Rebirth of 3-D finds success in film and TV, now music takes a stab at 3-D market

By Mesfin Fekadu, AP
Monday, October 4, 2010

Following film and TV, music takes stab at 3-D

NEW YORK — At the beginning of the re-emergence of 3-D, the focus was on film, with movies like “Avatar” paving the way for the technology to become an integral part of the cinema experience.

Soon TV followed, with sporting events like the World Cup featured in 3-D, and companies such as Sony and Samsung rolling out 3-D televisions.

Now, the music world is making sure it isn’t left behind in the 3-D revolution. Justin Bieber and the Black Eyed Peas are planning to release 3-D movie-concerts, while the music video for Shakira’s World Cup anthem, “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa),” had a version in 3-D. Even acts like Sia and the Broken Bells are producing 3-D clips.

“It’s not the ’80s 3-D, like, the way people think of 3-D. It changes the art form of storytelling. It’s pretty amazing. It’s a whole new freaking jump-off,” said the Peas’ leader

Oscar-winning director James Cameron, whose groundbreaking “Avatar” has become the top-grossing movie in history, says 3-D’s spillover to music will find success.

“Music videos in 3-D, it’s natural, that’s great,” he said.

Cameron’s production company, Pace, will produce the Peas’ upcoming project. says 3-D music content will alter the way we watch music videos and concerts - and record labels have taken note.

JeanBaptise Duprieu, senior director at Sony Music International, says the company will “produce a lot of 3-D content this year.”

Duprieu says when he presented Shakira’s “Waka Waka” video to Sony staffers, they felt a sense of closeness to the Latin sensation.

“The reaction was, ‘Wow, we feel so much closer to the artist … and really immersed (in) what’s going on,’” Duprieu recalled. “So I think generally the impression is a better connection and a more sort of real vibrance going on.”

The Peas performed a 3-D concert in New York’s Times Square in March while rap-rock trio N.E.R.D did so last month. And other musicians like Miley Cyrus, the Jonas Brothers and Kenny Chesney have released 3-D concerts. International singers Kylie Minogue and Sia have also filmed some of their recent live shows in 3-D. Veteran rockers U2 did so in 2006 on their “Vertigo” tour.

Peter Shapiro, co-founder of 3ality Digital and producer for 2008’s concert film “U2 3D,” says the music film helped pave the way for more like it. But he adds there are plenty of challenges with creating good 3-D material for the music world.

“If it’s not done well and the cuts don’t match, you can hurt people’s eyes,” he said. “3-D likes to be slower than 2-D. So if you’re watching TV … 3-D lends itself to feeling like you’re there. You want to forget that you’re watching a recorded image.”

Cameron says 3-D music content will find more successful in clips that won’t have too much action going on.

“It’s not that 3-D works against you when you cut fast, it’s just that you don’t have time for your eye to lock in 3-D so you’re not getting the value out of it,” Cameron said. “But some music videos are long, sustained takes - so that’s the kind that will work the best.”

Duprieu agrees, explaining that Sony plans to film 3-D content with its classical musicians - including a recent recital with pianist Lang Lang.

“You would think classical music is pretty static and you would not feel that much stuff going on, but actually because of the depth of 3-D, you really actually enhance the listening experience and connection to the music by having that shot in 3-D,” he said.

“It can actually be overwhelming to have too many cameras and too many different angles,” he added.

Outside the Shakira clip, others have since produced 3-D music videos and content. Guitar Center Sessions, a program on DirecTV Inc., features live 3-D performances, including recent shows with Peter Gabriel and Jane’s Addiction. A representative for the channel confirmed that there are plans to shoot about 15 more shows before the end of the year.

Rock duo Broken Bells released a 3-D video for their latest single, “October,” and the video for Bon Jovi’s new single, “What Do You Got,” was shot in 3-D.

Wayne Isham, the director behind the Bon Jovi clip, says 3-D music videos are an opportunity for “music videos to blow everyone’s minds again.”

“I think it’s going to be a rebirth of performance again in music, because with everything that’s going on with the Internet and everything that’s going on with the lack of a true MTV channel where people are not having … the ability to show their videos, I think now bands are going to be able to showcase themselves … in the most simplistic sense,” Isham said.

Associated Press Music Writer Nekesa Mumbi Moody in New York and AP Entertainment Writer Ryan Pearson in Los Angeles contributed to this report.


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