Wednesday, December 3, 2014

‘Tis The Season

It’s December, which means that in addition to the holiday season, it’s also time for our 11th Annual LA 3-D Movie Festival. This year’s fest is co-presented with 3-D SPACE, Stereo Sisters, and the Downtown Independent, and will take place over three days, December 12-14.

We have a really great program this year, kicking off Friday night with a special evening hosted by the rock band OK Go who will be presenting a program of their 3-D music videos, behind the scenes footage, and several special surprises.

The festival continues on Saturday with a day dedicated to theme of comic books! We start off with an afternoon showing of Cosplay Dreams 3-D, a documentary following the fans who attend comic-cons dressed in elaborate and amazing home-made costumes. Our holiday reception will be at the theater again this year, and will be highlighted by a LIVE 3-D performance by Captured Aural Phantasy Theater, a company that specializes in comedic radio-drama style re-creations of classic 1950s comic books set to projected images. Our comic book day will conclude with a late night screening of Hackin’ Jack vs. The Chainsaw Chick, the campy new horror-comedy from legendary 3-D director Norm DePlume.

Sunday will feature our international program, opening with a block of student produced 3-D films curated by Shannon Benna, founder of Stereo Sisters. That will be followed by two blocks of independent short films in competition. We have received films from all around the world, from Korea to Norway, and points in between. On Sunday evening, we will present our coveted Ro-Man trophies to the award winners, along with prizes provided by our festival sponsors Sony Creative Software and Berezin 3-D. And we will close the festival on Sunday night with a screening of Dutch director Eugenie Jansen’s critically acclaimed experimental feature Above Us All. This dramatic production from Belgium and the Netherlands that uses a panning 360-degree stereo camera to tell the story of a family’s loss and mourning after the death of their mother.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

The initial fundraising campaign for the launch of 3-D SPACE has officially ended, and thanks to your generous support, we have raised over $14,000 to get this museum and educational center off the ground.

When we started this campaign, we decided to swing for the fences, and set a goal that would cover or first year of operation, and while we fell short of that goal, we are still thrilled at what we have accomplished.

We chose to do this round of fundraising on Indiegogo because, unlike some other crowdfunding sites, here we get to keep the money we raise even when we fall short.

When we set out to start 3-D SPACE, we didn’t have a lot of the things that the big crowdfunding campaigns have (the ones you hear about on the news). There was no financial backing in place yet, no budget for advertising or PR, no staff of web designers - just a grassroots idea, and a dream. With nothing but my own personal passion for this project, I was able to raise $14,538. That’s a pretty big deal, and it’s all thanks to you.

So what happens next? We have raised enough to move forward with the first phase of our launch, and can now afford the costs to file the documents that will make 3-D SPACE a real nonprofit entity.

We also have enough to maintain the storage of the thousands of 3-D artifacts and images in our collection while we wait for our tax-exempt status to be approved by the government. Once we officially become a 501(c)3 organization, we will have new avenues to seek funding for our ongoing operations, as well as finding a location to house our center and museum.

I have started the paperwork filings with the state and federal governments. We are working with a consultant who has a very successful rate of acceptance for 501(c)3 status, and is confident that we will have our approval rather quickly. He will also make sure that we meet full compliance with all regulations. So we should be able to start seeking grants and corporate donations very soon. As a pending 501(c)3, we are also now ready to accept tax-deductable donations from individuals.
Our new website has gone live at, and will be updated frequently as this project grows. I look forward to keeping you up to date with our progress. Thanks again for you support and encouragement.

And on another note, it’s time again for the Annual LA 3-D Movie Festival. We are putting together a fantastic and eclectic program of 3-D screenings and events which will take place next month from December 12-14 at the Downtown Independent Theater. This is the 11th time we’ve put on this event, and we have some very special treats in store for you this year, including an evening with the acclaimed band OK Go, a celebration of 3-D comic books, several premieres, a look at the latest stereoscopic student films, a wonderful program of independent shorts in competition, and of course, the LA 3-D Club’s Holiday Party and Reception. Tickets and passes will go on sale at the end of November, and the full schedule will be online soon at

It’s the biggest fundraiser for the club, and I can guarantee that it will be a great festival this year. I look forward to seeing all of you there!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Community Building

As president of the LA 3-D Club, I have have had the privilege to meet so many of you in the 3-D community. And I think that word, community, is an important one. We are all members of this club because we share a common interest and passion for stereoscopic images, whether they be still photos, motion pictures, or other forms of stereoscopic art.

