Top 5 Filmmaking Innovations


Stereoscopic Imaging (3-D)

Some people believe that the final great filmmaking innovation is the advent of stereoscopic imaging, which you may know better as 3-D. Stereoscopy, the allusion of a three-dimensional picture, has been around since 1838. The first "golden age" of 3-D took place between 1950 and 1960, with movies like Albert Hitchcock's "Dial M for Murder." The technology and screening techniques were too limiting at the time, though, and it wouldn't be until the early 1970s that 3-D really took hold.

Cardboard glasses for movies like "Jaws 3-D" and "Friday the 13th Part 3" did a decent job, but 3-D was still more of a passing novelty than a filmmaking revolution. The mid 1980s marked the beginning of the true stereoscopic revolution with the release of "Transitions," an IMAX 3-D film shown at a Canadian technology expo in 1986. Breakthroughs in screening technology and the cameras used to shoot in 3-D have spawned a boom in big-budget stereoscopic films. James Cameron's "Avatar" was the first mainstream film to jar the world's consciousness by thrusting the audience into a CGI world.

Related Articles


  • "CGI Historical Timeline." 2011.
  • "Dolly History." 2011.
  • "Garret Brown Bio." 2011.
  • "History of 3D." 2011.
  • Cairns, David. "The Forgotten." July 30, 2009.
  • Innes, Erikka. "From Hobbits To Dinosaurs: 10 Moments In CGI History.", Nov. 19, 2008.
  • Lipton, Lenny. "The Last Great Innovation: The Stereoscopic Cinema." 2011.


Why Soundtracks Love 'The Day of Wrath'

Why Soundtracks Love 'The Day of Wrath'

The HowStuffWorks podcast The Soundtrack Show looks at the movie life of the 13th century Latin hymn 'Dies Irae.'