John Cassy – We are happy with the progress of Sky 3D

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As doubts about 3D TV continue, Head of Sky 3D John Cassy attempted to dispel some myths about 3D TV’s future during Ravensbourne’s 3D Storytelling this morning.

review dividing line John Cassy – We are happy with the progress of Sky 3D

Presenting an independent chart that predicts sales of 3DTV’s to hit 9.1 million by 2014, John Cassy used the session to dispel a lot of the myths about the longevity of 3D. He said that people were buying 3DTVs quicker than Sky 3D expected providing a ‘real opportunity’ for content makers.

Challenging the perception that 3DTV is too expensive, Cassy pointed out that high end 3DTVs can now be purchased for around £500. He highlighted the fact that, back in 2005/2006, many questioned whether there would be demand for HD entertainment and now Sky offer over 50 HD channels with almost 4 million people paying an extra £10 a month. “We expect 3D to complement HD, rather than replace it” he commented.

Addressing the concerns of the film industry (far fewer 3D films will be released this year compared to 2011) Cassy said that Avatar was possibly the best and the worst thing that could have happened to 3D in terms of expectations. "Avatar set the bar very high", he said, and that only led to disappointment afterwards with commercial gain being the priority. The former Sky Arts Director said that 2012 would be a positive year for the 3D film industry with The Hobbit, Prometheus and Spiderman 3D expected to echo the quality and success of Hugo.

Referring to 3D television and 3D sports in particular, after over 200 hours of live sports 3D production, Cassy admitted they have made lots of mistakes but are learning from them and know they can do better.

John Cassy said the channel was still looking for great content and reminded the audience that the story comes first and the idea has to work just as well in 2D. He said that it is about teaming up with talented people and forming partnerships with other production companies. He used the example of Colonial Picture’s model who will be producing their second 3D programme for Sky 3D – Queen’s Life, to be broadcast around the time of the Queen’s Jubilee. Sky 3D were impressed with their approach for their first Sky 3D show – Selina Scott’s Treasure Houses of Britain 3D. The producer put together a business model which connected creative people and formed partnerships with DirecTV, History, PBS, Sky and Sky Arts – leading them to their second commission which will include original 3D footage of the Queen’s Coronation.

Wrapping up, John Cassy said that the UK offers the most experienced stereographers in the world but the country could still do with more. On a positive note, he ended saying that BSkyB are positive about 3D; are pleased with the results so far and that there has been an uptake in sales this year despite the gloomy economic forecast.