Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Permanence of the Dees Times Three (Part XIV)

Mike Fleming at the Nikkster's site says:

Michael Bay and James Cameron Skeptical of 3D Conversions: "The Jury Is Out"

The chance to charge higher ticket prices has every Hollywood studio rushing to retrofit their 2D spectacles into 3D. Some directors are pushing back, concerned there's an imminent future of cheesy-looking 3D that will stunt the momentum created by Avatar ...

Well of course there's going to be "cheesy looking" 3D. This isn't about artistry or a director's "vision" or a better and stronger America. It's about raking in extra money at the box office. (If the rubes want to come to your dark, muddy-looking Three Dee spectacular, you can't stop them ....)

I have mixed feelings about dimensional cinema. Some of it, I think, works pretty well, and some of it gives me eyestrain and a headache.

But sorry, James and Michael. The jury has already returned with the verdict. The congloms we love and admire are convinced 3D is an exciting new path to riches, and they are going to be pushing the good, the bad and the ugly out the door just as fast as they can. Despite what movie directors may or may not want.

At some point the crap retrofit Three Dee (think of it as the visual equivalent of Capitol Records ancient "Duophonic" technology) will start to drag down the box office like a lead anchor, and there will be (perhaps) a course correction.

In the meantime, brace yourself for lots of big unsightly glasses at your local multiplex. Like it or not, you'll probably find yourself sitting in the dark with the big lenses perched on your nose, squinting at the various planes of objects and action out ahead of you.

So enjoy.


Justin said...

I think James Cameron showed how it should be done: conceptualized from the beginning as a 3D film. I don't think 3D retrofitting of old films or films not originally shot in 3D provides the same feeling or immersive experience.

Anonymous said...

50's 3-D was killed off by B-producers that just didn't know what to do with it. (Contrary to popular myth, there were very few sci-fi epics in 3-D, but just about every other B-genre, trying to see what would stick.)
80's 3-D was killed off by producing some of the cheesiest low-rent movies ever made, even the studio-backed ones.
Even 00's 3-D was almost killed off by wannabe indie animators glutting the Polar Express CGI-only market with "Battle for Terra" and "Fly Me to the Moon".

What's unfortunately not killing Dee off at the moment is that we're getting good "real" movies. We're just not always getting real 3-D.
The two factors right now that could trip it, if not kill it, are A) the rush for hideously fake conversions because the studio can (and "Clash"'s IS pretty bad, FWIH), and B) the gold rush to bring back every studio sequel franchise just to try it out.
I'd even take "Journey to the Center of the Earth"'s campy old-school tribute to native "gimmick" 3-D over today's Tim Burton post-production View-Masters.

Anonymous said...

Where are the "good" real movies? Alice? Horrible. Avatar? Expensive "B" movie. Up? Well, it's fantastic, but I preferred it in 2D. Monster vs. Aliens? Gave me a headache. Not the 3D, but the movie. Bolt? Feh.

Give me The Godfather or Goodfellas in 3D and I'll reconsider it. But first, fix the brightness issue. Paying more for 30% less color/contrast/brightness ain't cuttin' it.

Anonymous said...

Retrofitting 2D movies into 3D will be like the colorization of old black and white films. It'll work sometimes part of the way, but will it really be worth it?
Planning a movie for 3D is the way to go.....however, there shall be plenty of examples of it that work sometimes only part of the way.

Anonymous said...

I think James Cameron showed how it should be done

First off never use that bastard's name on here, never. He's openly mocked his animators. IMHO, he's the single-most loathing director I have ever heard of.

And 3-D is a good idea for rides, but definitely not for movies. As a user said before it decreases the overall quality of any film.

Anonymous said...

Where are the "good" real movies? Alice? Horrible. Avatar? Expensive "B" movie. Up? Well, it's fantastic, but I preferred it in 2D. Monster vs. Aliens? Gave me a headache. Not the 3D, but the movie. Bolt? Feh.

I LIKED MvA and Bolt (and Up, obviously), and though I walked out early on Avatar, I'd still take it if you offered me a choice with Steve Guttenberg in "The Man Who Wasn't There".

Martin Scorsese got a little too caught yo in his "director's rights" issues (after thinking we were all unfairly picking on J**** C*****n for not making a "real" movie), and said, "Well, why NOT Precious 3-D?, if that's the director's vision?"
Because we've got a hard enough time finding directors that DO know how and when to use the technology, Marty, that's why.

Anonymous said...

Say what you will about James Cameron's movies. Everyone has a right to an opinion. The fact of the matter is that different directors have different issues with different aspects of the industry. I worked for David Fincher on several projects at Digital Domain. The fact is that he just plain old doesn't like actors. He's got a handful of people he will work with given the choice. He very much wants to see the day when actors are eliminated from the equation. Doesn't like a lot of the primadonna b.s. I'm sure Cameron, having been a party to a LOT of the VFX/Animation world's coming of age, has some similar feelings about primadonna fx artists. I've been an FX artist for the past 11 years, and I've met my share of personalities that span the spectrum of incredibly humble/incredibly talented, to incredibly self absorbed ego-maniac/no talent ass-clown and everything in between. While I don't share Cameron's sentiments regarding fx artists, or at least how his statements came off, I can't fault the humanity of reacting to whatever his interpretation of his experiences with being limited by what someone could or couldn't give him that he wanted. Now, one other thing that comes to mind with both Fincher and Cameron. They are both notorious for the following:

1) Extremely demanding.
2) Extremely hard assed.
4) Artists/Sups cannot bullshit them because (see #3).
5) They are driven enough to get what they want, that if someone tells them "no," that they will figure it out on their own, and then make the naysayer pay BIG, because (see #3).

Anyone that gets in on one of their shows should know this up front. It's just the way it works, and they neither one mince words.

They both get great results, whether or not they choose to give all the proper credit where it's due.

Floyd Norman said...

So, Walt Disney came back as James Cameron?

Anonymous said...

So, Walt Disney came back as James Cameron?

I think we established this as a NO because I believe Walt trusted his animators not belittle them as Cameron has been cited as doing around the time of the Oscars. He maybe a great director, but as soon as the Academy snubbed the two leads in Avatar for Best Actor and Actress the gloves came off and the belittling began. I thought the animators deserved at least half the credit for that film.

All in all we have another blue people movie to worry about (no not an Avatar 2) but a SMURFS movie. I wonder if it was a wise choice to make it an animated/live action film...

Anonymous said...

First, I thought James was made about the film being called an animated film rather than live action or was I wrong?

Anyway I thought Disney promised to stop making Disney sequels because I just saw a film that was Pocahontas in Space. (I know bad joke).

Anonymous said...

3-D is a good thing but it is being entirely overused now. This is worse then the 50s and 80s. I mean films like Toy Story 3 and Rapunzel are now going to be seen in Disney 3-D. Not to mention Beauty and the Beast sometime in 2011. I wouldn't be surprised if Twilight got in on this action, that's what people want to see Taylor Lautner shirtless in 3-D!

Also does anyone think Don Bluth looks kind of like Walt? Just curious.

? said...

I've yet to find the article or the footage where Cameron makes his remarks about animators and vfx artists.


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