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The 3D Content Conundrum (Ridley Scott on Streaming)

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
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.
post #2 of 10
I'm not sure I entirely agree with everything said here.

First off, to say that the advent of color meant that new films simply "didn't work" in B&W is false. Or at least as false as saying Avatar doesn't work in 2D.

Sure you can watch Avatar (or any IMAX documentary like Under The Sea) in 2D, but why would you when the 3D is so much better and immersive? The same could be said about color today. I could watch the new Dragon Tattoo movie in B&W and the story would be just as interesting, but why would I when color makes the visuals more interesting? Color just adds an additional layer, just like 3D does with Avatar.

And for streaming 3D content, I'm very interested to see what Sensio will be unveiling at CES in January. Earlier this year they announced they would be launching a VOD 3D service in their Sensio format (i.e., visually blu-ray streaming quality). I believe today's media alert may be referring to the official launch:

http://mms.businesswire.com/bwapps/m...d=305107&vid=1

"SENSIO Technologies Inc. is back again this year at the 2012 International CES with some big news to share! The company will announce the launch of a revolutionary product that will help counter the low adoption of 3D. Once more, SENSIO will break boundaries through content, quality, usability and compatibility, allowing consumers to have the ultimate 3D experience right in their own living rooms!"
post #3 of 10
Quote:


. Or at least as false as saying Avatar doesn't work in 2D.

It doesn't. I wouldn't watch it for free in 3D.
post #4 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrjktcvs View Post

It doesn't. I wouldn't watch it for free in 3D.

Do you mean u wouldn't watch it in 2D? If so, then I entirely agree. But that is my personal opinion for someone who really likes 3D. The Avatar story was average at best, but the 3D visuals made it an epic movie imo.
post #5 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnny905 View Post

Do you mean u wouldn't watch it in 2D? If so, then I entirely agree. But that is my personal opinion for someone who really likes 3D. The Avatar story was average at best, but the 3D visuals made it an epic movie imo.

Yeah, that was a typo. I meant 2D. I saw it originally in a RealD theater, then bought a Panasonic BD player and sent away for it, so the 3D blu ray cost me nothing. I can't imagine ever watching it in 2D. I didn't really like it that much.
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
johnny905 > I'm not sure I entirely agree with everything said here.

Nor am I. Ridley could just be warning us that Prometheus is so reliant on 3D that it will not come across well on our Droids.

> First off, to say that the advent of color meant that new films
> simply "didn't work" in B&W is false.


I didn't say that. Let me restate. With the advent of major new screening technologies, like color, the door was opened to doing things that would not work in the previous format. Some color films don't work in B&W, but certainly not all (or even most).

My point is that either no one has been able, or no one is willing, to make a non-gimmicky 3D film whose artistry utterly fails if the 3D is removed. I'm guessing that there are some artists who are able, but the money isn't willing, because 3D-only is too small a market.

It's almost the reverse. The money is blinded by Cameron's $3Bill. They're telling the directors: "You shoot in 3D, or we post in 3D. Art? Check your depth of field at the door, please. We can't have any out-of-focus foregrounds or backgrounds in the 3D version. Headaches, you know."
post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boundless View Post

johnny905 > I'm not sure I entirely agree with everything said here.

Nor am I. Ridley could just be warning us that Prometheus is so reliant on 3D that it will not come across well on our Droids.

> First off, to say that the advent of color meant that new films
> simply "didn't work" in B&W is false.


I didn't say that. Let me restate. With the advent of major new screening technologies, like color, the door was opened to doing things that would not work in the previous format. Some color films don't work in B&W, but certainly not all (or even most).

My point is that either no one has been able, or no one is willing, to make a non-gimmicky 3D film whose artistry utterly fails if the 3D is removed. I'm guessing that there are some artists who are able, but the money isn't willing, because 3D-only is too small a market.

It's almost the reverse. The money is blinded by Cameron's $3Bill. They're telling the directors: "You shoot in 3D, or we post in 3D. Art? Check your depth of field at the door, please. We can't have any out-of-focus foregrounds or backgrounds in the 3D version. Headaches, you know."

Art?

Lens Flare

Vertigo inducing 360 degree camera pans

Forced perspective

You can keep your art.
post #8 of 10
Not to nit pick, but there are movies in B&W which are terrible in color. "Night of the Living Dead" comes to mind. Granted the B&W was colorized by people with no sense at all, but still in B&W it just rocks.

The issue was that the walking dead in the colorized version are all glowing green, and in the B&W one, they more or less look like living humans. So when a glowing green zombie walks by, and no body notices it there is a problem.
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Sailn: > Not to nit pick, but there are movies in B&W which are terrible in [colorized] color.

No one will dispute that. And it doesn't even rise to nit pick. Your example title wasn't made in color.

Similarly, I'd say that many of the 3D movies to date would have been more watchable if targeted at 2D, and they ditched all the stick-in-your-eye hey-look-at-this-3D gratuitous excesses. Even the Pixar efforts work just fine in 2D, and are usually less gloomy in 2D, due to the dim limitations of current 3D display tech.

My point is that no one has yet done a compelling 3D movie that could only have been done in 3D and is not even marketable in 2D.

If someone had a 3D landmark in the works, might they foreshadow it in the subtext of a HuffPo article?
post #10 of 10
Actually one trick I've seen in a lot of conversions is to de-focus the background through say a window in a moving vehicle and give it depth back to make the foreground seem more 3d.

Alice in wonderland did that a lot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boundless View Post

johnny905 > I'm not sure I entirely agree with everything said here.

Nor am I. Ridley could just be warning us that Prometheus is so reliant on 3D that it will not come across well on our Droids.

> First off, to say that the advent of color meant that new films
> simply "didn't work" in B&W is false.


I didn't say that. Let me restate. With the advent of major new screening technologies, like color, the door was opened to doing things that would not work in the previous format. Some color films don't work in B&W, but certainly not all (or even most).

My point is that either no one has been able, or no one is willing, to make a non-gimmicky 3D film whose artistry utterly fails if the 3D is removed. I'm guessing that there are some artists who are able, but the money isn't willing, because 3D-only is too small a market.

It's almost the reverse. The money is blinded by Cameron's $3Bill. They're telling the directors: "You shoot in 3D, or we post in 3D. Art? Check your depth of field at the door, please. We can't have any out-of-focus foregrounds or backgrounds in the 3D version. Headaches, you know."
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