October 12, 2011

3-D movies: Now a permanent dimension

Three-dimensional films are not in any way new to the world of cinema, yet in recent years the old method has come back into vogue. Nothing much is different about the basic technology behind today’s 3-D films compared to past cinematography but the marketing methods have changed.
Today, nostalgia is a huge moneymaker for 3-D filmmakers — the most recent example being Disney’s 3-D release of “The Lion King.”
“I think that it can seem distracting … but seeing movies we loved as kids in 3-D adds a new element,” freshman Stephen Ford said.
The distraction factor, though, is a definite drawback to 3-D movies.
“I don’t like 3-D at all, but they’re able to make money out of it,” freshman Lizzy Tucker said. “I can handle it with cartoons because it’s tailored for cartoons and horror movies, but they’re retrofitting it to anything to make money.”
There is certainly money to be made out of producing 3-D films. At the movie theater, the extra price for a 3-D ticket goes toward the extra cost of making the movie. However, the profit made from this price increase tends to greatly outweigh the cost of production. Plain and simple: 3-D, overall, makes more money for the film industry.
“It may involve more money but it does really add a lot to the experience,” Ford argued.
Taylor disagreed, explaining how she usually barely notices the 3-D effects. After seeing the final Harry Potter movie in 3-D, the only scene she recalled being made more interesting by the three-dimensional aspect was Voldemort’s death. Throughout the overall film, though, she noticed very little.
“If you can’t make Harry Potter interesting in 3-D then what can you make interesting?” she asked.
Ford explained how he feels 3-D effects are supposed to be subtle.
“I don’t think it’s supposed to jump out of the screen at you and be blaringly obvious. I think it’s just supposed to enhance the experience,” he said.
One major drawback to the 3-D experience is discomfort. Many complain of headaches caused from prolonged viewing of 3-D effects.
Others just dislike wearing the glasses. “I prefer wearing my glasses to my contacts but now when I go to movies I have to wear contacts,” Taylor said, though her eyes tend to become irritated when she wears contacts.
Despite consumer frustrations, 3-D technology does not appear to be going by the wayside anytime soon — especially with the new trend of using it to “upgrade” media or a product. For example, Nintendo’s 3-DS released earlier this year makes it possible to play games unavailable for any other console. Taylor, an avid gamer, bought one not for the 3-D aspect but because there were games she wanted that could only be played on the 3-DS.
“I would say that the gaming industry, or any industry, is always doing that,” Ford said. “Take the Gameboy, for example.” According to Ford, the idea of upgrading with 3-D won’t go away any time soon, that is, until it is no longer a money-maker.

Camille Brown
Camille Brown is a junior majoring in English literature and double minoring in educational policy and journalism. Previously, she served as editor-in-chief of her high school paper and a reporter for TKS. She spent the summer of 2012 freelancing for The Peninsula Gateway and is currently pursuing an independent study concerning the media’s influence on education.

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