Last month I announced the foundation of a new non-profit, 3-D SPACE, The Center For Stereoscopic Photography, Art, Cinema, and Education. As I have stated previously, our goals with 3-D SPACE include operating a 3-D museum, theater, gallery, and classroom. Our hope is that this will eventually become sort of a “3-D Clubhouse” where members of the 3-D world and the public can come together under one roof to learn, share, and experience the wide array of stereoscopic media that has been created over the last 175 years.

This month’s LA 3-D Club events are all examples of the kind of community building that we hope to continue doing:

  • Pasadena Art Night is always a wonderful opportunity to show thousands of interested attendees some of the fantastic work being done by 3-D artists, our club members and our friends from around the world.
  • Our ongoing exhibit at the Heritage Square Museum is exposing many people who are interested in Southern California history to the importance of stereoscopic entertainment in the 19th and early 20th centuries. And our 3-D movie screening on the grounds there will show the audience how great the 3-D movies of the 1950s were.
  • This is the final month to submit 3-D films to the 11th Annual LA 3-D Movie Festival, which will be held in December,. It’s our biggest yearly event for presenting great 3-D to the club and 3-D fans of all ages.
  • And our regular monthly meeting at the Armory will give us another chance to see what our fellow club members have been creating, collecting, and learning as we present our popular Show-and-Tell night, along with the annual members’ auction. It’s a great chance to learn something new about 3-D, about your fellow LA 3-D Club members’ work and interests, and to buy or sell your 3-D equipment and collectables.

I’m so glad you all continue to choose to be part of this 3-D organization. Through the work of the LA 3-D Club, and the future work of 3-D SPACE, we can continue to see interest in 3-D build in a positive way, and watch our community grow. But we still have a long way to go to reach our goals.

3-D SPACE is currently fundraising online, and we need your help if we are to succeed. Any donation that you can make would help, as every dollar raised goes into starting the museum and preserving our collection of rare and historical 3-D images and artifacts. And even if you can’t offer financial support at this time, please share the website with your Facebook and Twitter friends, so that we can reach other people who might be interested in 3-D, and would be willing to help.

Opening this 3-D Center really is my passion, it will benefit all of us in the 3-D community, and it would mean so much to me if you could help this dreamer realize his dream.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Presidential Remarks

The LA 3-D Club Awards Banquet always marks the end of the previous club year, and the beginning of the next. I would like to provide a little history, as written by Ray Zone in 2002:
In July of 1955 in camera stores around Los Angeles a simple hectograph flyer appeared. It was also mailed out to members of the Stereo Division of the Photographic Society of America who lived in Southern California and to some of the members of The Hollywood Stereoscopic Society which had been formed in 1950 but was rapidly becoming defunct.
“ATTENTION - STEREO FANS - ATTENTION” read the heading on the flyer. It announced that Thursday, July 21st, 1955 at 8 o’clock P.M. at Plummer Park, 7377 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles the “First meeting of a ‘new STEREO CLUB and their friends’” was to be held and “sponsored by PSA Stereo Division.” The letter was signed by and was the handiwork of Dr. Harold R. Lutes, Chairman of the Western Stereo Division of the PSA.
“An outstanding and instructive STEREO PROGRAM will be provided, featuring many Exhibition slides as well as discussions of interesting and instructive STEREO subjects,” wrote Lutes on the flyer. “This is the first of a series of similar meetings. Please come; bring your wife or hubby or your sweetheart. Also bring a friend who is interested in STEREO and who will make a good PSA’er.” 
That flyer marked the launch of the PSA Stereo Club of Southern California, which we now know as the LA 3-D Club. And as we enter this new season, 2014 to 2015, we can look forward to the club celebrating it’s 60th year in July  of 2015. Dr. Lutes served as the first club President, and that baton has been passed 40 times, finally landing in my hand.

