One thing we’ve learned from the recession is that movies are now considered “recession proof”. People need the escape. This can easily be seen from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, which had a $160 million 5-day opening. It was also the fastest movie to ever reach $350 million world-wide. I was somewhat surprised to find out that this movie would be offering an IMAX 3D experience as well. Typically I think of the animated movies which can fairly easily crank out a 3D version of themselves. However, digitally adding 3D scenes to a filmed movie requires a great amount of work from the production companies. Why do it? Money of course.
I’m an avid NPR listener and I was intrigued by a segment a few weeks back that discussed the resurgence of 3D in the movie theater. The Dreamworks film, Monsters vs. Aliens, saw a $58 million opening weekend of which $24 million was from 3D screens (ref). Over 40% of the film’s revenue came from less than 10% of the screens. When 3D glasses first hit the big screen it was a less than desirable experience. The alignment was less than par and many movie goers would leave feeling queasy. This is a far cry from the experience of today. People are more than willing to pay extra for the immersion and they will have many more chances in the near future.
“….G-Force on July 24, Final Destination: Death Trip 3-D on August 14, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs on September 18, the reworking of Toy Story in the 3-D format October 2, Astro Boy on October 23, Disney’s A Christmas Carol on November 6, Planet 51 for Thanksgiving and, finally, James Cameron’s long-awaited Avatar.” — from Slashfilm
Another 3D project caught my eye yesterday as well. A Google employee has leveraged his 20% time by creating a 3D video viewer for YouTube. You can see one view in the video below. Click the video and visit it on YouTube to see a dropdown of many different 3D option (e.g. anaglyph red/blue).
Artists have been capitalizing on perception for thousands of years, so I set out to find examples in our collection. My esteemed colleague, Ed, pointed me to a technique called Trompe-l’œil (French for “trick the eye”). A quick search of the collections yielded some interesting results.
Still Life demonstrates a perceived 3D scene from a 2D work and conversely we have 3D works that appear flat from the initial vantage point. Most notable is Robert Irwin’s, Untitled, which is anything but flat.
Finally, a shout out to the sidewalk chalk artists.
Do you have any favorites that “trick the eye”?