James Murdoch: 3D TV Production Difficult, But Crucial

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The News Corp. Europe and Asia chairman and chief executive sits on a media summit panel with 'Avatar' director James Cameron.

LONDON - 3D TV production might be a headache but it’s a headache broadcasters will have to get used to, News Corp Europe and Asia chairman and chief executive James Murdoch told the Abu Dhabi media summit Tuesday.

Murdoch, who was in conversation with Avatar director James Cameron for a panel at the Gulf state’s second annual annual media powwow, said that there was more and more demand for the 3D format.

"Customers will not want big events that are not in 3D at some point in the future because it is such an exciting and immersive experience," he said, according to a report in the Financial Times.

Murdoch and Cameron both agreed that the current mode of filming events in 2D alongside a film crew for 3D was expensive and inefficient, but said that the next generation of cameras would hopefully fix the problems.

"That’s the way we do it now," Murdoch said of the dual-teaming approach.

"It’s very hard and it’s not just the camera positions, it’s the directors and the producers and the outside broadcast units [who are different], so now it’s the two big trucks sitting outside [venues] because they want different angles, they want different things."

But Cameron, basking in Avatar’s $2.8 billion at global box office, urged studios to invest in the more costly 3D format rather than opting for the less expensive 2D-to-3D conversion process which he said meant they risked “harming themselves with that cautious approach.”

“I think it will be difficult in a few year’s time for photographers and filmmakers to say that 3-D is too tricky to figure out,” Cameron said, according to reports.