Thursday, August 7, 2014


Last month, at the National Stereoscopic Association’s 3D-CON in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, I had the task of chairing the 3-D Theater, and presenting four days of stereoscopic movies, slideshows and presentations to the attendees. I’m thrilled to say that the theater was a success, and the audience seemed to really enjoy the eclectic program. Congratulations to all of the filmmakers and photographers whose work was presented this year. The award winning shows, which were selected by audience ballot, will be the highlight of this month’s LA 3-D Club Awards Banquet, held once again at Taix Restaurant.

During the theater presentations at 3D-Con, I made the public announcement of the launch of my new venture, 3-D SPACE - The Center for Stereoscopic 3-D Photography, Art, Cinema and Education. 3-D SPACE is intended to be a museum, gallery, theater, and classroom dedicated to both the preservation of the history of stereoscopic imaging, and the advancement of current and future 3-D arts and science. I am at the beginning stages of developing 3-D SPACE as a non-profit arts corporation, and over the next year, I hope to be able to focus my skills as a 3-D creator, curator, administrator and teacher into making 3-D SPACE a physical reality here in Los Angeles.

The inspiration for this project began 2-½ years ago, when Ray Zone and I were able to rescue three truckloads of artifacts from the estate sale of the late Dan Symmes. Ray and I discussed the possibility of someday finding a place to display these materials. Sadly, we lost Ray before we were able to move forward with any plans, but the idea continued to grow, and last year at the World 3-D Expo III, I was able to display a piece from the collection - the Natural Vision camera rig used to shoot HOUSE OF WAX in 1953. I began looking at my own personal long term goals, and decided that I want to continue doing the curating of 3-D content, preservation of 3-D history, and public outreach and education that I have already been doing for the club, practically on a full-time basis, for the last several years. So I have spent the last year developing the idea for 3-D SPACE into a plan of action, getting advice from many advisors with expertise in different disciplines - from academia, museums, and art galleries, to successful non-profit arts groups, the entertainment industry, and the international 3-D community. And I have been met with great enthusiasm from everyone that I have talked to about this endeavor. In fact, I am very excited to announce that the Portland, Oregon based 3-D Center for Art and Photography, which unfortunately had to close its doors several years ago, has given their entire collection to 3-D SPACE. So during the first week of this month, I became the new caretaker of the Portland collection when Ron Kreisel delivered it by truck to Los Angeles.

There is a LOT of work ahead - finding a location to be the home of 3-D SPACE, cataloging and restoring the many items already in the 3-D SPACE collections, and of course fundraising to make this idea a sustainable reality. I will be launching an internet-based crowdfunding campaign in September to raise a portion of the initial seed money and to be able to move forward with the preservation of some of the more rare and fragile materials. I look forward to receiving the support and guidance of our 3-D Club members, and encourage you to visit the 3-D SPACE virtual home at

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Summertime 3-D Thoughts

I’m writing this as I prepare to travel to Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the National Stereoscopic Association’s 2014 3D-Con, which takes place July 8th-14th. I will be running the Stereo Theater at the convention, and I have put together what I think is going to be a very entertaining program for everyone who is attending. The theater will include an evening dedicated to 3-D photography, an afternoon program of 3-D video and animation, a special presentation by keynote speaker Phil “Captain 3-D” McNally on his stereo quadcopter flight videos, a block of rare and classic 3-D short subjects, and a late-nite “R” rated show just for the grown-ups. The theater will kick off with a selection of films from last year’s 10th Annual LA 3-D Movie Festival, the film fest produced by the LA 3-D Club.

The 2014 edition of our LA festival has just announced its call for entries. We are planning to once again hold the event in December, at the Downtown Independent. Submission details and entry forms are now online at and I look forward to seeing everyone’s work, both from our members and from 3-D filmmakers all over the world.

