Since it debuted half a century ago, 3D cinema has mainly been a gimmick. To date, perhaps my favorite of the all these movies is a short horror film farce by the Three Stooges, because it fully embraces the silliness of 3D, using every gag imaginable, with no pretensions of it being an art form.
But 3D can be taken seriously if it’s done right, says Jon Landau, producer of the (admittedly somewhat hokey) blockbuster Titanic, who is now working with his director partner Jim Cameron on the live action 3D flick Avatar. He extolled the virtues of 3D at the Consumer Electronics Show during a press event in which Panasonic announced plans to bring 3D capabilities to its plasma TVs and Blu-ray players.
The trick to making a 3D film that isn't gimmicky, says Landau, is not to think too much about the 3D. "You have to be careful not to fall into the trap that the imagery would suggest to you, which is 'stay on me longer, look how real I am, stay on that shot,'" he explained. "It's like transferring from black-and-whit to color. Just because it's in color doesn’t mean I want to hang on the shot of the flower longer while the lead actor is talking."
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.