Roger Ebert posted a letter from film editor and sound designer Walter Murch. “Why 3D doesn’t work and never will. Case closed.”
Munch’s main point is around convergence and focus.
The biggest problem with 3D, though, is the “convergence/focus” issue. A couple of the other issues—darkness and “smallness”—are at least theoretically solvable. But the deeper problem is that the audience must focus their eyes at the plane of the screen—say it is 80 feet away. This is constant no matter what.
But their eyes must converge at perhaps 10 feet away, then 60 feet, then 120 feet, and so on, depending on what the illusion is. So 3D films require us to focus at one distance and converge at another.
The greater the distance, the less depth perception matters. The real magic of stereoscopy happen when the convergence and focus distances are similar. When you can see the small differences in depth within the form of the focal object. Large and exaggerated depths and rapid changes of convergence aren’t where the magic is.
Consequently, the editing of 3D films cannot be as rapid as for 2D films, because of this shifting of convergence: it takes a number of milliseconds for the brain/eye to “get” what the space of each shot is and adjust.
If you don’t have a lot of shifting convergence, then I guess this won’t be an issue. In any case, though, I think less rapid cuts would be a very good thing. Rapid cutting annoys me in 2D.
And lastly, the question of immersion. 3D films remind the audience that they are in a certain “perspective” relationship to the image.
shrug I know that I have never felt as immersed in a film as when I was when I was standing outside Baikonur Cosmodrome...when I was really sitting in an IMAX theatre with 3D glasses on.
But who am I to argue with an expert like Munch? Reading their arguments, however, I just can’t help but think that many of the people who dismiss 3D in films dismiss it based on bad and gimmicky 3D instead of on the merits of 3D when used well.