The IMAX Corporation, with its IMAX and OMNIMAX formats, is taking a revolutionary approach. Since these formats require the introduction of an entirely new and very expensive system of cameras and projectors, they they tend to be found at world fairs (Expo 86), in theme parks (Disneyland and EPCOT Center) and in museums (Canadian Museum of Civilization). For the present, introducing this format into the neighbourhood cinema is prohibitively expensive due to the time and experience needed to produce the films, and the sophisticated environment needed to show them.

      A more subtle obstacle is the image of three-dimensional films as gimmickry and schlock, limited to horror and pornographic movies. What steps can be taken in this second wave to improve that image? Can 3-D graduate from being, at best, simply a special effect to being, like colour, an intrinsic aspect of film?

      In attempting to improve the image of three-dimensional film, we would do well to sit at the feet of Mother Nature and humbly learn lessons from her. Such is the arrogance of our species that we constantly pride ourselves on our inventions at the expense of nature's creations. Writers of introductory psychology textbooks expound time after pompous time that the eye is a lousy camera. The film is in backwards, there is a hole in it, and the camera is constantly shaking up and down, we intone. Inevitably we find that those apparent design flaws have an important function. For example, the shaking up and down is physiological nystagmus without which the image fades since the neurons fatigue with constant input. Our eyes take millions of snapshots a day for three score and ten years, without ever reloading the film. The Leica is a lousy eye. We look forward to the day when someone develops a vehicle equally at home on land, water, and air only to realize that he has reinvented the lowly duck.

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