Can We Learn Anything From Porn Going 3D?

In 3D? The hay alone would not work out
In 3D? The hay alone would not work out

I am not kidding here, this morning I stumbled over the news that at least two movies in the erotica genre are being produced in 3D. Sure, I come across a lot of news concerning media, IT and whatnot, but this report might actually be more interesting to everyone interested in media that you might think. The reason why is simple because it shows a very interesting development in how media is adapting to new technologies.

There is a famous story that only is partially true; that Phillips’ V2000 video system lost the vcr-type battle from VHS, even being far more superior in quality, simply because Phillips would not allow the porn and erotica industry to publish its content. And in that time, it was porn that made a product. Look at the quick adaptation of the internet from the mid-nineties to the early part of this millennium. And still does online erotica count for a massive amount in online behavior. If have written about this in much more detail in the Sex Sells articles. If there is sex on a certain platform, you bet it will find buyers. So, in the end, it always seemed that as long as you embraced the erotica industry, you would always have a certain amount of success.

Well, things came to a screeching halt with the coming of HD. First of all, the rumor went around that the porn industry was not interested in HD simply because the models and actresses would not like to have every imperfection on their bodies to be shown in so much detail. Of course, this might be a problem for a model or actress, but, let’s face it, it is not a model calling the shots. And if one model would not want to do the job, another would be found.

No, the reason is much, much easier to grasp; money.

Relatively seen, the erotica market is an ‘easy’ one to produce. All that you need is a camera, one (or more) willing actresses (and actors) and a fair understanding that clicking on that one button on the camera actually takes a picture. Make sure you have some money, which doesn’t have to be a lot, and just start shooting away. In erotica, the need to produce quality is not mandatory to actually produce a successful product. Which actually even became so much more clear when, with aid of the digital consumer’s age, amateur porn became very popular. Because now, the life-long dream for any man over the age of roughly 12 would come true; actually shooting erotica.

But, when we describe this side of the erotica market, it is the low-cost production process. These people are not aiming for producing erotica on Blu-Ray or in 3D. Even if they could, getting the appropriate licenses, production facilities etc, it would not be worth the money. But don’t forget, there is also a more upper class of erotica producing corporations. Multi-billion dollar industries the likes of Vivid Entertainment, Private, Playboy…. But how will you defend to your shareholders and investors that production costs for doing exactly the same as you already did will double, or maybe even triple? And for what? A kind of product that you know that even attracts customers with the lowest level of quality. What is the added value other then adding a gimmick.

The world of erotica is starting to reach its cap of what is necessary and wanted; in the end, it is one of the only businesses that still thrives on the basics of media; image, video and text. Although there may be some concept and small successes in branching out, usually, this market is pretty much content as being a ‘content provider’ instead of something like a big interactive company.

And this is not the only industry where production costs are an issue. Multiple game companies have complained about the exorbitant increase of development costs with each new game-console platform. Support for higher resolutions, also require all textures to be larger to make them pop on screen, and that requires a complete different way of memory management. Development times should then increase, but that is a luxury that most studios do not have, so it often ends up with rising costs, tighter deadlines, and there has to be cut on something. Sadly enough, that usually is the quality of the actual gameplay.

Also, the question is, if the capabilities of the technology is a requirement for future productions?

I think Disney showed the answer to that perfectly fine with The Princess and the Frog, where they went back to their hand-drawn cartoon roots, and showed that they still are amazing at that, especially in the time that CG-animated cartoons are now everywhere, and by far not that unique as they were ten years ago.

People demand technology, but expect quality;

For example, this weekend I will watch one of two movies which are a couple of movies I really love; Close Encounters of the Third Kind or Once Upon a Time In The West. Believe me, I have the Blu-Ray of Close Encounters, but to me, it is the same as it was when I saw it on DVD (there was quite a difference between VCR and Video, hey, VCR had even a lower resolution than your television had!). Sure, I like to have the best quality of something if it is available if I would notice the difference. I will not upgrade my DVD of Once Upon a Time… to Blu-Ray because it will not add anything to it for me.

I know I think like that, and you might do too or at least grasp the idea; there are huge amounts of people who don’t and have the opinion that only if it is the latest trend, it is good enough. And publishers love that kind of demand, republishing their movie collections again.

But even here we are hitting finally a solid barrier; the moment we all don’t notice the difference anymore. A little while ago there was a rumor that Apple would upgrade their Retina display on the iPad again. Which would be useless, since there is only so much visual quality that an eye can register, which is about 4,000 pixels horizontally. So, if you would hold you iPad in front of you, and it does not cover more than half your eyesight, any resolution higher than that would be worthless over their current retina display.

A couple of years ago there was also the mentioning that each year, the public’s demand for local storage space would double. That processor speeds needed to increase drastically to do what it needs to do. But although that is definitely true for online capabilities, for local computers that race of development has been finished.

Technology surpasses the requirements for delivering quality. Which is also how every branch in any area of expertise develops itself. Now, it is up to producers to define the quality of a product, and not the technology. Giving a new type of brush would not have made Vincent van Gogh a better painter. Having a word processor on his tablet would not have made J.R.R. Tolkien write a better Lord of the Rings.

Now, it is up to the producers to show us that they actually can deliver the quality; and cannot hide behind the technology anymore.

The world of erotica already have known this for a long time.

And by the way… who wants to wear those weird 3D glasses while watching erotica?

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