In just 7 weeks, James Cameron’s 3D movie “Avatar” has surpassed Titanic to become the highest grossing film of all time with over $2 billion in sales. What most analysts have missed out is how, so far, Avatar may have crushed the record-books, if kept, for becoming the single film that has been seen at least twice, in such a short time, by the largest percentage of audiences in the history of moviegoing.
In actuality, for moviegoers to get the full story of 3D movies, they all need to see those movies at least twice. What made a large number of people act to see Avatar twice vs other 3D films is because Avatar was so different than anything else ever done before.
So why should one see Avatar in 3D twice? Sam Ramadan, one of the world’s foremost researchers on 3D Stereo technologies and its effects on humans, believes that the first time a moviegoer views Avatar, he/she is likely to be disoriented, with his/her brain functions put on full alert trying to grasp what his/her brain believes to be a visual experience that must be stored. From years of research and observations, Sam concluded that depth perception directly influences what type of visual experiences our brain decides to store or just pass-on. This is a natural selective process, when turned on (in 3D), it is triggered as a protective measure which induces a need to store the experience, and when turned off (in 2D), it is to enjoy the current moment, pass-on the longer-term storage requirements to reduce brain overload.
When depth perception is at its fullest, at brain perception viewing distance of 1 to 2 feet away, the importance of storing the visual experience apparently necessary for our survival is heightened and our brain becomes keen on learning this experience. The need of visual experience storage seems to be directly related to the level of depth within the image or clip, the less depth, the less we feel the need to store, and the less attentive we become.
In a 3D movie first viewing, our brain gets very busy trying to get oriented with this new visual experience, often making us lose concentration on the dialogue of the film and the main story. Do you remember when you first joined a new company or visited a new city, how you felt disoriented trying to grasp the environment around you? But as you revisit and become familiar or oriented with the scenery, you begin to pay better attention the important stuff. Sam chuckled when he read some of the “negative” story-line reviews about Avatar, because most reviewers did not realize that the 3D scenery effects had distracted them and made them miss the full story that James Cameron was trying to deliver, something that Mr. Cameron could have not recognized or even planned for. They left not fully understanding the movie, they missed many of the messages and many of them did not know why and thought basically it was a mediocre or bad story.
On the second viewing, and for some, even the third, the brain would have now become more familiar with the scenery and can now better concentrate on understanding the full story, after which once can only appreciate James Cameron’s story.
In summary, 2D films bring little attention to the objects being seen, because a 2D visual experience suggests to the brain that the objects/sceneries are very far away and that the brain should pay little attention to and should not store. This is why, in a 2D movie, one is more likely to enjoy the story from the first viewing and why with 3D movies, the first viewing is to experience and become oriented with the scenery, and the second or third viewing is necessary to fully enjoy the story. When people realize this, Avatar ticket-sales are likely to surpass $4 Billion.
So if you did not like the movie because you did not understand the story, you will need to see the movie again, Ramadan assures you that you will very much appreciate the storyline and the strong messages that Mr. James Cameron had tried to deliver.
- Authored by Sam Ramadan
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