Home viewing of movies in three dimensions will be slow to catch on until technology improvements deliver high-quality viewing without special 3D glasses, according to James Cameron, director of films including The Terminator, Titanic and Avatar.
Cameron, a fervent believer in 3D, said a lack of high-quality content was also a barrier to wider adoption, but a poor technology to accommodate groups of people watching from different angles without glasses was the main obstacle. “The biggest hurdle right now is the experience in the home. While it’s quite good, it requires committing to wearing glasses,” said Cameron.
“It’s a family phenomenon so it has to be seen from different angles. High-quality, full HD-resolution, glasses-free displays are two to four years away,” he said. “In the next few years, I think the market will explode.”
Three-dimensional films, which enhance the perception of depth by being shot from two perspectives, gained popularity during the 2000s and achieved a breakthrough with Cameron’s Avatar in 2009, which became the top box-office earner ever.
Films shot in 3D are still few and far between, but many studios are converting their back catalogues of traditional films into 3D — with mixed results. I think quick and shabby versions in 3D have hurt the business,” said Cameron while adding, “It’s not worth it if you can’t do it right.”
Cameron’s own Titanic was re-released in a 3D version in cinemas last month, after a year of work on the conversion personally supervised by Cameron; it will be released on high-definition Blu-ray for home viewing in 2D and 3D on September 14. The disc will include extra footage including world experts on the Titanic disaster trying to solve the mystery of how the “unsinkable” ship sank a century ago.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 2nd, 2012.
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