Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Coming at you

The impact of Avatar continues to be felt across Hollywood. Some people are wondering whether movies will become more politically daring when addressing modern imperialism, some are questioning the growing prevalence of 'synthespians', and some are wondering how to apply James Cameron's 3D technology in building a better bongo flick.

The porn industry has always attracted early adopters (as well as premature finishers). In fact, home video, satellite broadcasting, DVD and the internet all owe as much of their success to innovative grot-merchants as Kleenex or Atrixo.

So it's not exactly shocking to discover that pornographers are keen to embrace the third dimension in giving their films a little extra depth. Actually, this isn't the first time that adult movies have delved into 3D - 1969's 'The Stewardess' managed to rake in almost $30 million thanks to its jiggling extra-dimensional boobs.

Sadly, anyone hoping to immerse themselves in a world of bored housewives, tumescent plumbers and disobedient schoolgirls will have to wait a while until full penetration is achieved - the TV technology is still in its infancy. Rob Smith, a director of Hustler Video Group, said "I'm hoping by the fourth quarter of this year it will be at the point where we can justify doing a 3D product."

The other problem is those pesky glasses - according to Ali Joone, founder of Digital Playground, "3D glasses are also an issue because people don't want to be encumbered by eyewear when viewing a film." I would have thought that, as long as their hands were free, this wouldn't be an issue.

The directors have their own challenges too. Aside from budgetary restrictions, there's the issue of image cropping. "We noticed when we were watching the footage later that you have to frame things differently for 3D. When part of an arm or leg is cut out of a shot in a 2D movie it looks okay, he said, but in 3D it looks kind of strange."

I think someone needs to point out to him that it's not the limbs that viewers will be focusing on. They'll be too busy ducking, fearful that they're about to have an eye poked out.

Call me a cynic, but I think 3D will be another temporary trend. After all, what's the point of aiming 3D technology at an audience that's in danger of going blind anyway?

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