Forget Avatar, it was just the tip of an ice-cube. In comparison, the three-dimensional iceberg that’s drifting in its wake towards the entertainment industry is far bigger than the effect James Cameron’s $2.7-billion grosser has wrought. It looks set to change the course the industry till the visible technology horizon.
The technology that Cameron’s film is credited to have breathed life into has been around in some way or the other since the 1890s, when a 3D moviemaking process was first patented in Britain. Over the next century came technologies that failed on the cost-benefit scale. What Avatar did was to show the marketing possibilities of 3D — marking the second coming of the old magic.
Filmmakers at home, too, want to ride the wave. India’s first 3D movie was in 1998 — Jijo Punnoose’s Chhota Chetan. Then came a few animation films, but not much more. Now Pooja Bhatt wants to make a Jism sequel in 3D. Ram Gopal Varma has announced an adventure flick and a horror movie in the format. The animated Bal Hanuman 2 has just been released on 3D. Call it the Avatar effect.
It’s not just about films. Last month Samsung, Sony and Panasonic launched 3D television sets in India. Taiwan’s Acer has launched a 3D laptop. Computer games such as Avatar, Batman: Arkham Asylum and G-Force are available across the country on the format. This year’s football World Cup will be the first one to be telecast on 3D. Much of these must have been in the works for years. What has brought about their releases now?