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In a new 3D documentary commissioned for Sky 3D, Brian May’s Brief History of 3D takes the viewer on a fascinating journey from the gentle 3D of the Victorian era to the extreme out-of-the-screen 3D of the 1980s. The documentary will be screened on Sky 3D on 7 July 2011.

3D has endured a long bumpy journey. From William Friese Greene simply walking along a Hyde Park pathway in an 1893 3D short to Johnny Depp’s swashbuckling antics in Pirates of the Caribbean IV in 2011, 3D has come and gone several times. Some pundits are arguing that the current 3D era is already coming to an end, pointing to slowing 3D ticket sales; others are saying that there is no going back now and that, for the first time, technology and economics finally make 3D a viable form of mainstream entertainment.

Over the last 100 years, the 3D industry has been scattered with various attempts to lure audiences back into the movie theatres. It is this story that Brian May, ex-guitarist of rock band Queen, explores in the Sky 3D’s latest documentary commission, Brian May’s Brief History of 3D, scheduled for broadcast July 7th.

Not only is Brian May a qualified astro physicist, he is also a passionate advocate of stereoscopic 3D, particularly Victorian 3D of which he has accumulated a substantial collection of Victorian 3D memorabilia over the past forty years. Brian May’s lifelong 3D interest has materialised into a book, A Village Lost and Found, published in 2009. The book includes a proprietary 3D viewer known as the OWL, which brings the book’s 2D images into 3D life and was actually designed by Brian May himself.

Produced by Bigger Pictures in conjunction with Widescreen Productions ,who also produced Britain from the Sky 3D series, (which is currently being broadcast every Thursday on Sky 3D) Brian May’s 3D documentary is a genuinely fascinating look into stereo 3D right from the very early days of Victorian stereoscopic filming to the digital 3D of today. Clips include the insane film “Coming At Ya!” a 1980’s western film that, as you can probably guess from the title, used 3D as its main selling point with nearly every sequence featuring action jumping out of the screen. This is so rarely seen in today’s 3D movies and television shows. Yes, it is gimmicky, but still really fun now and again.

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