Peter Gabriel releasing 3D Concert Film

Interesting review in by Paul Reynolds in Consumer Reports (of all places) yesterday raving about Peter Gabriel’s new concert film [click here to read].  Peter Gabriel is the kind of artist that is ideal suited for exploring a new media and it sounds like he’s living up to that promise with this orchestra-based concert.

The review speculates about the potential box office performance considering the track record of recent concert films such as Miley Cyrus, the Jonas Brothers, and Glee on Tour.

I guess for Consumer Reports that’s an apples to apples comparison but it’s really an indication of how much this business is still in its infancy, lumping together content by format rather than, say, content.  A more appropriate comparison would be the pioneering 2008 U23D film from 3ality, directed by the ridiculously talented Catherine Owens.

I’m looking forward to seeing what Peter Gabriel comes up with! Here’s a link to showtimes from Mr. Gabriel’s website, and here is a bit more about the show as well as the new album it’s supporting.


Toronto: Hotbed of 3D innovation

Toronto continues to evolve as an important hotbed of 3D technology and business.  This articlein Variety highlights some of the companies leading in the field and mentions the 3D Flic consortium at York University–which hosted the recent Toronto International Stereoscopic 3D conference.  The conference was a great success and one of the highlights for me was Graeme Ferguson–co-founder and co-inventor of IMAX–crediting a good science education in Ontario public schools for inspiring and enabling innovation.

The Toronto International 3D Stereoscopic Conference at the TIFF Lightbox, Toronto in June.

Coming soon: Scorsese, Coppola, and Spielberg direct 3D

Three of Hollywood’s most respected directors–Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, and Steven Spielberg–are joining the ranks of Werner Herzog, Wim Wenders and Ridley Scott in directing features shot in 3D that go beyond the typical action/adventure/animated fare.

The Wall Street Journal has a thoughtful and though-provoking article here (by Michelle Kung) on the impact this new wave of films could have on the emerging 3D film genre.

“You now have some of the greatest filmmakers in the world stepping into the format to tell their stories,” says Jeffrey Katzenberg, DreamWorks Animation chief executive and 3-D’s most indefatigable evangelist.

FANTASTIC illustration from Wall Street Journal article:


Like the picture says, use your red/blue 3D glasses at home and enjoy the illustration “in an added dimension”.

It’s just a fad #2

One of the first “movies” ever, the Lumière brothers’ L’arrivée d’un train en gare de La Ciotat or The Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat Station.  It was probably shot in 1895 and first exhibited in 1896.  From the beginning filmmakers played with 3D–trying to break the proscenium wall of theatre with the new technology of film.

Louis Lumière later re-shot this in 3D (either in 1903 or 1935 depending on what account you believe).  There’s a lot more research to be done on the history of 3D!

TRAILER: Werner Herzog’s “Cave of Forgotten Dreams”

My favorite trailer for Werner Herzog’s first film in 3D.  This is a bold and moving documentary about the very, very extraordinary ancient cave paintings recently discovered in France.

This is Herzog’s first film in 3D and the first serious/art/independent film I’ve seen.  It gives an early glimpse at what is possible using 3D as a broader storytelling tool.

(YouTube video plays after a short ad.)

Jeffery Katzenburg speaks


The June 9, 2011 Hollywood Reporter interview: “Jeffrey Katzenberg on the ‘Heartbreaking’ Decline of 3D” 

As the summer movie season 2011 got underway the first two big blockbusters–Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and DreamWorks Animation’s Kung Fu Panda 2–both saw their 2D versions outperform 3D versions.

In a very frank interview Katzenberg talks about the opportunity and disappointment of the current crop of 3D films.

Debating 3D #1: Roger Ebert says “Never”

“Why 3D doesn’t work and never will. Case closed.”

Film critic, historian, and intrepid blogger Roger Ebert drew a line in the sand in this blog post from January 23, 2011.

“It’s just a fad” #1

19th century painting of women looking at a stereoscope

From Wikipedia entry on "Stereoscopy": "Company of ladies watching stereoscopic photographs, painting by Jacob Spoel, before 1868. Probably the earliest depiction of people using a stereoscope" {This media file is in the public domain of the United States}


I’m a recent convert to 3D stereography. Of course like most people I’ve had two eyes for a long time. I see in stereo, and I love what I see. I love nature. I love art—traditional painting, photography, sculpture, conceptual work, street art. And cinema. I love movies.

For several years I’ve been working in the technology side of digital cinema distribution for both files and live streams. I was fortunate to participate in pioneering successes in delivering live 3D events to cinemas around the world (with International Datacasting, Sensio and Cinedigm).

But I’ve been a secret cynic. I felt like this is something not meant for me, or my demographic (I’m not a teenaged boy). Recently that has changed. A number of things have opened my eyes and now I’m excited by the possibilities and can’t wait to see what comes next.

Let’s start here. A few months ago I saw a wonderful short on AMC celebrating the 10th anniversary of sound motion pictures with an awful sound track describing how great sound quality is. Can’t find that but this does a good job of showing a bumpy technology in its technical and aesthetic infancy: