Just a sidelight on the su


Just a sidelight on the subject of 3D. There was quite a stir lately on the announcement that a high-profile Hollywood producer intended to make a 3D video of a lost-tribe in the Amazon jungle. Sadly, it’s all been done before. A young lady, (sorry I forget her christian-name for the moment, so I haven’t included it), resident of Wanaka in Central Otago, New Zealand, has already done a similarjob in Vanuatu, and done it very well, by all accounts, using two camcorders on a special ‘custom’ mount. The ‘Fox’ Natural History Unit in Dunedin, New Zealand, has been routinely shooting in 3D for twelve years, and recently our newspapers featured an article by one of its most successful cameramen, Max Quinn. I was not intending to be disparaging of what Hollywood produces, necessarily. Tastes, in movies, have long been perverted by the attitudes of modern society. What Hollywood, and most other sources, produce as a means of ‘getting bums onto seats’ is what keeps the industry going, but an enviroment dictated in-the-main by ticket-sales and TV-ratings is never going to be able to keep its head above water, unless it concentrates on the slickly sensational to keep the attention, during commercial breaks of those with short attention spans and a temptation to surf-off to other channels. That tends to make most of the material over-hyped, over-stated, and concentrating on the trite-and-trivial, not the real ‘meat’ of the subject. ‘Nero offered the citizens of Rome, similar ‘spectacles’ in his day, and look where it got him. Sooner or later we are going to have to offerviewers something more than ever ratchetting-upwards visual sensation, (the ever-more-mindless ‘explosions’, for example), or the industry is likely to implode, as viewers become over-saturated by the visual experience. Frantic cutting and over-amplified audio, is not the answer; ‘quality’ possibly could-be. Stereo 3D, on its own,is not the answer, either. It wasn’t in the 1950’s, and it’s unlikely to be in the future, unless other qualities of film/TV undergo an overhaul, as well.

There is excellent entertainment/education to be had on TV. I am currently watching a British Natural History BBC series ‘Life’, on local ‘Prime’ TV, and it is outstanding in ‘Hi-Def’. BBC Bristol and BBC East Anglia, over the years, have produced some magnificent stuff documentary-wise dating right back to the series ‘The Flight of the Condor’ in the 1970’s withoutirritating over-sensationalised presentation. When the ‘commercial’ imperative takes over and the needs of the market-place take centre-stage, we tend to get the crap that we deserve. To take such stuff, then add 3D to it, inappropriately in most cases, does not rescue it from its own ineptitude, it simply adds a further layer of irritation to the viewing experience. The solution, I feel, is to make better, more worthwhile, features/programmes, then to investigate whether adding 3D to the ‘mix’ will enhance them yet further.(For all that, I cannot wait to have my own ‘play’ with the technology).

PS: One feature I would definitely like to have seen in 3D, is ‘March of the Penguins’, but seeing it was filmed in-part, through an Antarctic winter, I cannot see much chance of that happening somehow.

Best Products

Camera on a hand held stabilizer

Best camera stabilizers for video — 2021

A camera stabilizer lets you capture smooth shots without sacrificing freedom of movement. Here’s a look at the best handheld stabilizers available today.