That was the question that Vicki Betihavas, founder of Nineteen Fifteen, asked of her audience at the recent at the Broadcast Video Expo (BVE) show in London. “Will 2012 be the year that 3D takes off?” she mused rhetorically, stressing that “It will only survive if people make good programs”. Martin Scorsese’s Hugo was, she said, an important milestone in the way 3D is perceived: “a movie that wasn't about the gimmick of 3D”.
Content still has to be king, and 3D should serve to make a good movie more engaging. That - and glasses-less viewing - will be key to adoption of 3D. It’s not enough to badge content as 3D and expect to be able to charge a premium for it, she said, as consumers are more clued up to what they want and have a wider option of viewing generally.
Betihavas provided a snapshot view of 3D milestones, pointing out that it is not exactly a new viewing experience, being around as it has since the 1840s. It was the onset of digital that broke new ground and made 3D a universal experience. That was also what helped make Avatar the huge hit that it was, she said, predicting that there will not be another Avatar for a while. Because digital was new and made 3D a universal experience, there was no competition, and so a snowballling effect led to that massive success.
To summarize: “3D is not going away though it has commoditized rather quickly on some things.” There are now so many channels in which it can be exhibited - cinema, home, TV, etc and, she said, “You can have two bites at the cherry - you can still shoot and archive in 3D and show it in 2D.”