Staff and students debate 3D

With the “Star Wars” films on their way to theaters in 3D, Hollywood is looking to take more advantage of the technology.

“Star Wars episode 1: The Phantom Menace” is the first of the “Star Wars” saga set to re-release in 3D Feb 10.

Roger Ebert said on his blog he sees the technology as something that doesn’t add to the movie experience and a waste of a dimension.

But that hasn’t stopped Hollywood from releasing movies such as “Avatar,” “The Green Lantern” and “Toy Story 3” in 3D.

With 3D technology finding its way into movie theaters, home televisions and now even videogames, Alicia Luebbers, a freshman from Aviston studying zoology, said she doesn’t find a re-release of “Star Wars” or Disney movies such as “ The Lion King” and “Beauty and the Beast” in 3D worth her time.

She also said she would never spend money on a 3D television because they cost more than they’re worth.

Luebbers said she was impressed with how 3D technology was used in “Avatar,” though.

Alec Macko, a freshman from St. Louis studying forestry, said he was impressed with the visuals from “Avatar” as well. Macko said its plot wasn’t great, but the 3D effects helped add to the visuals.

However, Walter Metz, chair and professor of the cinema and photography department, said he thinks 3D is a gimmick.

“I’ve probably seen maybe 75 percent of the movies that have been released in 3D in the last couple years, and I don’t think that there’s any one that strikes me as particularly astonishing in its use of 3D,” Metz said.

Metz said the 3D technology used in “Avatar” was disappointing because its use of 3D wasn’t connected with the experience of the movie.

But Metz said there is still a way for the technology to impress him with more innovation from the director.

“Any aesthetic practice has the potential of being used to envision the world in a completely new visual way,” Metz said. “I don’t know if I’ve seen a (3D) movie like that.”

While there are debates of the artistic approaches of the technology, marketing professors on campus are concerned with the business side of it.

Gordon Bruner, professor of marketing and consumer behavior specialist, said it’s going to have to take some time before consumers buy into the 3D experience, but he is optimistic the day will come sometime within the next 10 years.

“Entertainment needs to be fun,” Bruner said.

He said there are good and bad things the technology brings to the consumer.

The good is when the technology draws the senses of the audience into the experience, he said.

The bad comes when the audience is drawn too much into the experience and they’re no longer entertained but frightened and sad because of how connected they are to the film, he said.

Cheryl Jarvis, associate professor of marketing, said that 3D TV is in very early stages.

“I think a lot of the movies coming out right now in 3D are using the technology for the technology sake,” Jarvis said. “Instead of actually using it as a viable tool for telling a story, they’re using it in a way to sell a movie.”

She said right now the technology is going through a marketing phase when only the early adopters, people who want the latest and coolest technology, are the ones interested.

“I expect it will make it on that curve of mass distribution, but it will be down the road a little ways,” Jarvis said. “I can see 3D as being something that eventually kind of reaches mass distribution. HD is kind of the norm now. I think 3D can be the norm in the future.”


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