Jonathan Tustain of 3D Focus – a UK-based website that covers the latest developments in stereoscopic entertainment – attended this year’s MIPCOM conference to check out the latest 3D content and report on the event.

Parallax Film Productions President and Director Ian Herring and Executive Producer Maija Leivo also attended the event to showcase our production Blowdown 3D, the first ever show on explosive demolition to be delivered in stereoscopic form for international broadcast.

We chatted with Tustian about his experiences at MIPCOM – and the state of 3D TV in general.

Here’s what he had to say:

Why MIPCOM was a must

A lot of websites (about 3D) really do focus on the technologies. I thought there was way too much of that and not too much of the actual content. So the idea was really to get to MIPCOM and see what was being created – if it’s being made in 3D, it’s likely you’ll see it there. In a nutshell that’s what MIPCOM’s about – content.

The hunt for 3D

At MIPTV they had a whole 3D area, so all the people with an interest in 3D TV had one actual zone to go to. That wasn’t there (at MIPCOM) which was a bit disappointing. So, 3D wasn’t as easy to find. You can have companies who do a lot of normal TV and then just have a very odd 3D thing in their catalogue that they don’t talk about. At MIPCOM, I actually discovered some of these shows by accident.  I thought it was quite surprising that I could go from booth to booth then find a 3D show in he bottom of the barrel kind of thing. They weren’t really pushing it.

Stereoscopic finds

I saw some really interesting things. I saw some 3D cooking shows, which I thought the thought of 3D chefs made me laugh. A guy with a sword was using it to cut the meat and I was thinking he’s making sure the Samurai sword was coming at the camera and he was actually throwing flour out at the lens. There was even 3D sushi. On the 3D day, there were animals in 3D. The guys at High TV have just got stacks of 3D shows now. 400 hours a year they’ve committed to every shot’s a pot of gold. Obviously Blowdown is great as well. You could almost spend ages at MIPCOM watching everything. Though I still don’t like any of the converted stuff if it’s on a budget  – it just doesn’t work.

A tough act to follow

This last summer was one of huge negatively, especially in the UK. There were all sorts of articles saying the death of 3D TV is coming, so I presume that MIPCOM organizers would have been aware of this. If you read a story in a big national newspaper saying 3D is dead, then that will always filter into your subconscious. It can be very difficult not to listen to the negative rather than focus on the positive. I know for a fact that people are generally quite nervous and have slightly put things on the back burners again with 3D shows. That’s why I think it was a bit cool at MIPCOM.

The last word

Right now, it’s still a wait-and-see game … no one’s got a clear business model to make 3D work, apart from the movie industry. 3D TV needs one person or one company to prove it can be a commercial success.