Singapore: Jon Landau, the 50-year-old former executive vice president of Feature Film Production at Twentieth Century Fox, calls 3D as definitive form of filmmaking and not just an alternative. The producer of Oscar winning films like 'Titanic' and 'Avatar' with James Cameron is emphatic that 3D is the future of cinema.

"3D is not an alternative form, it is the definitive form of cinema," said Landau, speaking at ScreenSingapore, a film business event organized by the Media Development Authority of Singapore from June 5-12.

"All our (visual) entertainment in future will be on 3D — in our theaters, homes, mobile phones. When home TV goes 3D, everybody will be forced to do 3D. So the more directors we have working on the technology now, the better."

Landau said that the films made using the technology also have more shelf value. "Hollywood is based on long term library value. Just as a colour film library has greater value than that of black and white films, 3D film libraries' value will have greater value than those on 2D."

But Landau is against the idea of converting 2D films into 3D saying it doesn't really make it a 3D one. "Perhaps it should be called a '2.8D film'!" he laughs.

After Hollywood, India and other Asian countries too have caught up on the 3D rage. Vikram Bhatt's 'Haunted', India's first film in stereoscopic 3D, a horror film in Hindi, has shown healthy returns. China is producing Tsui Hark's 'The Flying Swords of Dragon Gate' in 3D, while Hong Kong is making widely varying films: 'Monkey King', 'Sex and Zen' (soft porn) and 'Legend of a Rabbit' (for kids).

"3D has a place in all types of storytelling, not only action. Most film people assume that the plot is paramount, but the theme is more important. We need universal themes that people can relate to across cultures. So 3D is not an excuse to make a movie. You make a movie because of the storytelling," said Landau.

According to him, the main extra costs for making a film in 3D are from camera equipment (about double) and visual effects, which cost 5 to 20 per cent more.

By the end of this year, 40,000 screens worldwide will be 3D-capable, he said. Asia's biggest potential is that, as its rate of digitizing screens is greater than even in the US, there are more options to project in 3D.

Yu Dong, CEO of Bona Film Group and producer of John Woo's 'Red Cliff' and 'The Flying Swords of Dragon Gate' starring Jet Li, among others, said, "After Avatar and Pirates of the Caribbean 4, major Asian movies have no choice but to be on 3D. Last year we weren't sure about making films in 3D, but in 2011 we realize we have no choice.

"Hollywood is in all the big cinemas. If Chinese films are not on 3D, they will go only to the smaller cinemas and we will lose our market to Hollywood. Chinese films will have no future."

(Agencies)