DreamWorks Animation CTO: Bad 3-D movies can make you sick

DreamWorks' Ed Leonard at GigaOM RoadMap 2011Backlash? What backlash? DreamWorks Animation is still very much committed to 3-D, said the company’s CTO Ed Leonard at our GigaOM Roadmap conference in San Francisco on Thursday. “For us, it was an exciting opportunity to take the next evolutionary step in film making,” said Leonard about 3-D, going on to say that the step from 2-D to 3-D was similar to going from black-and-white film making to color.
However, Leonard admitted that some of Hollywood’s 3-D releases in recent months have been duds. “There’s been some stuff that has hit the market that has been less than great,” he said diplomatically. Unfortunately, 3-D is a much more sensual experience, which can include very physical side effects when you watch a bad movie. “With “3-D, you are really like: I don’t feel that good,” said Leonard.
He went on to say that he sees a big opportunity for 3-D in the home as well, particularly once the technology advances to displays that don’t require viewers to view glasses anymore. “Those kinds of technologies will really get us over the hump of consumer adoption,” he explained.
Leonard also gave a brief look behind the curtain of the technology involved in making movies like the current blockbuster Puss in Boots, explaining that that the amount of computing used to produce a movie doubles every times DreamWorks releases a sequel to an original title. He not only credited Moore’s law for this kind of progress, but said that the company actually had its own version of the popular prediction, named after DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg. So what’s Katzenberg’s law? Said Leonard: “We always want more and more.”
Photo by Pinar Ozger.