3D UK? 3D history and the absent British pioneers

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The recent television ‘rediscovery’ of a small cohort of 1950s British 3D films (and the producers who made them) has offered a new route into considering how the historical stories told about 3D film have focused almost exclusively on the American experience, eliding other national contexts. This article challenges both the partiality of existing academic histories of 3D, and the specific popular media narratives that have been constructed around the British 3D pioneers. Offering a rebuttal of those narratives and an expansion of them based around primary archival research, the article considers how the British 3D company Stereo Techniques created a different business and production model based around non-fiction short 3D films that stand in contrast to the accepted view of 3D as an American feature film novelty. Through an exploration of the depiction (and absence) of these 3D pioneers from existing media histories, the article argues for a revision to both 3D studies and British cinema history.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2
JournalOpen Library of Humanities (OLH)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 28 Sep 2015


  • stereoscopic 3D
  • British cinema
  • 1950s
  • Channel 4
  • Spottiswoode

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