They’re dim: I’m not talking about the plot or characters (although most would fall under this category). Instead, because of the process to convert a 2D image into 3D, the overall brightness of the 3D image is measurably darker than its 2D counterpart. This is especially true for movies that weren’t shot in 3D initially but were later converted to 3D.
Adding a generic layer doesn’t create a unique experience: For 3D to work, everyone must wear special one-size-fits-all glasses. These may work well for the average-sized human – presuming, of course, that said human doesn’t already have glasses over which these overpriced pieces of Risky Business-inspired tomfoolery must fit. If that is the case, well…enjoy the popcorn and the beat-down you’re giving to your visual cortex.
The problem gets worse when you think of the real target market for 3D films: young kids. Most animated movies released in the last three years have been distributed in both 2D and 3D formats.
Think through this for a second.
Let’s say you take a 7-year-old Disney-loving girl to see this this G-rated film. She will be required to wear adult-sized 3D glasses. Gravity and discomfort will team up to turn this previously sweet little princess into a squirming spawn of Hades when she realizes she’ll need to hold onto these ill-fitting Goggles of Doom through the entire movie, or keep pushing them up her nose about 48 times a minute. Trust me, there is no amount of concession stand offerings can make that pain go away soon.
And don’t believe this site’s claims that kid-sized glasses were available with Toy Story 3. They weren’t, at least not in my theater. As a result, the kids were so frustrated after that 3D experience that they wished (SPOILER!) Woody and Buzz would’ve really burned alive. Ouch.
We forget the extra dimension eventually: The whole point of 3D is to make the audience feel like they’re part of the movie – which good directors, cinematographers, and sound designers have been doing just fine in 2D for decades. I get frustrated when filmmakers include a distracting stunt or ridiculous character movement to remind their bespectacled audiences that they are still watching a 3D movie. If you have to keep pulling them out of the story to remind them that your work contains an “amazing” additional dimension, YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG.
The price isn’t worth it: I’m supposed to shell out an extra $4 per ticket to wear recyclable plastic lenses to watch a dim film that doesn’t entertain any better than the 2D version that the vast majority of planet Earth is equipped to watch? Uh, nope. But studios are hoping everyone one else will.
I wonder how many businesses out there have fallen under the influence of 3D and have attempted to add some other dimension to a product or service, all in the name of creating a better experience for the customer. If so, I hope they asked themselves a few things that misguided 3D filmmakers should have:
- Is your added dimension really necessary? You may think it’s cool but the customer may not need it…or may not want you in their face that much.
- Are all of the elements of the experience bright and clear enough to make the new dimension interesting and relevant to the customer?
- Is your added dimension going to wow them on its own, or do they have to struggle with poorly-designed add-ons that will frustrate them or make them look stupid?
- Is it worth the cost?
If they haven’t, then they’re going to turn a lot of customers into ticked-off 7-year-olds. Have fun with that.