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"3D movies are xtreme" , posted Sun 20 Mar 09:27post reply

After a brief incarnation in the early 1950s and a short-lived revival in the 1980s, 3-D movies are now getting serious consideration among filmmakers who want to send images leaping off the movie screen and into the audience. Star Wars creator George Lucas and Titanic director James Cameron were among those promoting a new digital alteration that converts two-dimensional movies into 3-D.

Theatergoers still have to wear those familiar cardboard glasses with red-and-blue cellophane, although backers of the new technology say it doesn't cause the eyestrain common with past 3-D efforts. Lucas said he hopes eventually to release all six of his Star Wars movies in 3-D format that can be shown in regular moviehouses, not specialty theaters such as IMAX. It looks better than the original, to be honest with you, Lucas told theater owners Thursday at their annual ShoWest convention.

Developed by In-Three Inc. of Agoura Hills, Calif., the new technology involves converting a movie into two slightly offset images, one for each eye. The special glasses trick the brain into perceiving the picture as a single image. Unlike some 3-D systems that require two side-by-side film projectors, In-Three's system operates with a single digital projector, the filmmakers said.

A snippet of Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones converted to 3-D was screened, and the images showed remarkable depth in a scene where Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi pursue an assassin in a flying vehicle.

While the filmmakers all have an interest in releasing old movies in 3-D and shooting new ones in the format, they also tried to sell theater owners on digital systems to replace film-reel projectors that have been the standard for a century. The digital projectors can be inexpensively modified to handle 3-D, they said.

I can't shoot in a lesser format, said Cameron, who is filming the science-fiction adventure Battle Angel, in 3-D. I believe that 3-D is absolutely the future. They'll have to pry my glasses out of my cold, dead fingers.