Monday, September 20, 2010

My Inauguration

I was recently sworn in as the new President of the LA 3-D Club(SCSC). The following is the text of my comments from August 19th, at the club banquet, on accepting the SCSC Presidency:

I want to thank all of you for entrusting me with the leadership of the LA 3-D Club for the next year. I’m very honored to be in this position. When I walked into my first SCSC meeting in 2002, I found myself standing in the back of a dark room, full of people that I didn’t know, watching a bunch of stereo slides being projected, and listening to the repeated announcing of numbers. 6-6-6-18! I had no idea what was going on. Then Sean Isroelit, the club’s Vice President at the time, came over to me, handed me a pair of polarized glasses, and told me I was welcome to come in and sit down with the rest of the group. And I’ve been here ever since. I’ve been a member of the LA 3-D Club through the presidencies of Philip Steinman, Sean Isroelit, Jeff Amaral, and Barry Rothstein, and have watched the evolution of the club under their leadership, as we have moved from analog to digital projection, from meeting in a church basement to being part of an Arts Center, and from mainly showing 3-D slideshows to producing full-blown film festivals.

We are now one of, if not the most active stereoscopic organization in the world, and we are continuing to grow, both in scope and membership. And the world of 3-D is also expanding by leaps and bounds. Hollywood has embraced 3-D and consumer electronics companies have bet on 3-D, which makes the LA 3-D Club all the more relevant today. At one end of the spectrum we find expensive cameras, high-end rigs, theatrical projection systems and multi-million dollar content created by professional stereographers. At the other end we find new 3DTVs, point-and-shoot stereo cameras, youtube 3-D over the internet, and a general public that doesn‘t understand the difference between anaglyph and polarized glasses, let alone why they need to wear them. I’ve always found it interesting that whenever people would come up to me and ask “why does your camera have two lenses?”, and I would explain that I‘m shooting in 3-D, the next question was always “Why do you do 3-D?“. What excites me today, is that now, when I explain my cameras to people, the question has become “HOW do you do 3-D!“ And I gladly tell them how I make 3-D, and how they can make 3-D.

Now, recently, a prominent stereography professional went on the record proclaiming that there is no place for 3-D “hobbyists”, as he put it, in the new 3-D landscape. I say he’s 100% wrong. Our membership includes people who have made stereo their career and make a living at it, people who enjoy shooting 3-D as an amateur, and people who know nothing about 3-D, but are enthusiastic about learning more. And I think that is why the club is so important today - we bridge the gaps by bringing all kinds of 3-D enthusiasts together so that they can share knowledge and experiences. It’s a great responsibility that I find myself elected into.

For the last couple of months, I’ve jokingly said that my first official act as President would be to abolish the presidency, and declare myself Emperor of All Things 3-D. After all, if Phil McNally can name himself Captain 3-D, and Ray Zone can be crowned the King of 3-D Comic Books, then I can certainly anoint myself 3-D Emperor. I figured that as long as I rule as a benevolent dictator, everyone would be happy. But then I started thinking about the SCSC and it’s members, and it occurred to me that the club only exists because you all want to be a part of it. I realized that the LA 3-D Club is less like an empire, and more like a Jumbo Jet. My job is to be the pilot, steering the plane, the board are the flight crew, making sure things run properly, and providing services for the passengers, you the members, who have bought your tickets and are on board for the trip. I’m going to do my best to make this a smooth flight, and I want to continue to increase the incentives and benefits of being a club member, but I do need your help to do it. I encourage everyone to visit the new club website at, join the yahoo email list and the SCSC Facebook group, and participate in the LA 3-D Club community and activities. As the club continues to evolve, I plan to introduce more 3-D events, screenings, workshops and opportunities for the members, and I want to appeal to all of you to step up and take active roles in making these things happen for the club, your club. This is your President speaking, you are all free to move about the cabin.