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Old 12-05-2017, 09:52 AM   #18
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Utah
Posts: 102
Chain of thought

I became interested in stereoscopy when word of James Cameron's Avator came out. "state of the art 3D" "so immersive you'll feel like you're there" If anyone could do it, it would be Cameron. He is a technically minded director who accepts nothing short of perfection and who has the money to invent new technology if it doesn't already exist. I was sold. If Cameron was making a 3D movie then 3D is the future!!

I was not impressed with Avatar the way I thought I would be, or wanted to be. Yes, it was a technical marvel and the story telling was good but, I didn't feel any sense of immersion. The characters were on the screen (or in the screen) and I was in the audience watching. I was not within the world being shown on the screen. Later I asked myself 'why not?'.

As you guys have already mentioned. You both said it but Walter put it very well "Trying to project a new medium on an existing one." For me, the biggest problem with 3D movies is that they are shot with a 2D mentality. Same camera angles. Same camera movis, and same editing style... and I understand why they still do this; the movie has to show well on a 2D screen as well as 3D. They can't afford to commit to "storytelling -borne out of the technology".

What would a 3D movie look like if the film makers committed to make a true 3D movie that is immersive? I have thought about this for years and I'm convinced that scale would have to be maintained and the editing cuts would have to brought down to a minimum. None at all would actually be the best. In essence, you would be watching a stage play. The people on the screen would have to be seen at true scale; about 6 feet tall. No close ups since there are no close ups in life unless you physically move in closer to someone. The pont of convergence (where the image appears ON the screen) for the stereo pairs would have to coincide with the actual distance between the viewer and the screen. Again, it would be like being present at a stage play.

So much for pure 3D movies. I don't think anyone will sit through a movie like that. Not even me.. So, we compromise. We use close ups and editing and we don't maintain true scale BUT we do modify the editing to make it less intrusive (good editing should not draw attention to itself anyway).. We use a deep DOF, longer establishing shots with fewer close ups, cut aways and all the other techniques that work well in 2D but will remind us in 3D that this is not real.

It seems like a losing battle. It seems like immersive 3D is a pipe dream. Any presentation that reminds us that what we are seeing is not real can not possibly be immersive.

But wait, that isn't true at all. I have been immersed in plenty of films. Everyone has but, here's the thing; none of them were 3D.

Jaws, close encounters, indiana Jones, Star Wars, The Exorcist,Breathless, Alien, Kramer vs Kramer, Wisdom, King Kong 1976. That is a partial list of films that I felt immersed in. Those are films that sucked me in and made me feel like I was there.

STORY TELLING!! that is and always has been the answer to the question 'how do you immerse the audience in the reality of your movie?'. Story telling.... Adding 3D to a so so story leaves you with a 3D so so movie. It won't be elevated by the magic of 3D because 3D is only 'more information' in much the same way that color film is only more information than black and white film.

This might sound strange coming from a guy who claims Hollywood does not understand what they are doing. I still stand by that. I mean, if they did, I think they would at least modify the way they shoot and edit a movie that will be presented in 3D. That is the least they can do. The most they can do is make a pure 3D movie that is designed to be a 3D movie. In the middle ground, they are completely capable of making 2 versions of the same move; a 2D edit and a 3D edit. Good planning and a good editing team could make this a reality.

... but at the end of the day, I believe the true immersive experience hinges on the story and the telling of the story. In conclusion, 3D is just more information.

BUT, if you are going to use it, you should use it well. Stereoscopy offers its own bag of tricks that can be used to help tell a story. Strange, I've discovered these tricks but from what I can tell, other 3D people have not. I never talk about them in detail because I don't want to just give them away. I either want to lay claim to them by using them in a movie or presenting them in my book. After that, anyone can use them. They don't cost anything.

Last edited by Velusion; 12-05-2017 at 09:59 AM.
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