As we enter the summer months, there appears to be a renewed enthusiasm for things 3-D. From record-breaking box office returns from 3-D movies TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION, X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, and GODZILLA, to the new public interest in virtual reality due to the upcoming Oculus Rift device, 3-D seems to be back in the spotlight. Even Google has joined the fray with their recent announcement of “Cardboard”, a VR system for mobile phones and tablets, based around a simple to build cardboard stereoscope. They are even giving away the plans for free! And the tech savvy public has jumped on board - stereoscope lenses quickly sold out all over the internet shortly after Google’s release. The “Cardboard” device is very similar to USC’s FOV2GO diy 3-D viewer for iPhone and iPad, available for free at Club member Perry Hoberman was part of the team that developed this build-it-yourself viewer that anyone can use for non-commercial purposes. All sorts of new 3-D content are being developed for the  “new” personal virtual reality, and very shortly we will start seeing 360-degree 3-D movies that tell compelling stories in new and more interactive and immersive ways. Looks like there may be a new use for all of those Hasbro My3D viewers that everyone picked up on clearance.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Historical Perspective

At the recent 60th anniversary screening of Creature From The Black Lagoon at Monsterpalooza, more than a few audience members approached me after the movie and asked if it was only recently converted to 3-D. They didn’t know that this was one of the classic movies from the 1950s 3-D “Golden Age”. When I explained that it was actually filmed in 3-D back in 1954, I received a shocked reaction of “Wow, I’ve only ever seen this in 2-D before tonight. It looked great in 3-D!”

I’m always a bit frustrated when it comes to the public’s general knowledge of 3-D and the history of stereoscopic imagery. I often ask people if they were aware that 3-D photography dates back to the 1850s, and that the Civil War was documented in stereo photos. I’m usually met with great surprise, especially when I proceed to show them 3-D images of Abraham Lincoln. Stereoscopes and stereo cards were a major form of home entertainment from the mid 1800s through the Victorian era, and most people seem to be unaware of that fact.

So we are going to try to do something about that. Starting in August and running through October, I will be presenting an exhibit at the Heritage Square Museum in Los Angeles’ Highland Park neighborhood. Heritage Square is a remarkable outdoor living museum, where a number of Victorian period houses and other structures have been restored and maintained. Their mission is to explore the settlement and development of Southern California from the Civil War to the early 20th Century, offering visitors a look into the everyday lives of Southern Californians at the close of the 19th Century. On a recent visit to the museum, I noticed that they did have some antique stereoscopes on display, but they didn’t have much information on the 3-D of that time, and that’s where the club comes in. Heritage Square has invited us to create an exhibit for their gallery space which resides inside one of the restored houses. In the gallery there will be glass cases to display antique stereoscopes, stereo cards, cameras and other 3-D devices of the period. And in the Victorian dining room, the public will be have a hands-on opportunity to pick up a stereoscope and look at vintage stereo pictures. In addition, the club will present lectures on the history of Stereoscopy and on 3-D in Victorian era California, and we will also present an outdoor 3-D movie screening for Halloween. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

It Takes A Village

This month marks the sixth year that I will be participating at the Bay Area Maker Faire, which will be held on May 17-18 at the San Mateo Event Center (near the San Francisco airport).

Maker Faire bills itself as “The Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth,” and for the last five years, I have curated an area at Maker Faire that has been dubbed the “3-D Village” as it is comprised of exhibits that are in some way related to 3-D and stereography. This year’s 3-D Village will have an exciting mix of displays and workshops including several LA 3-D Club members:

  • “Photographic Phantograms” - Barry Rothstein’s demonstration of producing photographic phantograms. Barry will also be selling his 3-D books and cards.
  • “3-D Photo Booth” - Shyam Kannapurakkaran will be operating a 3-D photo booth to demonstrate various 3D photography & post production techniques. 
  • “3-D Photography, Do It Yourself” - Lawrence and Cassie Kaufman will be presenting 3-D images displayed on several display types and hand-outs on how to make 3-D photos. 
  • “Stereoscopic 3-D Projects” - Jodi Kurland will exhibit various projects from members of the LA 3-D Club, including stereoscopic 3-D photography and videos. Club member volunteers will demonstrate the equipment used for making and displaying 3-D photos and videos, including custom camera rigs, 3-D computer displays, 3-D TV, smartphones, and tablets.
  • “3-DIY: Do-It-Yourself Stereoscopic 3-D” - My booth where I will be showing my homebrew 3-D camera and display devices, 3-D music videos and films, moving phantograms, and 3-D capture with the Kinect sensor.

