HuffPo: The Only Way to See a Film
Found via a link from CE Pro, the above is a short article by Ridley that appears to be a lament about the limitations of streaming media for movies, and why y'all need to be watching Blu-Ray at home.
His streaming complaint is a bit off the mark, given that theatrical exhibition is often streamed to theatres today. The problem isn't streaming per se; it's bit rate, bandwidth, display resolution, audio fidelity, surround capability and whether or not the display is 3D*-capable.
So what does this post have to do with "3D Content"?
Here's a quote from the article: "Technology will need to make many more huge leaps before one can ever view films with the level of picture and sound quality many film lovers demand without having to slide a disc into a player, especially with the technical requirements of today's 3D movies."
We're now in our 3rd epoch of 3D theatrical exhibition, and no one has yet made a tolerable title that so effectively exploits 3D that it only makes artistic sense in 3D
, but more to the point, is also entirely unmarketable
in 2D. This line in the sand is a bit different than the one drawn by "Avatar", which was at least marketable in 2D, but much more watchable in 3D.
When sound, color and anamorphic came in, directors were immediately crafting screen art that simply didn't work in silent, B&W or Academy ratio. And they could do those things because theatrical exhibition was the only (or at least dominant) venue for the works.
Today, 3D is still a minority format. It can only be delivered to a fraction of theatres, and an even smaller percentage of homes. If 3D is effectively a major character or plot element of a movie, it won't be there for much of the potential theatrical market, and for the majority of the video market.
Suppose that Ridley wanted the upcoming "Prometheus" to embrace 3D in such a way that the visual experience and/or plot line would be dull, confusing or incomprehensible in 2D. That would switch off 2D theatrical, DVD, 2D-BD, cable, internet and much of download sales. The studio bosses would tell him:
"You can't do that. It has to work for 2D.
Ridley might then go off and write an oblique lament on HuffPo.
The alternative is to shoot what amounts to 2 separate movies, one 3D, one 2D. And depending on what the director had in mind, that might not be possible.
So if you're still waiting for that first movie that not only breaks new ground in 3D, but doesn't even work in 2D, don't hold your breath. Market forces presently prohibit that possibility.
How many directors are wondering "I gave up my depth of field for this?
* "3D" movies, of course, are no such thing.
They are just a limiting form of limited stereovision.