PaddleballShot Paddleball Shot YKTTW Discussion

Paddleball Shot
When something in a 3-D film appears to reach out of the screen.
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(permanent link) added: 2012-12-10 20:41:14 sponsor: omny87 (last reply: 2012-12-11 14:22:14)

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A trope exclusive to 3-D movies. When making a film specifically for a 3D release, many filmmakers like to play with the 3D effects by making people and objects appear to reach out from the screen at the audience. More often then not it's simply done for its own sake to show off the 3D effects, but this can also be used to invoke a sense of danger, such as throwing sharp objects or driving cars right at the camera. The effect is unfortunately lost, however, when the film is eventually released on DVD in 2D, leaving viewers wondering why these characters enjoy shoving stuff into the camera so much.

Depending on one's personal preference towards 3D movies, it can be seen as either using the medium to its full potential, or just adding a gimmick onto another gimmick.


  • Trope Namer comes from the famous scene from House of Wax where a person playing with a paddle ball turns towards the camera and bounces it right at the audience.
  • Monsters vs. Aliens makes a shout-out to that same scene in the opening sequence with a man at a radio station also playing with a paddle-ball.
  • The Minions from Despicable Me deliberately do this in teasers for the film, with the first one having them try to see who can reach out the audience the farthest, and the second film's teaser involving a chorus of Minions singing a parody of "Barbara Ann" while blowing a noisemaker at the screen.
  • Ice Age: Continental Drift has several instances, especially in the scenes involving the pirates, where their weapons constantly being swung, thrown or thrust towards the audience.
  • Paddleball Shots are a staple of IMAX 3D films.
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