By Shaan Lashari*
One of the biggest superhero movies in the history of super-hero movies – Avengers: Endgame – is coming out in 2 days, on the 26th of April 2019, in Pakistan. It is 3 hours and 2 minutes long and the fans, it looks like, can’t wait to watch every minute of it. Opening weekend tickets at big international cinema chains like AMC and ODEON have already been sold out. Shows are being scheduled as early as 6:15 AM on the opening weekend to cater to the insane demand for the film. But how do we want to watch this movie event of the century? Is it a 3D watch or a 2D watch? I mean you wouldn’t want to make a mistake there if you’re an Avengers fan, now would you?
So should you watch it in 2D or 3D?
Here are some facts:
I’m going to get a little technical here so bear with me. In cinemas, the unit in which we measure the light bouncing off the screen into our eyes is called FootLambert (FLt). A normal 2D movie in a good cinema with a good projector runs on around 11 FLt. A 3D movie in the same cinema runs on around 4 FLt. This means that you’re watching the movie at 40% brightness only which is less than half the brightness the film was actually produced in.
Imagine sitting in your lounge before you put on a movie and reducing the LED’s brightness to 40% before you start watching it. The brightness in a 3D movie reduces because the light is eaten up by 2 lenses that create the 3D effect. One is right in front of the projector and the other lens is the one you wear in the form of 3D glasses. Have you noticed the screen seems brighter when you take off your 3D glasses? That is exactly what I am talking about and honestly, I wouldn’t want to do that, especially with the Avengers: Endgame.
Here’s why you should watch it in 2D
Has it ever happened to you that you start feeling a strain on your eyes during a 3D movie and sometimes a mild headache too? If yes, then let me enlighten you on why this happens. In a 3D movie, the screen has 2 images being displayed on the screen. One image is for your left eye and the other is for your right eye. In Pakistan, almost all the cinemas calibrate these left-right images manually and it is very difficult to overlap them 100% manually.
Now if the two images are not exactly overlapping on the screen, your brain receives two images, one from each eye. Now your brain does not know which image to focus on because it is not used to receiving two different images from your two eyes. So it keeps zooming in and zooming out of the left and right eye images to find a point where both are in focus (which is not possible) and that causes the eye strain or the headache we just talked about. It’s like one person is talking in your right ear while another is talking in your left ear and you can’t concentrate on either of the two conversations. Therefore, the 3D eye strain is another risk, at least, I for one, wouldn’t be taking with my Avengers: Endgame experience.
Choose your Avengers watching format wisely because you’re only going to watch it for the first time once.
*Shaan Lashari is the Director Operations at the Luxus Grand Hotels, Sozo World Cinema and the Sozo Water Park.