Is 3-D filmmaking really the next evolution for cinema, or is it just another passing fad?
The invention of the television in the 1950's is commonly attributed to the mass adoption of Cinemascope -- or widescreen film exhibition. To be fair it only played a part, considering that the death of the studio system played a substantial role in the closing of movie theaters, which in turn had a considerable impact on theater attendance.
That said, the threat of declining ticket sales, dwindling exhibition houses, and the rise in popularity of the television definitely loomed large for the movie industry. The need to find a way to pull people back into theater seats was tantamount, and the introduction of Cinemascope, a lens used to film and project widescreen films, provided a real allure for would-be moviegoers. Sure, those who could afford a television could sit at home and watch a tiny boxed image, or they could go to the cinema and experience widescreen in all of its expansive glory.
Today, both the movie and television industries face a different type of battle -- a struggle to find ways to compete in a content world where media consumption is powered by the Internet.
Luckily for the movie industry, advances in 3-D filmmaking technology have offered a resurgence. The release of Avatar has re-enforced that audiences will endure a total digital experience in 3-D with a runtime on par (or exceeding) that of the average film.
And did I mention that they'll pay a premium for the experience?
This has prompted a flood of 3-D movies hitting cinemas of varying quality, and television is jumping on board with 3-D TV sets aimed at the home theater crowd. This development has created a stir, with critics like Roger Ebert decrying the sudden focus on 3-D technology. infoMania's Ben Hoffman loves 3-D, and even shared why in his latest editorial.
3-D Kicks Ass from infoMania
So here's the question, is 3-D the next evolution to keep theater attendance up, a futile attempt that will soon be undermined by 3-D television, or a passing fad akin to the gimmicks of the 1950s like smell-o-vision and the previous iteration of 3-D?