In addition to these club members’ booths, the 3-D Village will also have these exhibits:

  • “Xulu Virtual World and Creator Kit” - Xulu is free virtual world and development platform that helps everyone create and share high-quality online social places along with physics-based gaming and playful activities.
  • “Kindle Fire VR” - a virtual reality headset using an Amazon Kindle Fire plus Arduino inspired by the Oculus Rift and built by a high school student.
  • “Project Gauntl33t” - Project Gauntl33t is designing haptic feedback gloves for the purpose of allowing the users to feel objects in virtual reality.
  • “Visual Orchestra” - The Visual Orchestra is meant to delight kids of all ages. It is a combination of light, sound and motion. It is the next in a series of multimedia art and technology presentations by Greg Ames.
  • “Poppy 3D – turn your iPhone into a 3D camera” - Poppy turns any iPhone into a 3D camera. Capture, view and share 3D video clips and photos, all using just your iPhone’s camera and the optics built into Poppy.

The 3-D Village will be located in Fiesta Hall, in room C, a large darkened area, ideal for 3-D projection. It will be a great weekend, and we look forward to showing Maker Faire’s attendees our 3-D works. Tell your friends in the Bay Area to attend, and if any club members are planning to go themselves, please let us know you’ll be there.

For more information about Maker Faire, visit the website

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

All Good Things

It’s already April 2014, which means that according to the LA 3-D Club’s bylaws, we are one month away from the time when we are to announce the names of the nominees for next year’s elected officers. These positions of Club President, currently held by myself, Vice President, held by Philip Steinman, Secretary, Lawrence Kaufman, and Treasurer, Jeff Amaral, are volunteer positions that are up for open election every year.

I first became involved with the operations of the club six years ago, when Barry Rothstein asked me to run as Vice President to his President. I had already been quite active as a member, helping to implement regular digital projection at club meetings, and Barry expressed that he wanted me to be involved in the club management. I was honored to be asked, and thrilled to become Barry’s V.P. in 2008.

At that time, the bylaws limited the Presidency to two consecutive one-year terms, while the other elected positions had no term limits. It was customary for the sitting Vice President to run for the vacating Presidency after the two terms were up. And so, in 2010, I became the newly elected LA 3-D Club President.

During my elected time on the board, both as Barry’s V.P. , and during my own presidency, we have seen a tremendous amount of growth and change, both to the club, and in the world of 3-D in general. The advent of digital cinema brought on a new wave of 3-D motion pictures, which really caught fire with James Cameron’s AVATAR in 2009, and increased public interest in the medium. Consumer and prosumer level 3-D cameras and TVs became available, making 3-D content creation possible for anyone interested. The club moved its regular monthly meetings to the highly regarded Armory Center for the Arts, and instituted a monthly screening program at the Downtown Independent theater, where we also turned our semi-annual 3-D movie competition into an annual international 3-D film festival. And we have provided both our members and our community with numerous events, presentations, workshops, and other unique opportunities to learn about, experience, and share our 3-D world.

I suppose growth makes things more complex, and as such, in 2012, at the end of my second year as President, I learned that the Vice President was declining to run for office. In fact, the 2012 search committee, created to find a new candidate, was unable to recruit anyone from our membership to run for the position. This led to the board voting to amend the club bylaws and lift the two term limit, allowing the sitting President to continue in the job, as I have done now for an additional two years.
I have been quite honored to have been asked to serve the club for as long as I have, and while I am willing to continue in this role if the circumstances require it, I do not expect, nor do I want to be your club President forever. I have gotten to know many of you over the past several years, and know that there are club members who share my passion for the club, and for 3-D in general. And while I can’t speak for all of the club officers, most of whom have been serving as long as, if not longer than myself, I think they would be in agreement with me in inviting you, our members, to become more involved and run for one of our elected positions. You can throw your hat in the ring by contacting our club Secretary, Lawrence Kaufman. And when the time comes that a new leadership wants to step-up and move the club forward, I will proudly pass on the baton.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Glasses-Free 3DTV Not Ready For Prime-Time

