Legendary director James Cameron has been an advocate for 3D movies, but says he understands why 3D TVs for homes died out so quickly

James Cameron Knows Why 3D TVs For Homes Failed: 'Not Everybody Is a Film Geek Like I Am'


Legendary director James Cameron has been an advocate for 3D movies, but says he understands why 3D TVs for homes died out so quickly.
Speaking with IGN about the upcoming Avatar re-release, the 68-year-old filmmaker gave his thoughts on why home 3D failed – and whether it could work again.
“I think the jury’s out on that,” he said. “I know why all that failed because there was — what they did was they jumped into 3D trying to cash in the boom at theaters and treat it as a feature. So, they did 3D, but they did it with glasses that needed to be recharged and all that. Whereas just over the horizon was glasses-free, large flat screen TVs which actually look pretty good.”
One of the most popular 3D releases, Avatar almost single-handedly ushered in the return of 3D to theaters across the globe. It was also one of the more popular titles for home 3D, too, with the 3D blu ray becoming a popular first film to watch on your snazzy new 3D set.
Unfortunately, Cameron was right. Many home 3D TVs used the active shutter system, requiring a pair of glasses that would essentially open and close rapidly in sync to produce the 3D image. It’s these glasses that required charging and made 3D a little bit more cumbersome in the home.
Soon enough, the industry turned towards autostereoscopic 3D – the glasses-free 3D that was used with the Nintendo 3DS. But it was too late.
“The imperative to manufacture [glasses-free TVs] and the additional cost required got out of step with the market demand, which was taking a nosedive because people experience 3D in a movie theater very differently than they do in a home. They don’t want anything that distracts them from multi-tasking and/or socializing with other people that are in the room with them and so on.”
By 2017 most 3D TVs and services had come to an end – not exactly the glory days of home 3D that were promised. With many popular titles being converted for home 3D viewing, it left a lot of us with a bunch of 3D Blu-rays that were destined for garage sales and charity shops. Of course, Avatar was one of the more popular ones.
Every Actor and Character Confirmed for the Avatar SequelsClick through to see every character and actor confirmed for the Avatar sequels.Sam Worthington as Jake Sully
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Sam Worthington's Jake Sully will continue to serve as the series' main protagonist. Jake has fully embraced his role as a member of the Na'vi and leader of the Omaticaya, but he'll be forced to confront new threats as the RDA returns to exploit Pandora and the other moons of Polyphemus.Zoe Saldana as Neytiri
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Zoe Saldana is reprising the role of Neytiri, skilled warrior and huntress and consort to Jake. She'll also be taking on a new role in the sequels as a mother.CCH Pounder as Mo'at
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CCH Pounder is returning as Mo'at, Neytiri's mother and the spiritual leader of the Omaticaya tribe.Sigourney Weaver
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Sigourney Weaver is returning in Avatar 2, though not as Dr. Grace Augustine (who died in the first movie). It's unknown what role Weaver might be playing this time, though it's possible Grace, like Jake, has a twin sibling somewhere in the galaxy.Joel David Moore as Dr. Norm Spellman
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Joel David Moore will return as Dr. Norm Spellman, one of the RDA scientists who sides with the Na'vi against the RDA. It's unknown if Norm, like Jake, has chosen to live fully as a Na'vi or if he'll remain in his human body.
“Not everybody is a film geek like I am where you sit down you put the glasses on by yourself and you just watch a whole movie which is more what the theatrical experience is. So, it kind of got out of step,” said Cameron.
“Could it come back?” he posited. “I think it could but I can’t say because the home viewing experience is fundamentally different than the theatrical experience. I’m perfectly happy if the only place you can really get it is in a movie theater because it speaks to that specialness of the cinematic experience which is obviously what the Avatar re-release is in the first place.”
The original Avatar is heading back to theaters worldwide on September 23, 2022. Want to read more about Avatar? Check out what was revealed in the new Avatar: The Way of Water clips at Disney’s D23 as well as James Cameron’s thoughts on Avatar haters.

Ryan Leston is an entertainment journalist and film critic for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter.
This story originally appeared on: IGN - Author:Ryan Leston

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