The Weekly Geek: The 3D Revolution

It’s been a ridiculously newsy week for geeks and non-geeks alike. With Haiti’s devastating earthquake, Sarah Palin’s appointment to Fox news, Gay marriage on the line in the proposition 8 hearings, and Google putting the smack down on Chinese censorship, things have been a bit busy on the old interwebs.

It’s been an exciting time for gadget-and-games geeks as well, as we just saw the end of CES (Consumer Electronics Show) 2010. For the uninitiated, CES is a massive, throbbing hive of a trade show, where electronics-related companies show off everything from wireless chargers to awesome 3D TV’s to ridiculously thin laptops.

What was the coolest gizmo of all? In this amateur filmmaker’s opinion, that has to be Panasonic’s 3D Camcorder. If you buy in to the whole 3D craze and purchase yourself a 3D TV, you can make your own 3D movies! Just imagine; the very first 3D lesbian film is on its way. Maybe AfterEllen.com vloggers will one day be recording with an extra dimension!

It’s pricey, of course, and its almost certainly going to be supplanted by cheaper, better models down the road, but just the fact that consumers can get their hands on this baby later this year is a very cool sign of progress.

Speaking of films in the third dimension, this whole “Avatar broke $1 billion” business has a few other big time sci-fi directors (and studios) very excited. According to an article at the The Times Online (spotted via a news blurb in The Underwire).

Studio executives are drawing up schedules of popular films that will be “retro-fitted” with 3-D technology after the science fiction blockbuster, directed by James Cameron, last week became the second highest grossing movie of all time.

What’s on the shortlist? Oh, say, the original Star Wars Trilogy and the Lord of the Rings films.

The Lord of the Rings is expected to be re-released after Jackson has finished producing the two-part version of JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit over the next two years. This would mean that a 3-D version of The Fellowship of the Ring, the first part of the trilogy, could be in cinemas by Christmas 2012.

It may be beaten to the screen by a revamped version of Star Wars. George Lucas, the director, spent $13m filming the original in 1976, added special effects in 1997 and 2004, and will now spend another $10m to change it into a 3-D spectacular.

“George cannot leave it alone,” said an associate. “He is salivating at the opportunity to play with it again. This time the Death Star is really going to explode all over the audience and leave them gasping.”

I can tell you now that this would be a very, very smart move. I can think of a whole legion of folks who’d pay good money (and perhaps go out in public dressed as a stormtrooper) to see the good Star Wars flicks in big, beautiful 3D. The same goes for the epic Lord of the Rings trilogy — Sauron’s terrifying eye and the sheer scale of the battle scenes should prove that you don’t need explosions and spaceships to make 3D exciting.

Who’s with me?

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