In January, I attended the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) convention in Las Vegas, to see the latest developments in 3DTVs. With all of the hype surrounding 4K television and OLED curved screens, there wasn’t much new to see in the way of 3-D displays. LG, the South Korean electronics manufacturer, continued to show strong support for passive-polarized 3DTVs, but many other TV makers chose not to exhibit any 3-D content at their booths. The only new developments in the 3-D world seemed to be several companies showcasing glasses-free 4K 3DTV, most using the Dolby 3-D system for their displays. For what it’s worth, the Dolby 3-D TV is essentially a rebranding of the same 3-D technology that Phillips has been demonstrating since 2008. There is little new about it, save for the increased resolution of the underlying TV.

Auto-stereoscopic displays of this size operate differently than a standard 3DTV, in that they use a lens system similar to a lenticular postcard to allow the viewers eyes to see left and right views simultaneously. These TVs do not just present left and right pairs - they require multiple images in between the extremes to essentially fill the area under each lenticule. The inherent problem with this method is the limited viewing angle of the lenses, which leads to the limited “sweet spots” from which the 3-D can be viewed. The wider the viewing angle of the optics, the wider the sweet spot, but at the same time, more images are needed to create the spread from left to right. And lenticular displays DO have limitations on the amount of parallax that they can accurately present before the image degrades and can no longer be seen correctly in 3-D. Very deep 3-D, both in positive (into screen) and negative space (off screen) is impossible with the current tech.

The current wave of auto-stereoscopic TVs have a dirty little secret that isn’t well publicized - in order to create the multiple views, the manufacturers are throwing away the original stereo and synthesizing new depth from a single view. In some cases, this means preparing new content ahead of time, as in Dolby’s demo, which featured Dolby’s in-house conversions of  3-D content within the parameters that work for their TV - and I have spoken with several of the content creators who are disgusted that Dolby has destroyed their stereoscopic intent without noting that the 3-D has been modified from it’s original format. In the case of some other glasses-free TVs, they are using an “on the fly” conversion algorithm to take the left eye from a 3-D BluRay and synthesize a new right eye with interpolated in between images. Again while there is depth, the original artists choices are “thrown out” with the right eye view.

Ultimately, glasses-free 3-D television is not ready for consumer use, and is still many years away from practically presenting original 3-D content as the filmmakers intended. There is some great research being done, and I have seen several experimental displays that utilized arrays of projectors (between 75 and 250 HD projectors) to create screen-spanning 3-D with no sweet spots, but these only work with rendered CG content. Computing power may eventually reach a point where 75 discreet views can be encoded/decoded/and synthesized from each frame of a media file, but its not happening in 2014.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Historical Perspectives

I recently had a conversation with a friend who wanted to know more about 3-D. This person was shocked when I explained to her that stereo photography has a history going back to the mid-1800s. She had no idea that the stereoscope was the Victorian era’s version of home entertainment, and her jaw dropped when I told her that the Civil War was documented in 3-D. Her reaction didn’t surprise me, as I often find that the general public has very little knowledge of 3-D, its methods, and its history.

I recently had the opportunity to read a portion of an upcoming book on the origins of many inventions. The section that I was able to see was supposed to give the history of “3-D glasses,” which, according to the editors of the book, were invented in 1922 (they referenced a patent that they had found, and didn’t think to look further back in time for earlier usage). I pointed out that while there was a patented process for 3-D motion pictures in 1922, and the patent holders presented the first 3-D feature film Power of Love in anaglyph 3-D that year, 3-D glasses existed long before then. Anaglyph 3-D images were printed in newspapers in the 1890s. The first noted use of anaglyph glasses for 3-D is credited to Louis Ducos du Huaron, who first devised the colored glasses in 1862, and patented them in 1891. The 3-D comic books of the 1950s continued the use of anaglyph glasses., while 3-D movies of the period all utilized linear polarized glasses, made possible by the invention and 1933 patent of polarizing sheet film by Dr. Edwin Land (who founded the Polaroid corporation to manufacture the film). Modern 3-D (which primarily uses circular polarized 3-D) would not be possible without the work done at Polaroid. Active 3-D glasses, which use alternating liquid crystal “shutters” were invented by Lenny Lipton in 1980, and this has also created the underlying technology for digital 3-D projection. Unfortunately, I was too late to get the editors to change the book’s error.

