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Exploring 3D - The New Languae of Stereoscopic Film Making

Book Review: Exploring 3D: The New Grammar of Stereoscopic Film Making / Authors: Adrian Pennington, Carolyn Giardina / Publisher: Focal Press / Release Date: Out Now

Love it or hate it, (and we know which side the most vocal are on) 3D continues to be utilised in cinema and increasingly on TV. This interesting book takes the form of a series of interviews with leading figures in the industry who are pushing the boundaries of the technology. Animators, producers and directors such as Martin Scorsese, whose Hugo showed how well the format could be used, all give insight into what makes a great stereo film. Avoiding such conversion disasters such as Clash of the Titans, the book focuses on IMAX and native 3D techniques and films.

It's inadvertently up to date as it covers Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby, release of which was pushed back until 2013, and there are lengthy sections on live broadcasts such as concerts and sporting events.

Despite the colourful cover (an image from How to Train a Dragon), there is nothing in the book to entertain the casual reader let alone younger ones. Not even any old school anaglyph photos to view with cardboard glasses. No, instead, all the stills are presented flat and we have to imagine the effect. Not that including them would help, because if you're not interested in negative parallax or depth scripts then they'll be very little to keep you turning the page.

It's an incredibly dry read, suited to those with an interest in the technical side of the business rather than entertainment, but it you have an interest, it's worth a look.

For some reason I doubt it will be on Mark Kermode's Christmas list.


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