×

Pros warn that bad 3D could cause audience fall-off

Paying attention to light levels can maintain movie magic

A group of industry experts put the blame for most bad 3D theatrical experiences on outdated exhibition standards and the pressure on exhibitors to control their costs at today’s 3D Entertainment Summit at Hollywood and Highland.

During the Exhibition Technology for 3D Motion Pictures panel hosted by Variety’s 3D maven David Cohen, several speakers emphasized the importance of showing 3D with the proper amount of light. They also discussed that not doing so put exhibition at risk.

Steve Barnett, veep of post production for 20th Century Fox feature films, said not paying attention to light levels risks “People voting with their feet. We see it in the box office when the 3D doesn’t look like it’s supposed to look.”

Audiences and filmmakers have long complained that 3D films are often too dark when not shown as intended. Skip Kimball, senior digital intermediate colorist for Technicolor had other concerns.

Popular on Variety

“You get the depth (of an image) back when you show it with enough light,” explained Kimball. “3D can look flat when there’s not enough light.”

Though the light issue confounds exhibition, movie theaters face a rapid upgrade cycle as 3D technology advances each year. Theater chains are then faced with the choice of what to upgrade, when it upgrade it and how often to upgrade it in order to stay competitive.

“One of the problems with the lamps used today is the brightness falls off pretty fast,” said Bill Beck, founder of Laser Light Engines. “The advantage with a laser is that those problems don’t exist because it’s a combination of more light in the same projector over time and so you keep the cost down.”

Panelists also agreed that the costs facing exhibitors are substantial and that moviegoers might be reluctant to spend the money on 3D films in this economy. They also agreed that when moviegoers have a bad experience with 3D it also makes them less likely to spend on it in the future.

“The light level is what allows the directors and the cinematographers to paint with emotion,” said Barnett. “When that’s not there you lose part of the experience.”

The two-day 3D Entertainment Summit is presented by Unicomm and the Bob Dowling Group in association with Variety.

More Digital

  • Disney Plus - Vizio

    Disney Plus Is Now on Vizio Smart TVs in Native App

    Disney Plus is available on Vizio’s SmartCast TV platform as a built-in app, making the Mouse House’s subscription-streaming service accessible directly to users of the manufacturer’s 13 million SmartCast-enabled televisions. Previously, Vizio users have been able to stream Disney Plus on SmartCast TVs through Apple AirPlay 2 and Chromecast. But with the Disney Plus update, [...]

  • Best Picture Black Panther

    'Black Panther' Is Leaving Netflix to Come to Disney Plus

    Marvel’s blockbuster “Black Panther” is rolling off Netflix in the U.S. on March 3, 2020 — after which Wakanda fans will be able to stream the movie the next day on Disney Plus. The migration of “Black Panther,” one of the top-grossing superhero films to date, from Netflix to Disney Plus comes as Disney winds [...]

  • GoNoodle I Used a Comma

    Can GoNoodle Climb to the Kid-Media Big Leagues?

    If you’re a parent of grade-school kids in America, the odds are good your tykes know about GoNoodle’s upbeat music and exercise videos, designed to get them up on their feet and moving around. But GoNoodle doesn’t have the same brand recognition as, say, Disney or Nickelodeon — and KC Estenson wants to change that. [...]

  • Friends TV Series

    'Friends' DVD, Digital Sales Soar as It Takes a Break From Streaming

    They’re on a streaming break — but “Friends” will still be there for you. WarnerMedia’s home entertainment division is aiming to capitalize on the brief disappearance of the hit sitcom from streaming video on demand, as fans look for other ways to get their “Friends” fix. Repeats of the wildly popular laffer, which ran for [...]

  • RuPaul

    RuPaul Launches Self-Help Internet Class Teaching You How to 'Work the Runway of Life'

    Legendary drag performer and TV star RuPaul is leading a self-help online course to teach you how to find your identity — and live your best life. The 16-lesson course, offered through online-education platform MasterClass, costs $90 for unlimited access. In RuPaul’s class on “self-expression and authenticity,” he shares experiences from his journey to self-love [...]

  • Spotify and Resident Advisor Announce Ticketing

    Spotify Unveils Ticketing Partnership With Dance Music Platform Resident Advisor

    Spotify today announced a ticketing partnership with influential dance-music website Resident Advisor with the goal of “supporting music communities around the world by increasing attendance to thousands of local venues and parties.” The program will connect Spotify users to events by artists via localized event listings promoted within the application. The program is similar to [...]

  • charlie hunnam TIFF 2019 Kelly Gang

    Apple TV’s 'Shantaram' Halts Production Amid Search for New Showrunner, Weather Problems

    Production of Apple TV Plus’ Charlie Hunnam-starring “Shantaram” has been halted in Australia due to a writing backlog. Only two of 10 episodes shot so far, Variety has confirmed. Though all episodes had been outlined in the writers’ room, it is understood that showrunner and high-profile screenwriter Eric Warren Singer (“Top Gun: Maverick,” “American Hustle”) [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content