It doesn’t help that the media continually perpetuate falsehoods and myths about stereo. I wish I had a dollar for every time I have read the line “It’s not your grandfather’s red and blue glasses” in various articles about modern digital 3-D, as if polarized glasses are a new innovation. A recent issue of a home theater magazine published an extensive article about 3DTV, and opened with a primer on 3-D of the past, mistakenly stating that “3-D images have been around since the 1890s.” The same article, while correctly stating the use of polaroid vs. anaglyph glasses in theaters, falsely asserts that with the exception of IMAX 3-D starting in the 1990s, stereo was dormant from 1954 until its rebirth with Avatar in 2009.

There are a number of great resources for learning more about the history of 3-D. These include the books written by Ray Zone, the many wonderful historical articles published both in Stereo World, the magazine of the National Stereoscopic Association, and Stereoscopy, the journal of the International Stereoscopic Union, and the 3-D Film Archive website run by archivist Bob Furmanek at, to name just a few. Those fortunate enough to live in the UK and have access to the SKY3D channel were able to watch the excellent documentary Brian May’s Brief History of 3-D when it aired in 2011, but it has yet to be available commercially in the USA.

Sometimes I wish that there was a museum of 3-D, a place that could educate the public on the history of stereo, while also presenting the latest and greatest innovations and content. I guess I’ll just have to start one myself...

Thursday, January 2, 2014

10th Festival Wrap-up

The 10th Annual LA 3-D Movie Festival, held last month at the Downtown Independent, was a tremendous success, and I want to thank everyone who helped make the event happen.

First of all, a BIG “Thank you!” to all of the club board members for their hard work putting the festival together. I would like to thank festival co-founder John Hart, who first started our 3-D movie competitions. Thanks to Lawrence Kaufman for all of his efforts at the theater before, during, and after the event. He acted as our official fest photographer, and his images can be viewed on the club website. Thank you to Philip Steinman and David Kuntz for chairing the Hollywood Exhibition, and providing the excellent digital images and stereo cards on view at the theater. Thanks to Barry Rothstein and Shannon Benna for their assistance in acquiring the red carpet and banner that graced the lobby. And a special thanks to Shannon for hosting and moderating the Stereo Sisters screening. I want to thank Oliver Dean for his tireless efforts distributing glasses and ballots at the auditorium door. We’re all very grateful to Shyam Kannapurakkaran for all of his hard work, especially his arranging for the donation of delicious Indian food from the restaurant Mayura for our Holiday Party, and thanks to Jeremy McGee for assiting with the logistics of the party. And of course, I have to thank Jodi Kurland for everything that she did behind the scenes for the festival, from pre-screening the programming, to creating spreadsheets and ballots, to running around for printing and supplies, and staffing the box office at the theater - the festival wouldn’t have happened without her.

I want to thank club member Bruce Austin who made all of the arrangements for and moderated our great presentation with NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and thank you to the scientists and representatives of JPL who participated. Big thanks to Greg Veneklasen and the LA Guild of Puppetry for hosting the centerpiece 3-D puppet screening, and to filmmaker Paul Stutenbaumer for coming all the way from Germany to show his work and answer questions from the audience. Thank you to Jim Kirst and the staff at the Downtown Independent, especially Emily, Gus, and Austin. We all appreciate the continued support of the theater as our venue for 3-D movies.

Thanks to all of the filmmakers whose work graced the screen. There is no festival without you, and we were all thrilled to see your films. And, finally, the greatest thank you to everyone who attended the fest. We do this annual event for you, the 3-D community, and we all appreciate your continued support of independent stereoscopic cinema and photography.