Avatar, Schmavatar! Come to an indie 3-D film festival Saturday

Moviegoers wear 3-D glasses to watch a 3-D film.
Moviegoers wear 3-D glasses to watch a 3-D film.
Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

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Mainstream blockbuster movies in 3-D are commonplace now, but just a few years ago, they were hard-to-find curiosities. But they’re old hat to the members of the L.A. 3-D Club. Saturday in downtown Los Angeles, the club is hosting its 7th international independent 3-D film festival, with a selection of about 20 long and short features.

[Audio: John Rabe, host of KPCC's Off-Ramp, talked with organizer Ray Zone.]

The use of 3-D in movie making has evolved, Ray Zone says. As much as audiences still get a kick from watching projectiles and moving objects, it has also been used in more subtle ways to evoke emotion rather than simply shock and spectacle.

"3-D is a seamless part of the storytelling, like sound," Ray Zone says.

The art of 3-D film making has also seen an influx of amateurs, due partly to the wide availability of 3-D still and video cameras, Zone says, noting that there are over 7,500 3-D movies on YouTube.