'Bloom is off the rose' for 3D: DreamWorks CEO

Jul 20, 2011

DreamWorks Animation chief executive Jeffrey Katzenberg said Tuesday that Hollywood "greed" is responsible for a glut of lousy 3D movies and weak ticket sales.

Katzenberg, speaking at the Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference here, also said high-quality 3D television without the special glasses will be available within four to six years but it will be 10 to 15 years before movie-goers can enjoy 3D without glasses.

The former top Disney executive is one of the leading proponents of 3D in Hollywood and his California animation studio is responsible for hit films such as "Shrek," "Madagascar" and "Kung Fu Panda."

But Katzenberg said movie-goers appear to have turned their backs on 3D at the moment.

"For sure, the bloom is off the rose for a moment in time, driven by a singular and unique characteristic that only exists in Hollywood: greed," he said.

"There were, unfortunately, a number of people who thought that they could capitalize on what was a great, genuine excitement by movie-goers for a new premium experience, and thought they could just deliver a kind of low-end crappy version of it, and people wouldn't care," Katzenberg said.

"Nothing could have been further from the truth."

Katzenberg said "Hollywood has managed to grasp defeat from the jaws of victory here" but he predicted a resurgence for three-dimensional film technology.

"With time we'll get back there again, but it's only going to come by understanding and embracing this as a creative, storytelling tool, and a way of giving an enhanced movie theater experience, premium experience," he said.

Katzenberg said 3D without glasses would eventually be available on and in .

3D "will come into the living room without glasses in an OK way in a very few years," the CEO said. "It will come into the living room in a pretty high quality manner probably in four to six years.

"It will probably be the better part of 10 or 15 years before it actually can come into the movie theatres," he said. "There are a lot of technical hurdles to doing it, but it will happen in our lifetimes.

"Looking around, I think I'm the oldest one in the room, so I think it will happen in my lifetime," said the 60-year-old Katzenberg.

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antialias_physorg
not rated yet Jul 20, 2011
Hollywood? Greedy? No. Do tell.

but it's only going to come by understanding and embracing this as a creative, storytelling tool,

It was the same when CD-ROMs came in: Suddenly we had lots of graphics (and memory) intensive games but the story/player-immersion went down the drain - and hasn't recovered much since.

Hollywood is probably banking on viewers going the same way that gamers went: If you bombard them long enough with crap that looks shiny then at some point they will forget that there once used to be stuff that had quality content.
Bob_Kob
not rated yet Jul 20, 2011
Because the story was SO immersive on your 8 bit games. One of the first games to use a CD was Myst, one of the MOST immersive games ever made.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (1) Jul 20, 2011
Well, I haven't seen anything even remotely resembling "starflight", "nethack/rogue", "questron/ultima" or "star control 2" or any of the many parser based games that had intricate logic behind the crude graphics.

Myst started off the trend of 'point and click' pixelhunt type of games which are basically human equivalents of 'hit-the-feeder-bar' games for rats.
It looked spectacular but the mechanics behind it are exceedingly dumbed down from what adventure games used to be up to that point.

Today people will shun games that exceed the complexity of an App....and some will even defend these games as 'good'.
Dummy
3 / 5 (2) Jul 20, 2011
unique characteristic that only exists in Hollywood: greed

Ya. sure. only in Hollywood. right.
NotAsleep
not rated yet Jul 20, 2011
I actually downloaded Starflight to my Droid because the apps were so damned boring. I don't understand the fascination with games like Angry Birds or Alchemy.

I personally feel like the "ooo, shiny!" trend reached a peak with Jar Jar Binks. It seems like directors have since realized that even spectacular franchises can be soured by a single character. At least I didn't see a comic-relief character in the latest Star Trek...
Eikka
1 / 5 (2) Jul 20, 2011
Well, I haven't seen anything even remotely resembling "starflight", "nethack/rogue", "questron/ultima" or "star control 2" or any of the many parser based games that had intricate logic behind the crude graphics.


The majority of people who played games had something like a Nintendo with Super Mario 3. The games you mentioned were mostly popular with the basement dwelling crowd who used them to imagine and roleplay themselves a life.

Everybody else found the text-based non-graphics computer games extremely boring and pointless. You can't see anything, you have to learn a book to play it, and even then it's just boring and way too difficult.

They were the kind of experiences that, if I take off the nostalgia glasses, I really wouldn't want to experience again. Games like Pohl's Gateway were fun as an idea, and the story was great, but god damn was it tedious to actually play it.
Eikka
not rated yet Jul 20, 2011
Myst started off the trend of 'point and click' pixelhunt type of games which are basically human equivalents of 'hit-the-feeder-bar' games for rats.


It was the exact same thing on the text based adventure-puzzle games, except with the difference that you couldn't see anything, and you had to type the commands.

You just read the description and try to take everything, turn every lever, push every button, open every closet etc. because you've no idea what you're supposed to do or even what you can do.

Myst just took the exact same thing and put it to pretty pictures so at least you could look at pretty pictures. At the same time it revealed how little there actually was to these games when they were presented in a new way that actually showed you how many options you really had available, instead of having you guess them and then guess how to get the parser to understand what you want.

mrwolfe
not rated yet Jul 21, 2011
driven by a singular and unique characteristic that only exists in Hollywood: greed

Aha hahahahahahahahahaha! such innocence.
antialias_physorg
not rated yet Jul 21, 2011
At the same time it revealed how little there actually was to these games when they were presented in a new way

Hunting a pixel is a lot simpler than combining words from an (sometimes extensive) vocabulary. With the former you can just wildly click around until something happens - with the latter you can't just randomly combine words because the permutations are just way too many.
And no: it wasn't trying to 'turn every lever'. That was basically the dumbed down 'Lucasarts' approach.

I think you must be misremembering how these things were played. You tried to think your way through them and developed alternative approaches when you failed. Tedious? I just remember not having the attention span of a mayfly. Today people will put down a game that 'frustrates' them for 5 minutes. What kind of gaming experience is that? Games have just become a sea of blandness because the maker aren't allowed to put in anything even remotely challenging (other than to your twitch reflex)

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