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And the Oscar Goes to ... 3D

This was very much a coming-out year for 3D, the year it said to the world, "I'm not just a gimmick you enjoy over popcorn and funky glasses. I'm a necessity."

In 2008, Brendan Fraser's "Journey to the Center of the Earth" gave us a sneak peek at this new era of filmmaking, when it became a box office success as one of the first feature-length, live-action motion pictures in stereoscopic 3D. I recently spoke to Fraser at the International 3D Society's first ever Lumière Awards about working in 3D and his predictions for the future:

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While Fraser's blockbuster was bringing audiences to IMAX theaters, James Cameron was brewing his own masterpiece, which would soon make records and change the film world forever. One of "Avatar"'s stars, Giovanni Ribisi, was also on hand during the Lumière Awards and spoke to me about working with the award-winning director and what's next for the 3D world:

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Cameron's development of the Fusion Camera System would also revolutionize the audience experience and the way we appreciate 3D on the big screen and in our day-to-day lives. Avatar created a wave — or some might say a tsunami — of interest for the technology. 3D became that actor who finally emerged out of the sidekick role to that film that let it shine in all its glory to mainstream success.

It then made its splash onto the scene at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where companies like Panasonic, LG and Sony were pimping out their new 3D creations from $4,000 flat screens to laptops. Sports enthusiasts were drooling over the possibility of their games in the near future being bigger, better and more in-your-face than ever before … quite literally.

Warner Brothers also didn't waste any time jumping on the 3D bandwagon. The studio announced in January that it would not only release "Clash of the Titans," but would convert the two-part "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" into 3D as well.

Even if "Avatar" doesn't walk away with Oscars galore March 7, if the Academy is smart it will take something from the film for next year's show. Forget about hiring celeb hosts to increase ratings. Two words: funky glasses.