This study examines the poetics of stereoscopic 3D cinema through the close reading of scenes drawn from four exemplary works of 3D cinema: Dial M for Murder, Avatar, Hugo and Life of Pi. The thesis identifies and analyzes the forms of creative decision-making that are used to construct a stereoscopic cinematic space within each of these films. These spaces are designed to support the needs of storytelling and narrative immersion. In addition, these creative decisions can also be used to support another type of viewing experience: the “cinema of attractions”. These moments of stereoscopic attraction can support narrative intent, but they can also provide a different form of engagement: cinematic spectacle and visual pleasure. The thesis details the application of stereoscopic visual design decisions in conjunction with the more standard cinematic techniques of composition, lighting, and an array of monocular two-dimensional depth cues.
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Thesis advisor: Bizzocchi, Jim
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