PORN VALLEY—We hate to blow our own horn, but in AVN's November issue, we stated, "The point is, 3D is coming. It's been around practically since (2D) cameras were invented; throughout the 20th century it's been tried in mass-market magazines, comic books and movies—the 1950s were the heyday of 3D cinema—and now it's back with a vengeance ... and thanks to a push from some major electronics manufacturers, it's not going away, so adult moviemakers and webmasters had better get used to it."
Apparently, some of the adult industry's biggest producers have taken that thought to heart—or maybe it was just that they saw that James Cameron's 3D epic Avatar had earned over $1.6 billion in ticket sales in its first five weeks in theaters, and they were ready to milk Hollywood's latest cash cow: 3D.
"As soon as Avatar came out, there was talk about it," said Rob Smith, director of operations for Hustler Video Group. "And we enjoy making successful parodies, so of course we were going to do Avatar, because it was already the biggest movie out there—this was in December—so the question was, can we do 3D?"
Hustler had put out a press release in January mentioning several upcoming parodies they intended to do, including Avatar, but Smith wasn't prepared for the stir that announcement would cause in the mainstream media.
"I just threw it in there basically to see what would happen," Smith explained, "and it was picked up in India, London and Japan; it was everywhere. So we were, like, 'Well, we've got to do it.' So I started investigating digital acquisition options for this."
One of the cameras Smith is looking at is Silicon Imaging's SI-3D rig, which consists of paired and synchronized SI-2K digital video cameras—SI-2Ks shot the Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire—which encode data to a single stereo CineFormRAW QuickTime file, along with 3D LUT color and convergence metadata. The result can be played back immediately in either side-by-side or anaglyph (red/blue) formats and can be edited in Full 3D on Apple's Final Cut without the need for proxy conversions.
Hustler's This Ain't Avatar XXX will be almost entirely live-action and is expected to begin shooting sometime this spring. It is expected to be released this summer in a package containing both 2D and anaglyph 3D versions.
"It will be 3D anaglyph just because that's the way most people will be able to see it," Smith noted. "As soon as there's the appropriate demand, though, I'm fully prepared to make polarized or active glasses [versions], and if Panasonic is at the place where I want them to be by the time we release this, then we'll do the Blu-ray 3D for active glasses as soon as we release it. It depends on where the rest of the world is when we're there."
But Hustler's not the only one working to grab a piece of the impending 3D boom market.
"Ren [Savant] is actually working on a project, and it's going to be all 3D animation and it's going to be released in 3D," said Adam & Eve production coordinator Meredith Christopher. "It's going to be done in the style of Avatar; it has nothing to do with Avatar's story, but it will be all animation and 3D like Avatar for next year."
The as-yet-untitled movie will be in pre-production for the next three months, largely to solidify the 3D virtual world that will form about 95 percent of the movie.
"It takes place entirely in a gaming environment, like a World of Warcraft or City of Heroes, massive multi-player online role-playing games," Savant elaborated, "and in a sense, all of the performers that are playing are avatars that are being piloted by real-world people. The real-world people actually will be shown very little. They connect the dots, if you will, but the bulk of the movie will be inside the game."
"We're going to be doing two movies, a pair of them simultaneously," he continued, "and it's a bit of a first because no one's actually tried to do total virtual environments. We'll be shooting almost everything on green-screen and building environments around them."
The movie was not originally imagined as 3D, but owing in part to the incredible success of Savant's most recent effort, The 8th Day, Adam & Eve felt confident enough in Savant's abilities to give the go-ahead for the large expenditures needed to upgrade the project.
Savant is still researching 3D camera systems for the shoot, but expects to have digital storyboards for both movies by the time shooting begins.
"We're going to actually pre-build both movies," Savant explained, "so when we get to the green-screen stage, we'll hopefully be at a point where all of our environments are already built and we're shooting the stuff that we've previewed in wire frames."
The movie will star Adam & Eve contract player Bree Olsen, as well as popular stars Alexis Ford and Teagan Presley.
Also on the horizon is Italy's first 3D film, apparently a remake of Penthouse's 1979 mega-hit Caligula. Tinto Brass, who directed the non-hardcore segments of that film—the hardcore material was added in post-production at the direction of Penthouse publisher Bob Guccione—hinted at the new film's content by saying that he planned to "revisit an abandoned project about a Roman emperor that was ruined by Americans, and go from there."