December 23, 2012

3D As A Social Revolution

It’s definitely the flagship of modern entertainment, especially in cinema, and it’s been prominent in American culture since the 1980’s. But will some new innovation eventually outshine 3-dimensional films?

Behind the camera, new things are harder than ever to discover and try. Well over one hundred years after the birth of motion pictures, cinema has experienced many revolutions and golden eras across its medium. Before the birth of sound synced with video, silent black and white film dominated the market and was still a spectacle for audiences.

If you’ve done your research, then you already know that one of the first audiences for a silent film were shown a moving train on screen, with the camera set right next to the tracks. Keep in mind that this was the first time that motion pictures had been shown to a group of people. They were so flabbergasted by it, even without sound, that people fell out of their seats!!! Men and women even left the theater out of discomfort.

Dear God, if they only knew what was coming.

Over the decades, technological upgrades were implemented such as the addition of color, and eventually changing formats from film, to videotape to digital video. These took a necessary toll on the industry, as well as the consumer market, in their own respective ways. Of course 3D has existed in small forms since 1915, but because of costly processes and hardware needed to film it, 3D was slow to make its appearance in media until recent decades. Remember that the three most popular eras for 3D film were in the 50’s, 80’s, and of course in the 21st century. Take note that it is generally a thirty year period between each resurgence.

Considering that 3D film is almost as old as every other form of creative film, why is it so popular amongst today’s youth? The answer could be rooted in the theory of popular media fads and demand for really ridiculous things at really ridiculous times. Notice that, with the exception of Psy’s “Gangnam Style,” cats and laughing babies are the most popular things on YouTube.


Because the individual is smart, but the people are dumb.

When Avatar made its boom in the 3D film genre just a few short years ago, it was immensely regarded as one of the greatest movies of all time. People actually walked out disappointed that a world like Pandora didn’t exist!

This sort of highlights the idea of the role of 3D in motion pictures, which would seem different than its role thirty years ago. Back then, the picture was supposed to pop at you, and yet Avatar used its technology to tie in with the visual perspective of the film as well as its character analogies.

In hindsight, it is a case of contagious popularity.

Get enough of us in one single place and it won’t matter what’s logical or illogical, because popular opinion rules out any day. The terrifying part of this is that one utterance of a name or place from a public icon in the wrong way, and millions of people can rain down destruction and terror on a single individual. This is just a worse case scenario however, you probably shouldn’t think of this theory in that context.

What I relate to the most is the phenomenon that weak and bland material – movies, books even – are popularized to near immortal levels. Just how special and fascinating is Twilight to the art of writing?

When you think about it, 3D may possibly only be successful because of its ability to be so easily attached to popular media. It’s not just an attachment to ANY form of art, because I mean it is exclusively tied to pop culture.

Whether or not that exclusive factor is permanent, remains to be seen.

Image Credit: Photos.com

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