TV-BAY December 2012
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The future of 3D by Sam Sheppard O ver the last 3 years I’ve worked in more than ten different countries on stereo 3D; and no matter where in The World I am I’m continually running across the rumour that 3D has done its dash and will soon be heading the way of the dodo. As with most rumours though I have yet to see any evidence of this. One of the most anticipated releases for France this year has undoubtedly been Asterix & Obelix. Pixar and Dreamworks have proven the suitability of 3D for animation, and it would be a very financially suicidal gambler to bet against the box office success of the recently premiered The Hobbit. Even India, which for economic reasons I would have thought would eschew 3D, has come to the party with the production of its first 3D dance film Any Body Can Dance. If 3D was going to fail it would have done so years ago when the tools for creating it were still in their infancy. Since then though every major television manufacturer has invested the equivalent of the Greek national deficit in developing the technology to support 3D for their products (and continue to with Sony announcing this month the release of their latest screen that doesn’t require glasses). As for interest, Sky Digital’s 3D channel is moving from strength to strength. In fact the only thing slowing down its growth is the lack of 3D content to expand to further channels. Sky certainly have a strong dedicated audience for their 3D channel. So if the demand is there why are there not more film makers running off to make stereo 3D content? For distributors it is much easier to generate interest and sell a 3D film. A 3D release will always generate more revenue than it would have done in 2D alone. In increasing cases films that were originally only intended for a cinema release also get asked for IMAX deliverables as well. For many of those considering a 3D project their hesitation stems purely from fear. Fear of an initially steep learning curve and, more importantly for any investor, fear of the perceived increase in cost that moving a prospective project from 2D to 3D will incur. Today I would argue that this fear is there to be overcome. Granted there are extra variables to take into account whenever a project is being considered for 3D production but this information is easily available and accessible. 3D is far from the dark art it was as little as five years ago; and there is now a wealth of experienced 50 | TV-BAY MAGAZINE TV-BAY072DEC12.indd 50 07/12/2012 15:14