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.