Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of Dreamworks Animation, made an appearance at the annual convention of the National Association of Broadcasters in Las Vegas on Wednesday, April, to talk about his favorite subject: the 3D revolution.
What will drive 3D into the home is sports and gaming, Kazenberg said. He told the story of a friend of his who watched last week’s Masters golf tournament in 3D, and his friend said it was an experience like no other.
Giving a timeline for 3D, Katzenberg said next up, in about 9 months, will be handheld consumer electronic products without users having to wear glasses. Then, in 5 to 7 years, we’ll get medium to smaller TV sets that can display 3D without glasses. Finally, in 10 years we’ll get big TV sets that will be able to display 3D without glasses.
"Dimensionality is no longer a gimmick," Katzenberg said. The key to good visual entertainment is that it evokes emotion, Katzenberg said. You want the audience to connect to characters that they can care about. What good 3D does is amplify emotions, he said.
As for Dreamworks Animation, its business plan does not anticipate any return from its 3D product in the home entertainment market for at least 5-to-10 years, Katzenberg said, so anything it gets before that is just icing on the cake. He added, "For Samsung to give away ‘Shrek’ in 3D" when they sell a 3D enabled TV would be very important to consumer electronic companies.
He said that all of Dreamworks animation movies exist as digital files, and converting them to 3D is not particularly hard to do. Dreamworks is working with the directors of some of those films to do just that.
When asked if a film classic such as "Citizen Kane" could be converted to 3D, Katzenberg said the technology does not yet exist to make that look good. He emphasized the word "yet."
He also said 3D will be a boost to the selling of Blu-Ray discs.
Last week, in remarks to Variety, Katzenberg blasted Warner Bros.–and studio chief Alan Horn in particular– for doing what he said was a quick and lower grade 3D conversion on its recent release of "Clash of the Titans."
"Katzenberg called the studio’s attempt to pass off ‘Titans’ as a genuine 3-D movie ‘disingenuous’ while warning that if Warners or other studios release more dingy-looking 3-D conversions ”we [will already have] killed the goose that is delivering us golden eggs,’ the Los Angeles Times wrote in its account of the story.
When specifically asked to talk about "Titans" during his NAB appearance, Katzenberg said he was going to "shock" everyone and decline to talk about it. He gave no reason for his sudden shyness on the subject.