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Thu 24 Feb 2011 12:00 AM

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3D debate not about to abate

So CABSAT is here again, and it’s safe to assume that with another trade show will come another onslaught of 3D technology

3D debate not about to abate
James Cameron: A 3D lover, but definitely not a convert

So CABSAT is here again, and it’s safe to assume that with another trade show will come another onslaught of 3D technology. The medium has remained the industry buzzword for a couple of years now, suggesting the latest flirtation with the third dimension may be more than mere flirtation.

The technology is certainly developing rapidly, as CABSAT visitors will see, and some content is reaching impressive levels. But one does have to wonder if the debate around the issue is just getting a bit silly.

The latest developments on this front have been the escalation of the row over 3D conversion, with every film maker on the planet seemingly having to pile in on one side or the other in order to keep their place in the 2011 edition of the Hollywood Who’s Who, and, perhaps most ridiculously to my mind, James Cameron’s assertion at the turn of the year that ‘all films will be in 3D within five years.’

This will doubtless come as interesting news to the myriad of independent film makers who are a little dubious about the cost of using twice as many cameras, expensive rigs, and a whole new cabal of specialists such as stereographers and 3D post professionals they hadn’t budgeted for when scraping for funding from their local arts council.

What is perhaps even more galling than Cameron’s apparent wilful ignorance of the financial practicalities facing the world’s film makers outside his own privileged circle is the sheer cultural autocracy of his statement. I don’t know what it is about 3D that can bring out the most fanatical side of some people’s nature. Granted, Avatar did well, but so did T2, and did Cameron inform us then that all films would be CGI-laden romps about time-travelling cyborgs within three years?

It brings to mind Stalin’s assertion that tedious Socialist Realism was the only true artform of the Russian Revolution. Trotsky was quick to point out the ludicrousness of this, and look what happened to him. Perhaps, then, Christopher Nolan should watch his back in the wake of his “I’m not a huge fan of 3D” bombshell!

I have a feeling this one will run, and hope to hear the opinions of film makers in the region too, so do let us know your thoughts. In the meantime – see you at CABSAT!

Chris Newbould is the editor of Digital Studio.

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