Pro/Con: Is 3-D technology here to stay?


Aug. 29, 2010 at 3:29 a.m.

From blockbusters to animated films to even documentaries, more and more movies are being released in 3-D at theaters. In fact, movies with release dates as far out as 2012 are set to be released in 3-D.

For many movie buffs and filmmakers, this over-use of the technology is doing more harm to the film industry than good.

Will Moore, a filmmaker born and raised in Victoria and the writer and director of the movies "Wesley Cash" and "Cowboy Smoke," believes that the new trend is more of a way to make money than a way to push the boundaries of filmmaking, he said.

"To be honest I am not a fan of 3-D. The only movie I have seen use 3-D in a way that actually enhanced the film was 'Avatar' and about halfway through I ended up getting a headache," Moore added. "I just don't get it and am hoping, like in the 1950s, it is just a fad; a ploy to get people in the movie theater that eventually goes away. But you never know. If people keep going, the studios will keep converting films into 3-D. I'm pretty sure it's a profit thing."

Landon McDonald, a screenwriter and actor formerly of Victoria, agrees and thinks it's time for moviegoers to catch on to Hollywood's scheme.

"As a filmmaker, the idea to make a film in 3-D is just another way of 'keeping up with the Joneses.' I feel it's done by studios and directors to capitalize on this 'new wave' of filmmaking. In reality, its just a money making scheme," he said. "Ever notice how you pay more for a movie in 3-D? Hello! Wake up, moviegoers! You're being swindled!"

In March, ticket prices for 3-D movies jumped by more than 20 percent in markets across the United States as a result of theater chains trying to capitalize on the success of 3-D movies such as "Alice in Wonderland" and "Avatar," according to an article in the Christian Science Monitor.

At Victoria Cinemark, moviegoers pay an extra $2.75 for their 3-D movie ticket, although in other places, the price jumps to as high as an extra $7 per ticket.

For McDonald, it's not worth it. After recently seeing several movies in 3-D, including "Step Up 3-D" and Piranha 3-D," he said he couldn't help but wonder what was actually in 3-D in the movies other than a few obvious attacks made at the camera.

"It was more painful watching a 3-D movie than Mariah Carey in 'Glitter.' I say just stick with 2-D and leave 3-D to James Cameron since he only makes movies every 10 years." he added. "Plus, how can you enjoy a movie in 3-D when Bubba Long Arms in the seat below you is trying to reach out and touch every single object floating past him? It's a distraction. What should be in 3-D are the behind-the-scenes footage from movies so that audience members can have the chance to punch the people who fork up the money to produce crap like 'Jonas Brothers 3-D.'"

It's not just local filmmakers and movie buffs against the 3-D trend. Roger Ebert, the nationally syndicated movie critic, also recently spoke out about Hollywood's relentless pursuit of the technology.

"3-D is a waste of a perfectly good dimension. Hollywood's current crazy stampede toward it is suicidal. It adds nothing essential to the moviegoing experience," Ebert wrote in an article for Newsweek. "For some, it is an annoying distraction. For others, it creates nausea and headaches. Its image is noticeably darker than standard 2-D. It is unsuitable for grown-up films of any seriousness. It limits the freedom of directors to make films as they choose."

Related: Pro: 3-D technology adds new element to movies, is here to stay



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