James Cameron, the creator of the 3D blockbuster "Avatar," thinks he knows what needs to happen for 3D to become more popular on TV.
Speaking Monday in Las Vegas at the annual convention of the National Association of Broadcasters, Cameron said, "3-D productions on television need the know-how of 2-D directors and producers to make economic sense for broadcasters and be compelling for viewers," according to the Associated Press.
The article noted that Cameron believes "3-D won’t work on TV if production companies can’t utilize the talent they already have. ‘People can’t completely reinvent how they do things,’ Cameron said."
The AP story continued , "It costs too much to hire separate crews to produce the same content in 3-D and 2-D, and separate 3-D productions lose the expertise that comes from directors and producers who have filmed for years in 2-D, [Cameron] said. ‘To grow this market rapidly and correctly with high-quality 3-D, let people do what they do,’ Cameron said."
In its account of what Cameron said at NAB, AceShowBiz wrote that Cameron has predicted that in five years 3D technology "would be used in a lot of television programming, be it ‘sports, episodic drama, scripted and unscripted.’ "
According to the AP story, to help achieve wide acceptance of 3D on the small screen Cameron announced that he and his business partner, Vince Pace, are forming "the Cameron-Pace Group. They described the business as an end-to-end company helping broadcasters work in 3-D. Cameron said early attempts at 3-D in sports didn’t work as well as they could have because the 3-D and 2-D productions were separated, with the 2-D producers getting better personnel and camera positions."
The AP added that Cameron said, " ‘They were sort of treated as a red-headed stepchild, and then everybody cried that it was costing them too much because there were two entire crews.’ Instead, there’s going to be one combined 3-D/2-D production, Cameron said."
Added the AceShowBiz story, "In a bid to lower the cost, the Cameron-Pace Group plans to develop a new generation of camera systems, services and creative tools. Instead of making separate and expensive 2D and 3D versions of the same film or show, filmmakers will be taught how to shoot the programs in 3D and extract a 2D feed."
Separately, a study has noted that 3D TV sets have been available for about a year now, and that sales thus far are "dismal," according to an article at Good3DTV: "The technology was first introduced in the US market in the spring of 2010 and since then it is just 2 percent of the households who have shown an affinity for the new emerging technology, as Nielsen Co., the New York-based media and information company, recently found out."
The biggest barriers to folks buying 3D TV sets to date, according to the Good3DTV article, are the cost of the sets and "the necessity to wear goggles for viewing the picture, which come for $150 a pair today."