Monday, October 01, 2012

The Evolution of 3D


Charlize Theron and Michael Fassbender Lead an Extraordinary Cast in the Epic Sci-Fi Thriller Debuting on Blu-ray 3D,
Blu-ray and DVD

Contains Over Seven Hours of Bonus Material Including an Alternate Opening and Ending, Deleted and Alternate Scenes and
Access to Peter Weyland’s Files

Did you know audiences were paying to see 3D films as early as 1922? While 3D has become a major trend in the present day film industry, it actually has a lengthy history. Join us as we take a look at 3D as it’s grown and changed throughout the decades -- from 1922’s The Power of Love to Captain Eo in the ‘80s, to present-day stunners like Prometheus; I, Robot; Avatar and more.

Some still debate what actually qualifies as the first 3D film. The popular pick is a 1903 short called L'arrivee du train, a short film in which a train comes roaring into a station. The quality was apparently good enough to convince several members of the audience they were about to be run over. But the first commercially released 3D film was 1922's The Power of Love. This was also the first 3D film to make use of 3D glasses. 

Bwana Devil became the first 3D color film in 1952. Long before he became a television superstar in the 1980s, Robert Stack starred in this camp favorite about British railway workers in Kenya who are becoming the favorite snack of two man-eating lions. 

While Disney also experimented with 3D in the 50s, studios seemed to gravitate towards horror movies like The Creature From the Black Lagoon when it came to 3D. But ultimately, due to expensive equipment and a waning interest from movie-goers, 3D fell out of favor soon enough. 

3D came back into favor when newer technologies were developed and the 70s and 80s saw films marketed at older viewers and fans of violent horror films. Many popular horror franchises celebrated their third installment by adopting 3D; like Jaws 3D and Amityville 3D. Disney was still involved with 3D as well and brought Captain Eo, a short-but-expensive 3D flick starring icon Michael Jackson, as an attraction to Disneyland in 1986.

Once IMAX began to dabble in 3D films, the films were paired with polarized lenses rather than the flimsy, anaglyph glasses. Yet once again, 3D vanished from the mainstream. Although the technology had improved, 3D movies were still too expensive for filmmakers and audiences were still perfectly happy to see 2D films.
But finally, in 2004, the release of The Polar Express marked a turning point.  The CG animated film starring Tom Hanks was released simultaneously in standard theaters and IMAX 3D theaters. Studios quickly began to see the lucrative potential in modern 3D filmmaking.

Of course, the most successful 3D film to date is Avatar. Mastermind James Cameron filmed the movie with custom-built cameras and 3D software. Its massive box office success finally stood as proof that audiences were ready to spend on a 3D film experience.
Today, 3D movies have become available for home entertainment, especially since people now have the option to buy 3D-capable televisions. And at the forefront of this new revolution you will find films like I, Robot, Prometheus, Ice Age 4: Continental Drift, Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter, and, of course, Avatar, which are all being release for consumers to buy in 3D Blu-ray. 

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