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Passing Thoughts

Movies Should Be In 3D Because Life Is In 3D

Obviously, 3D is the hottest trend in movies. Some people like it, and some people don't. Honestly, there are some things not to like about 3D movies. For one thing, it usually adds a couple of bucks to the price of the ticket. And then there are those “gimmicky” 3D shots where something is poked or stabbed at the audience's collective face; some people might still like that, but for me it got old years ago. There have been instances when someone heard a movie is going to be made in 3D and reacted, “I hope not.”

Now I'm going to draw parallels with previous advancements in movie technology. First, sound. That one's pretty obvious, as the inclusion of sound adds an entirely new sense into the mix. Was there any early dislike of talkies? Maybe from the deaf community. But for the most part, adding sound to movies was and has been considered a very good thing. Of course, there continues to be the occasional instance of sound used to startle the audience, like in many horror movies and every IMAX film I've ever seen at the Air Force Museum. But for the most part, sound in movies is just a realistic portrayal of the story… and some music that comes from nowhere. Moving on…

Soon after sound came color. Not adding a new sense to the experience, but certainly improving the primary sense. Again, I don't think there was much complaint about it. The Wizard of Oz stands out as a “gimmicky” color movie, but then filmmakers and audiences got used to color. Since then, color has been used simply as a means to more realistically convey the story as the filmmakers envisioned it. Some dramatic tinting may still be used, but I think “gratuitous color” in films has become extremely rare since cocaine surpassed LSD in popularity.

Filmmakers have been trying 3D almost since color movies became practical. Part of the reason for that is because early 3D films depended on color to deliver a separate image to the audience's left and right eyes. Now that full-color stereoscopic presentations have become practical, it's really catching on. Of course, the whole reason 3D has been pursued from the beginning is because it enables a more realistic reproduction of the world around us. Life is in 3D, so why not movies?

I just hope filmmakers get beyond the “gratuitous 3D” phase quickly. In time they'll realize that the best view of a pointy object is not on-end. In the mean time, I'll enjoy 3D movies while avoiding the ones that depend on 3D as the main selling point.

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