In one of the most underwhelming major media promotions in recent memory the Kansas City Star unleashed a 3-D edition of the newspaper on Halloween…
How bad was it? Pretty bad.
“I felt sorry for them,” says KC Confidential movie man Jack Poessiger. “I was kind of embarrassed for the whole thing because it was 1950s technology – I mean, ‘House of Wax’ (1953) used those red and blue glasses. And ironically there was an insert ad in the Star that day from Nebraska Furniture Mart selling real 3-D glasses.”
Current day 3-D movies no longer employ the red and cyan colored glasses designed for black and white movies.
The preferred 3-D glasses methodology used by moviemakers today utilizes polarized lenses.
For good reason...
“Polarized 3-D glasses allow for color 3D,” Wikipedia explains. “While the red-blue lenses produce a dull black-and-white picture with red and blue fringes.”
As for the – you know – quality of the Sunday Star’s 3-D images, “The 3-D is awful because the ink is so flat on the pages,” says one area marketing executive who asked not to be named. “The effect would be better if it had been printed on coated stock because you don’t even get the pop effect of 3-D because all the ink and the light is absorbed into that paper. At least it will make for some colorful landfills – maybe the trash will stand out in 3-D.”
Sources say even Star staffers were less-than-impressed by the newspaper’s lackluster 3-D images.
“I couldn’t see it,” says one Star staffer. “It was just one big glob to me. They had me look at it and I said, ‘Don’t bother.’ It’s like my eyes couldn’t focus and bring the two colors together. All I could see was red and green.”
Ditto, adds another.
“It didn’t work for me. I’ve seen the 3-D TVs at Costco and that shit really works. And I’ve seen 3-D photos before but I couldn’t see it (in the Star).”
“It’s a complete waste of paper and ink,” the marketing exec adds. “And it’s a waste of my eyesight – I mean it’s hard enough to read the paper as it is with the dull ink. And what happens if the glasses get separated from the paper? People are going to throw away the glasses with the inserts and be calling in saying, ‘My paper’s messed up.’ They’re going to be getting a lot of calls from people saying the color register is all off.”
Indeed, sources say, there was no shortage of reader complaints about the the Star’s 3-D edition.
That’s the bad news. Now the good.
“Kudos to the promo company that convinced the Star to do this stupid gimmick,” says the source. “I mean, some promotions guy convinced the Star to do it and then some knucklehead at the newspaper said, ‘Oh my god, what a great idea! No one’s ever heard of 3-D before.’ ”
The bottom line?
"I think it’s fucktarded. I mean, when was the last time you went to Barnes & Noble and found a whole section dedicated to 3-D books?"