3-D movies a thing of the past and present

John Schimdt

3-D technology seems to be nothing more than a fad that will eventually fade out, like it has in the past.

I’ve really only seen two 3-D movies: “UP!” and “Jackass 3-D”. To be honest, they weren’t all that great. The idea and concept of 3-D film is mind blowing, new and interesting.

3-D essentially enhances the eyes depth perception, which gives you the illusion that something is popping out at you while you and your friends sit safely in the audience. It gives the viewer an amazing visual and attempts to actually put them into the action. The bullet flying toward the screen or the house attached to millions of balloons pop out at the viewer, making them more involved and attached to the story as a whole.

There have been a handful of styles and techniques developed and patented over the 60-odd years 3-D technology has been around. Practically all of these styles were too expensive or too much trouble to actually take off.

The first waves were rather harsh for this little concept. The Great Depression was a reason for people to not see movies in 2-D already, so the concept of paying more for something else just didn’t work out.

The second wave had two projectors running at the same time, this means there had to be two identical reels of film created after production of the film. This also means that two projectionists needed to work at the same time, and if one of the reels got out of sync, the picture would be unwatchable. This technique, though tricky to pull off, spawned a short list of successful 3-D films.

The third wave, around 1980s to 2000s was a single strip technique that only needed one reel of film. This yielded some success, but not enough to really take off.

3-D seemed to be something rather obscure and a gamble to watch. Now, however, it has gone so mainstream that almost every film has a 3-D counterpart. Most computer-animated, horror or computer-generated image (CGI) intensive films latched on to this digital 3-D train.

From my perspective, 3-D is just as much of a gamble now as it was 30 years ago. It just isn’t appealing to me. Movie tickets are already expensive and tacking on some more money just to see it pop out at you isn’t worth it.

I guess you can say that I’d rather stand on the sidelines while Johnny Knoxville rides a bike down a flight of stairs than be on the handlebars.

How do SDSU students feel about 3-D movies?

“My thoughts on 3-D movies are that some concepts seem excellent, but the end result is still very novice. Not all movies that are coming out these days need to be in 3-D. ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘The Deathly Hallows Part 2’ was in 3-D. The ‘Glee’ concert was in 3-D. I saw the ‘Glee’ concert in theatres and I found the whole experience to be completely unnecessary!

On the thought about ‘The Lion King’ being in 3-D, I am quite excited about it just because it’s a piece of our generation’s childhood that is continuing on. There are certain aspects (Pride Rock, the wildebeest stampede) that would look excellent in 3-D.”- Nic Nelson, junior communication studies and theatre major