Re: Uncut Film Viewers
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You mention about selling your remaining stock. Do you have both viewers and cassettes for sale and if yes, perhaps you can post the pricing on the Sell 3D forum?
On Monday, September 7, 2020, 04:12:31 PM EDT, Jacques Cote via groups.io <jackside@...> wrote:
Thanks for your interest, Bill.
You are right. We started this venture between two eras of photography. I am still not sure if it was for the best or for the worst. I think it didn't help, but was not the reason why the product never had much success.
I started shooting stereo pictures in 1979. With my partner Michel Hamel, we began to do it professionaly in the 80s. By the late 80s, the idea of a full 35 mm 3D pictures viewer aimed at the general public started to grow. It would have to be easy to use, show spectacular pictures, have a nice design that would not seem made for kids and so on. Of course, we didn't have the funds to start this kind of expensive venture. At the time, we were already shooting aerial 3D with an ophtalmologist friend who owned a small helicopter. We started with him and found more partners while working on the project, until we met the president of a company named Wrebbit that made 3D puzzles. They decided to invest in the 3Discover project in 1993 and the dream came true. Of course, every new partner that invested money made our part of the company smaller, but we didn't care. Our new partner already made millions with his Puzz-3D and we were happy to have a small part of a big venture.
Although we had the original idea of how the viewer should look and work, we gave a design contract to a very well know industrial designer and we all worked together to make the viewer the way it is now. And while the product took shape, Michel and I started shooting a lot, travelling everywhere to bring back the best pictures possible. It was clear from the start that tourism was the first market to hit. Tourists could come back from a trip with pictures they could not shoot themselves and people not rich enough to travel could have the feeling of ''being there'' through the immersive pictures of the viewer.
I was mainly involved in the artistic and technical side of the product, not the sales. But I can tell that it was sold in many countries, especially in the US, Canada and Europe. But not much at big retailers because we/they choose to sell in tourist shops, close to the subjects of the pictures.
All the plastic parts were first made in Montreal. We had plastic molds made here for all the parts, except for the lenses. This mold was made in Boston. Even the gears were made especially for the viewer. After a while, when we didn't sell as many as expected, we were told that the manufacturing price was too high. We then sent the molds to Thailand, and later to China. They not only molded the parts but also assembled the viewer. We kept all the pictures and cassette assembly in our own factory.
We started this project in 1993, sold the first viewers in 1996 and had to stop production and close the assembly line in 2002. Michel and I tried to restart the company in 2003, after an agreement with Wrebbit, but it was soon clear that we could not make it profitable anymore. Michel went back to teaching, so I decided to keep on selling the product inventory through internet to stereo fans. For many reasons, even that was not enough to make it profitable and I had to finally find another job. Now I do it as a hobby because I don't want to send everything to the recycle bin or to the garbage. And at the pace I am selling them, it should take between 200 to 250 years before I sell them out ;-)))