Katzenberg has never thrilled us with his sense for great stories or artistic creativity, but we love this guy's passion. We've said it here before, if you think 3D is just a blip on entertainment radars you'll be racing for the storm cellars when this technology finds a great script. 3D is in it's infancy again and this time it's not only growing up fast, but it's primed to surpass the hype of its new technology to legitimately become an entirely immersive format for diverse entertainment. Don't want to take my word for it? Let me say it with numbers -
-There are at least 15 new 3D projects in hard development from movie studios over the next two years, including projects from DreamWorks, Disney, James Cameron, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. In fact, DreamWorks is on record as reporting all of their future projects are planned to be released in 3D.
-Though there are more than 1,000 3D equipped screens currently in the US, industry estimates expect to see a 4 to 7 times growth of that number in just the next 18 months.
-It's not all about movies. Sports leagues and special events are going to be vying for 3D theater screens as well. With the success of Disney's Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour 3D movie last year (which set the Fandango advance ticket sales record) and the NBA experimenting with live 3D games on satellite at your local cinema, there's as much interest outside of Hollywood as inside.
-More than half a dozen companies will be presenting 3D technology products at this year's Consumer Electronics Show, just underway in Las Vegas. Among them is Fox Sports.
In an effort to make potential moviegoers keenly aware of 3D, hook kids solidly into the anticipation of 3D as an event this summer, and (some clever undertones at work) capture the imaginations of sports fans perhaps reflecting on the possibilities of dropping a few bucks to watch next year's Super Bowl from the comfort of a cineplex seat (complete with a buffet layout in the lobby), NBC, DreamWorks and Pepsico have launched the distribution of 150 million free pairs of 3D glasses. That would allow more people to experience 3D on Super Bowl Sunday than voted in this year's historic Presidential election.
For the trouble of picking up the free glasses at any one of thousands of retail displays (yes, they're just paper, but the improved technology of the lenses means there's no point in digging through the box of your kid's Spy Kids 3D DVD or any 1950's memorabilia you may have lying around), you'll experience a decidedly inferior effect than is now available in digitally equipped movie theaters, BUT you will have the fun of seeing both an extended trailer of the new DreamWorks animated release Monsters vs. Aliens as well as the bonus of catching last year's favorites, the SoBe Lifewater Lizards in a new 3D commercial. If you don't get the glasses, expect everybody to be teasing you with what you've missed. And don't tell me football fans, famous for painted faces and foam fingers, are too cool to wear some paper glasses for a couple of minutes. (One of these companies should be running a contest to have fans send in they're Super Bowl 3D glasses party pictures.)
And if all that's not enough, NBC is giving you a reason to hang on to the glasses for at least one extra night. If you're a fan of the show Chuck that is. They'll be a 3D episode of Chuck airing Monday night to continue the 3D hype (and likely attract some new viewers to the show in the meantime). The only thing overlooked seems to have been shooting the live Bruce Springsteen halftime show in 3D. Who missed that one?
Here are links to a some of the posts we've written for Dailies about 3D.
Read up, this is a technology you'll come to appreciate in 2009 and won't be able to avoid in 2010. And sports fans - I mean you. To get the official scoop, the Super Bowl 3D promo ad is embedded below with thanks to YouTube.