel like we're watching
something that really exists. A large screen also helps as it fills our
peripheral vision, thus also helping us feel like we're really in the movie.


Dolby surround

5.1 surround improved on the sound, allowing sounds to be distributed all
around the viewer, just like we hear things in real life..well almost. If you
want to really hear things correctly you want to be using Binaural
techniques, just have a listen to this Virtual Barbershop
This is actually something that I think would be far more effective than 3D in
films, if used correctly. But that's for another discussion.

It could be argued that 3D is adding to the visual experience!

Just like 5.1 surround has done for Sound.  Except where 5.1 surround does actually
surround you, just like in real life, 3D (2.5) doesn't.  It's the equivalent
to a giant pop up book. 3D means three dimensional, three dimensional means
you can see three sides. You can't see around the sides of the objects in 3D
movies and so it's not 3D! We don't view things in real life like this and
so for me this means

3D is a gimmick.  

However, I do think it works for certain elements within a film.  For
example dust and smoke particles or leaves and other foliage. The reason why
it works for these elements is because we don't really see the sides to
these in real life either. So in a 3D movie they sit well and don't jar.

At the moment I believe these small benefits are outweighed by the fact you
have to wear glasses, which usually have a scratch or smudge that gets in
the way of the whole experience.

I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in my opinion and this can be seen more
clearly with 3DTV.

3D TV looks to be dying.

Figures state that more 3D TV's were sold in 2011
than in 2009 but is this simply because more manufacturers are adding 3D as
standard to their sets rather than consumers demanding it?  This article
has some good information on the state of 3DTV

Consumers don't want 3DTV


Setting aside my whole peeve with "3D"  actually being 2.5D, the
biggest issue with 3D TV for me is actually the glasses.  It's  fine (almost) if there's
just two of you sitting down in the evening to watch a movie . But what
happens when suddenly a few mates come around and you only have the two
For years people have struggled with just trying to keep the remote
control in an easy to find place. I can't imagine how many times people are
going to lose or misplace their 3D glasses.


Smurfs 2 3D poster


So it looks like 3DTV may not  last but Hollywood is still churning out the
3D blockbusters.  I was actually fine with this as it meant that my
girlfriend and I could go into the 2D version and find a great spot to sit
and have most of the cinema to ourselves. It also cost less due to not
having to buy the glasses. I know you're meant to keep your previous pair
but I never remembered to bring them...or find them amongst all the
bric-a-brac in the drawer.

The problem I'm finding now is that the 2D showings are getting full again.
Could this be because other audience members have come to the same
realisation as me.  That "3D" really isn't worth the cost you pay?  

I believe the only reason why Hollywood is still churning out 3D is because
it can charge more per ticket. Profits went up and the studios were happy
but is this still the case.  

3D ticket sales slumped

Will something that was designed to increase audience attendance, actually
end up killing it?

So is 3D  here to stay or will it slowly fade away and come back in another
30 years, something which it's been doing since the early 20th century?

Personally I think it will slowly fade away.

What are your thoughts?

Comments (1)

  1. Eric:
    Jan 22, 2014 at 04:12 AM

    I have always despised 3D. It gives me a headache and jacks up an already seriously high priced movie ticket. I am not a fan and no matter how the studios try to sell it, it's just a gimmick. As a filmmaker I will never EVER make a movie in 3D 'nor would I ever authorize my films for conversion to 3D (not that anyone ever would). It's a terrible act of money grubbing and I don't stand for it.

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