Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Update: Much Higher Quality Anaglyph Glasses ...And Why We Should Be Worried

**SAME DAY UPDATE: I just spoke with someone in the know from Dreamworks Animation and he stated: "There is no plan that I know of to use the colorcode glasses in the theater. MvA will be shown in 3D via Imax, Dolby and RealD. I dont know if there are plans to show it in other ways outside of the US"

- So there is at least one item out of the way - no "colorcode" anaglyph 3D theatrical release of MvsA in North America. That helps a bit.

Apparently much higher quality anaglyph glasses will be used by Dreamworks Animation during the Super Bowl MONSTERS VS. ALIENS commerical - I'll believe it when I see it. It is still color separated. The technology is done through Intel InTru 3D and ColorCode 3-D.

Looks like 125 to 150 million of these glasses will be distributed through 25,000 Pepsi retail locations. That's right 125 to 150 MILLION.

Katzenberg was quoted by AP as saying “...perhaps the biggest media-advertising event in history” and that the campaign “involved tens of millions of dollars.”

I am literally stunned. I am also a marketer and let me tell you that if I had that kind of wallet for promotion, it would be totally different. It will certainly get people talking - but it had better be the right KIND of talking for the sake of not just MvsA, but modern 3D.

One of their saving graces is that they are handing out 1950's style 3D glasses and the movie is based during that era - so there is a tie in. But it is a weak one, as many will remember the 1950's 3D as BAD. Certainly not in the same league as modern 3D.

Viewers can "pre-book" their glasses by calling 800-646-2904 to make sure they get them. I called this number today and they won't be ready to take your information for another week however.

Apparently viewers without the glasses will see an almost normal screen while viewing the commercial through this updated tech for anaglyph. But Katzenberg also said it still doesn't come close to the 3D quality that viewers will see when it is released with modern 3D in theaters. I hope this turns out for the best, but I have my sincerest concerns.

Viewers will get on-screen displays telling them how and when to view the 3D content during the Super Bowl. But that's not all. NBC will also be airing a 3D version of "Chuck" featuring a guest appearance by Jerome Bettis the following day. The on-screen messaging will also tell them to "Don't Chuck Your Glasses" in support of viewers reusing them for "Chuck".

See the update above! Now word is leaking that you will be able to use these glasses when you go to your theater to watch MvsA!?! What is that all about? Just a rumor? If it is just a rumor, DWA better get going on some damage control. I am on the horn right now to try and get some answers from some folks over at DWA. Perhaps they will be using this new Intel technology to show the movie on the older 2D screens with no modern digital and/or 3D projector upgrades to help build up the number of actual 3D showings? That is a possibility that makes a bit of sense as the modern 3D rollout has been slowed down with the credit crunch of late. This would allow more theaters to show it in 3D - but a full movie with these glasses? Ouch. And they certainly wouldn't be able to charge a premium price for the anagylph experience. See the update above!

I hope Dreamworks Animation and their partners know what they are doing. There is a heckuva lot of momentum now for 3D and we don't need any steps backward now. If it works, it will work spectacularly. If it fails... well it won't be pretty. The biggest thing they have to get across when this commercial is aired is that this is NOT THE THEATER EXPERIENCE! Even Katzenberg said this. It has to be crystal to viewers. They really have to hold them by the hand and walk them through this and manage expectations. To top it off, viewers will be further entrenched in thinking that this is the new 3D because this is a new anaglyph technology with names like Intel being thrown around - very confusing for some I would imagine. Then they re-use it again for "Chuck"? It sounds VERY risky.

I for one, am definitely hoping they pull it off. It is a massive world-wide audience and will create massive awareness. But they had better know just what that massive awareness will eventually turn out to be!

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