I went to a 3D demo event last night through the Alliance of Women Directors at the Clarity Theater in Beverly Hills. I learned that 3D is not as cheesy as I had once thought.
Basically, according to the panelists (there was someone from Panavison there, an Avatar producer and other 3D experts), 3D is the future of filmmaking. It's not just a gimmick. I can't remember the exact numbers, but 3D films gross far more than 2D ones. You might say this is just because it's new. Not what the panelists said. They said that 3D is so popular because it creates a dreamlike state in the viewer. We already see stereo-optically; so viewing the world in 3D is already our normal state. As such, viewing a film in 3D is what a motion picture is *supposed to* look like. 3D creates depth and makes us feel like the screen is a window into which we are looking. 3D brings us into the world of the movie. We actually retain 67% more of the film when we see it in 3D. Crazily enough, they said, to film 3D best, you should actually shoot in 3D (that's what the DP and director are actually seeing) and then cut it in 3D too. Ouch, that sounds like a big headache to me. But this is because you edit differently in 3D. You don't need as many cuts, as the brain is filling in much of the info as our eyes look around at all the images. I even saw a scene that was cut too quickly, with too much movement in 3D, and, yes, it was headache-provoking. So, yes, 3D should be cut differently.
According to the panelists, 3D isn't only for action, animation or IMAX docos anymore. Dramas are going to be filmed in 3D. I even saw a trailer for one, called The Mortician. That, and you know those theaters at amusement parks, where they blow in dry ice and rock the seats while you're watching the flick? Well, that is also the future of the movie-going experience. And all this isn't just some cheesy American gimmick. Europe is actually ahead of us in the 3D revolution. Europeans use 3D to shoot sports games. Britain is especially fond of this practice, and they even have 3D home television like we have HD!