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Sunday, 10 April 2011

3D - the future of theatre at the cinema?

It will be exciting to see what 3D offers arts audiences. No matter how high the quality of the output, take up at home is tied to the public spending money on the necessary technology, and for the moment at least, subscribing to Sky, who are investing heavily in the format.

But in cinemas 3D technology is already widely available. 3D is regularly used, with varying levels of success for animation, big blockbusters and horror. At the same time a market has been shown to exist for conventional screenings of theatre, opera and ballet at the cinema. Most of these screenings try to recreate the feeling of being in the theatre and having the best seat in the house. Taking that experience into 3D is a logical step forward. Having seen some performance footage myself the feeling of being there is hugely enhanced in 3D.

In the arts sector, high filming costs, the limited availability of film equipment and the complications the 3D format adds to the filming of public shows may initially make arts broadcasts rare. But it does, if done well, offer something quite special to audiences. Certainly something more than I got from watching Piranha or My Bloody Valentine in 3D.

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