3D Stereoscopic – A shot in the arm for the industry, or the new DI bubble?

I’m excited.

Ever since I first saw decent 3D Stereoscopic (3DS for the rest of this blog) at the iMax, and then at IBC, I’ve wanted to be involved. The thought of a 3DS showreel to wow my clients has been a bit of a Holy Grail, the next stage on from HD images.

So, with the release of ‘Avatar’ suddenly everyone is talking about 3DS in Soho.  There are 2x Projectors and 3DS grading systems shipping to all sorts of places, and its all quite exciting. However, for all the hype, there is another side to the coin – and by a coin I mean a £250k+ investment in projectors, systems, screens, various add-ons etc. per suite.

I’m still keen – maybe its time to invest, surely the rates will be high, there aren’t many people who offer it yet. So just before I get the cheque book out, let’s take a moment here. Already this month, large and small post houses are gearing up for 3DS, even though the work isn’t there yet, and Sky, who are the only ones looking to do high-end stuff (outside of the big screen – and our film industry is on its backside) do quite a bit in-house. Ouch. So, what’s left?  Fashion launches, music promos, low-budget test stuff, concerts?

If all of us in London post production invest, will we cover the cost of that investment in under three years (I prefer two), or will 3DS go the way of DI?…Market saturation, continual heavy investment and poor rates, the result – its better to just shut the department down.

Everyone wants to be a market leader, but my concern already is with so many entering the market, at so many different levels, will 3DS really be the shot in the arm post houses across Soho need?

What is everyone going to charge?  £900 per hour for commercials in the top facilities and suites?  Maybe £500 per hour for long-form – would make sense to me from a business point-of-view.  I’m concerned that with market saturation at all levels you’ll see half those figures.

Let’s see where we are at the end of the Summer when the BBC and Sky are really demanding more content, and let’s hope this time people don’t give their new 3DS services away for nothing and we can all keep our rates at the right price to run our businesses.

Get your specs on (if you are sure which type you should be installing!)

Thomas Urbye
The Look

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