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Genuine 3D can take Indian cinema to new heights – if 3D marketers don’tsabotage this golden opportunity

3D is the new bitch in town. Hate it or love it but you cannot ignore it. Yes, it has the usual set of problems. There are places that use active technology and then there are other theatres that use passive 3D. Somewhere, the picture seems dark while in other places, it seems much brighter than necessary.

Let’s give it a break and accept that the technology is nascent and films have had a hundred years to become the top gun. All in all, there are only two kinds of3D. One that gives you a headache the other does not.

Here in our country, there has been alot of touting and press releases on who made the first 3D film. I was amused by the Shirish Kunder film,  Joker, touting to be the first 3D film, then the first commercial 3D and then lastly the first big 3D film.

There is really no end to such publicity now, is there? We can be the first 3D film shot in India and the first shot in Hawaii or the first in Gangtok! The fact is that Chotta Chetan brought 3D to thecountry and then came Avatar, and thenew technology called stereoscopy.

Haunted is, and will remain, India’s first stereoscopic 3D film shot anywhere, big, small or commercial. That is not a device to market the film any more. That is just a film fact.

What is stereoscopy? Once can offer a very technical explanation but it would be incomprehensible. Let’s just say that before Avatar, we could not control 3D but now, with the advent of James Cameron’s new mirror rigs, 3D can be controlled. 3D moved from being an experimental technology to a stable one. Mr Cameron is owed a lot by cinema and is much more than just a successful filmmaker.

However, what concerns me iswheather we understand how 3D isdone and that we don’t squander this opportunity like Hollywood almost did. My protest is against the conversion from 2D to 3D. Any kind of conversion can never be real 3D. Real 3D is what you see with two eyes. Then how can what is seen with one eye be 3D? Yes, the conversion will give you a perception of depth and even fool you into believing it’s 3D but let’s face it that Clash Of The Titans could never match up to Avatar. The conversion will have things popping out at you andwill have the odd object cruising at you but that again is computer graphics at work.

3D should be seen as much more than just things being flung at you. It is amore ‘immersive’ experience. It is about being lost in another world, not about objects from another world being hurled at you. Think back to Avatar and you will find that not once did anything come at you. That kind of gimmicky 3D is passe.

The question is: Do we want to createa genuine 3D market here or kill the goose with a few half-baked conversion attempts that would confuse the audience into thinking that all 3D is bad?

Let’s be clear that I am not alludingto any one film or any filmmaker here. There are a few conversions in the pipeline as I write this and, in all probability, they will be good conversions butlet’s be clear again that they won’t bethe genuine 3D experience.

I urge to protect a golden kingdomfrom our temporary box office lust. Ifwe use this right, it will bear us fruitsenough to survive till, of course, the advent of the hologram, which again isfodder for another piece.

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