The first-ever 3D broadcast of an NFL game was rushed into movie theaters in three U.S. cities last night, kicking off what many hope could be a new way of generating revenue for theater operators.
We attended the event in Los Angeles, where a throng of football fans, reporters and Hollywood executives donned black plastic 3D glasses and crammed into a stadium-style theater for kickoff between the Oakland Raiders and the San Diego Chargers.
In an interview the day before the game, Michael Lewis, chief executive and co-founder of 3D system provider RealD 3D, said of the experience: “You feel like you are really on the field in the middle of the action,” and called the event “the dawn of live events at your local theater.”
For us, sitting in the theater, the 3D technology really did make it feel like we were right on the field at San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium. Most of the camera angles were field-level, which even in conventional “2D” broadcasts offer viewers a better sense of what it’s like for players than other angles.
The NFL Network cable network showed the same game in the conventional fashion as we saw it in 3D. There were different announcers for our game, because 3D production company 3ality Digital’s cameras followed the action differently as well as presenting it in three dimensions. The camera angles were closer to the action. We were surprised how realistic it was. It was not as if we were on the field with the players, but just like we were on the sideline with the coaches.