3D And Beyond

It’s one thing when computer industry people are promoting 3D, quite another when Academy Award winning film producers weigh in. Discussing his upcoming Avatar movie with Business Week, producer James Cameron talks about the future of 3D and beyond:

Here’s what can happen, although it’s too early to say if it will: 3D can become ubiquitous as digital cinema replaces film. As digital cinema rolls out, stereo follows—and in some cases leads the charge, as we have seen recently with the digital 3D releases of Chicken Little and Monster House forcing the installation of hundreds of new digital projectors.

There will eventually be major titles available from all studios at some screens in almost all multiplex cinemas worldwide. I would say the horizon for this is five years. 3D can become a fully accepted way in which audiences view movies. It will become another consumer choice, like premium or regular gas. The premium experience of 3D will be the preferred viewing experience for action, animated, fantasy, and science-fiction films.

3D’s broad acceptance at theaters will generate enough content that consumer-electronics manufacturers will make home players and monitors available. The technology exists now, but is not readily available as off-the-shelf products. 3D display will become a must for video and computer games.

In 20 years, stereo media may become the preferred method for displaying all information, including news and other broadcast media. The density of information one can place on a small screen becomes much higher if it’s stacked in three dimensions.

BW: Is there something beyond 3D in film? Could we ever see in cinema the same kind of physical participation we’re starting to see in video-game consoles like Nintendo’s Wii?

Imagine a movie in which the viewer is swept along by a narrative, following the action from place to place, but without the intervention of a camera. You can choose which character to watch in a scene, as if you’re an invisible witness standing there while a real event plays out. This is still years away, at a level of realism people would consider cinematic, but certainly not decades away.

I can imagine the dense fantasy worlds I like to create for movies having an equal or greater life in a world of interactive play, authored by others, in a partnership. Of course, add massive multiplayer capability to this, and people will never leave their homes.

Online Extra: James Cameron on the Cutting Edge

If you or your clients are still wondering if 3D will have a mainstream impact, this is a notable input from a very influential media producer.

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1 Comment »

  1. […] Beyond 3D: James Cameron in BusinessWeek “Do you still use a typewriter?” he asks a TIME movie critic. “Do you go to a library and consult books for most of your research? Is your story set in type, letter by letter? No. Your business takes advantage of technological advances. Why shouldn’t my business?” […]

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