Why I hate 3D, and You Should, Too

Posted: November 3, 2010 in Essays on filmmaking
Tags: ,

It’s that time again, time for the Outlaw to get her hate on. And what better target than 3D.

From the recent craze for 3D movies, you  might think that they just invented the technology, but those of us who have been to Disney World or know anything about film history know that 3D has been around a while. A long while. It was invented back in the 1950s, as part of a larger push to defeat television with spectacle, but it died out for the same reasons that it bugs me today.

It adds nothing.

You have to wear stupid plastic glasses to see it.

It jacks up production costs. It’s part of the studios trying to put filmmaking back out of the financial reach of independents so that they never have to face the fact that independents  are capable of telling stories as well, if not better, than studios do.

It jacks up ticket prices.

It is one more special effect to use instead of plot or character. It follows in a long line of gimmicks Hollywood has used to try and convince people to see movies that aren’t very good,  going back to Technicolor (not so bad) and Smell-o-Vision (terrible. Awful. The absolute worst)

Studio heads hold something shiny in front of an audience and saying, “Ooo, isn’t this neat? So pretty!” And they expect us to follow suit. The fact that many people do makes me hate 3D because it proves how stupid people are.

They are slapping it on every movie with the slightest bit of action. Case in point, Clash of the Titans. Which they made first with out 3D, and apparently, they decided that 3D changes nothing.

And now they are making 3D TV’s, so you can also be ripped off in your own home.

I do not hate 3D, and neither should you, at least, not as much, when it is done with 3D animation, mostly because the technology of 3D animation matches well with 3D projection. You can tell because they both have 3D in their names. But then I hate it again when I think of making a five year old pay $15 to see a movie. It is just wrong.

The best place for 3D is Disney World, where you can love 3D in Michael Jackson’s long running Captain EO, because it is awesome, or the Muppets theater, which also blows on you and pokes you in the back and is, in every way, an experience, like a ride, and not a story, like a film. It’s neat to watch a bug fly out of the screen or have the end of a stick look ready to tap you on the nose, but these are not things we were missing from regular movies. Not the way we were missing sound and color. The last time I checked, The Curious Case of the Fly and the Pokey Sticks wasn’t languishing in post due to technological limitations.

3D is a novelty, like the holographic images they used to sell, but no longer do, because they were just a useless fad. Cool to look at. But also useless.

Avatar is to blame for this current rash of 3D films, specifically, the chu-ching that studio heads hear when Avatar is mentioned.  And they are planning to shoot Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit in 3D, which would be successful even if it were shot on old grocery bags, so that will keep the salivating going for a while longer. But I hate it. And you should, too.

  1. Ray of the hill-people says:

    So if it was in HD and 3D it would cancel out the hate?

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