Indian to lead filmmakers on 3D cinema project

The filmmakers will work with vision scientists, and psychologists in the two-year research project - called the 3D Film Innovation Consortium (3D FLIC) - about the future of 3D film production.

"It is the first project of its kind in the world which will bring filmmakers, scientists and psychologists to examine 3D cinema from their joint perspective and the issues around 3D cinema,'' Kazimi told reporters.

With the runaway success of the film "Avatar" changing the perception of 3D film with the public and the major studios, York University has received $1.4 million for this academic-industry project to explore 3D cinema.

"At York University, we have the world-class Future Cinema Lab and the excellent Centre for Visionary Research which is the world's leading centre for study in human perception. Part of what we are exploring is how 3D cinema works, how we perceive it,'' said Kazimi who has made famous documentaries such as 'Continuous Passage' about the 1914 Komagata Maru episode about Indians trying to enter Canada.

"3D image is created by our brain. There is one image for the left eye, and one for the right eye. Our brain fuses the two to create a single image that has depth. Only four percent of people don't have the ability to see the world in stereo (3D).

"So if 3D image is not done properly, it can hurt. That's what we are studying. This knowledge will be used by the film industry. 3D is not something that we can watch for long right now,'' Kazimi said.

"Because of these issues, 3D is used conservatively in film making. Even a film like Avatar which has broken new ground in 3D and allowed audiences to accept it, 3D has not been pushed. More than 65 per cent of this film is animation,'' he told reporters.

The Indian-born filmmaker said, "But 3D is here to stay and it is no more a fad.'' Listing three major factors which will drive the film industry towards 3D cinema, he said, "The new advanced digital technology makes it easier to convert the existing theatres for 3D projection at little cost. So this is the major selling point for 3D technology.''

"Second, every viewer currently pays 25 per cent extra for watching 3D movies. So it will generate extra income for the film industry.'' "Three, 3D cannot be pirated and you will have to go to theatres to see 3D films.'' With the Toronto film festival becoming the world's top festival, the 3D project aims to make it the global centre for 3D film production.
 
According to project leader Nell Tenhaaf, who is professor and associate dean in the Faculty of Fine Arts at the university, "As more live-action films, dramas, and documentaries get developed in 3D over the next few years, the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) must aggressively build its capacity for 3D film production.''

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