As pertaining to motion pictures, describes any film that exploits, in its marketing or promotion, the use of stereoscopic (3-dimensional) filmmaking techniques.

This blog is my notepad as I research a nonfiction book spotlighting 3-D genre films of the last century. While the book will focus primarily on films from the 60's, 70's and 80's this blog has no restrictions.

All articles on this blog are copyright 2010-13 of its author,
Jason Pichonsky, unless otherwise stated.

Images are used for information purposes and remain the rights of their respective owners.

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One of the most amazing things about researching for depthsploitation is discovering the filmmakers who are driven to make these 3-D exploitation films. Some of them become obsessed with the process and are forever changed by stereoscopic cinema (Comin' at Ya!'s producer and star Tony Anthony who has just premiered a re-imagined version of the film). While others merely utilize the 3-D effects to exploit the gimmick. However, The Mask's director Julian Roffman falls somewhere in between these two extremes. His inaugural 3-D effort The Mask was in part forced upon him by his producing partner Nat Taylor, but it’s unlikely that he was dissatisfied with the final result. Years later while working for Ivan Tors in Miami (directing uncredited television episodes of Flipper) Roffman had written a script entitled, Davey and the Man from Zar, with plans to shoot it in 3-D. Tors had himself had produced the 1954 3-D film GOG. He'd later get a chance to return to the third dimension when 3D Video Corporation packaged the film with a newly shot wrap 3-D interstitial footage featuring the magic of Harry Blackstone Jr. in 1983 for television and home video. Though far from a return to form for Roffman he again took the director reins of this 3-D material.
Julian Roffman is a Canadian film-maker that has never truly been given his due. In my many years both in the industry and as an armchair Canadian cinema historian Roffman never infiltrated my radar, that is until I got bitten by the 3-D bug. I won't be giving him his due here, there just isn't the space, but I would like to highlight some of the history of the man who is now best known by this quirky little 3-D / horror hybrid of a movie.

Although he was born and raised, for the better part of his youth, in Montreal, it was in New York that Julian Roffman first began his film career. Joining the Film and Photo League, Roffman began producing and directing while film was still a burgeoning art form. His first effort would be a theatrical documentary Getting Your Money's Worth, which exposed the over pricing of eggs and would become a series of films. That film series landed him a gig directing for The March of Time. By 1941 he was asked by John Grierson to return to Canada to join a new organization, The National Film Board of Canada. Once back in Canada, he joined the war effort directing a number of Canadian propaganda films.

Throughout the 50's Roffman directed for U.S. television. One of the programs was Inner Sanctum (a TV version of a highly popular radio series). But by 1958 Julian Roffman had his sights set on feature film and it was that year that TV's Columbo Peter Falk would get his start in the Roffman produced and directed juvenile delinquent film The Bloody Brood.

Roffman (centre) directs The Bloody Brood.

I'll let Julian Roffman fill in you in on some achievements with the following letter;

The Mask would be Roffman’s last feature as a director, but he would go on to produce a number of films and although he strived for art-house acceptance, many of these films continued to be in the exploitation genre.

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