Yesterday I went to see my first 3D film at the cinema! (The Great Gatsby, which I may post my thoughts on depending on whether I have time and can think of enough points). Until then I had always resisted what I considered – and still do – to be a temporary fad. I was worried it would be a dizzying, uncomfortable experience, one I couldn’t escape from for 2 hours. But The Great Gatsby seemed like a fairly safe first experience. Okay, alcohol and wild parties are horrific enough in 2D, but other than that…
In the end, my experiences were mixed. I think at first I was underwhelmed. Rather than really projecting a three-dimensional image, the screen was just a series of two-dimensional layers played in front of one another – a bit like overlapping shadow puppets but with more details. Some shots were impressive – snow and splashing water did appear to come out of the screen, but it was in a very crude way. I almost felt I could see a kind of haze around the different layers.
What’s more, I found myself developing a migraine as the film progressed, due to constantly shifting my perspective in an attempt to keep up with the varying focuses. Very often the foreground layer would be out of focus to emphasise an element of the background – a technique which works fine in 2D – that became incredibly dizzying. I spent about half an hour shifting the glasses on and off, trying to figure out whether it was more watchable without them.
For the second half my eyes did adapt and I mostly stopped noticing the fact the film was in 3D, but that’s possibly down to the film not ever truly utilising it. If a film doesn’t make much use of the 3D features, what’s the point in screening it as so? That said, I’m not complaining.
To summarise, having experienced 3D films, my opinion hasn’t improved much. I find them to be just about watchable if 2D isn’t an option – and very often it isn’t. For some reason, our local cinema seems to show films in 3D as default, then add a few token 2D showings just for weird people like me who don’t like 3D. I hope this isn’t endemic to all cinemas. Hopefully this fad will end soon.