More Directors Slamming 3D?

First, understandably, there was Cameron railing against misuse of 3D for a quick buck, then there was Bay coming out against the 2D-to-3D conversion process that studios cannot wait to foist on an naive public.  That’s Michael Bay of all people slamming something that would make his big boom movies even boomier, for Pete’s sake! 

If that guy doesn’t want it, what kind of directors would? (Um, Louis Leterrier, I’m lookin’ at you, pal).  It seems not many thus far, though some are certainly toying with the idea.  Tim Burton’s pretty much married to the visual bombast of 3D presentation, and whether the film was actually shot for and/or in 3D is not a matter of any concern for him it seems, but now we also have Christopher “I Saved The BatFranchise” Nolan coming out against the process as well… Turns out, he doesn’t trust it to make his movies any better when theatrically presented.  Collider has a great interview with Nolan and his producer/wife, Emma Thomas, as they discuss his new film, Inception (starring Leonardo DiCaprio), and opine on the techniques they used to present their vision of a dream world where thieves prey on ideas.  Nope, no IMAX filming this time, though the film will be presented in IMAX, but for Nolan it’s still about quality first.  While he has nothing but praise for Cameron and Avatar (as he does Lucas and Star Wars, natch), Nolan was forthright that no consideration was given for a 3D presentation of Inception, though he hints that he does not completely dislike the technology… Per Collider.com he states his reasons:

Nolan: “There are certain limitations of shooting in 3D. You have to shoot on video, which I’m not a fan of. I like shooting on film. And so then you’re looking at post-conversion processes which are moving forward in very exciting ways. So really, for me, production of a large scale film is all about recording the best, highest quality image possible so that you can then put it in any theatre in the best way possible. And 65mm film, IMAX film, VistaVision, 35mm, that’s the way you do that.

It’s been long rumored that Nolan isn’t too hot to hop on over to the next dimension in theatrical presentation (no matter what Warner Bros. may want… Nolan definitely has clout).  It remains to be seen if the hotly anticipated third-installment of the Batman trilogy or even his soon-to-be-produced Superman reboot will be considered for 3D presentation.  Perhaps by then the gimmick will have either lost its luster or found favor and staying power with audiences… only time will tell.  Nevertheless, if Inception is a hit, and even with minimal tracking at this point the word is it’s impressive, it will be one of the titles missing from the eventual 3D Blu-ray roll-out in late 2010/2011.

There’s plenty of potentially awesome looking stuffing coming at’cha in 3D, but for the most part the only projects that have that Avatar look (total immersion, almost like being there) will be the ones that are both filmed and presented in 3D.  The public might be fooled by the 2D-to-3D conversion process initially, but the quality is such that people will soon tire of the mediocre efforts for achieving that effect (*cough* Clash of the Titans *cough*).  Taking that into account, and the practical view that not all films are intended for 3D presentation, the best you’ll see in 3D for some time to come remains in the realm of traditional and CGI animation.  For live action films, even comic book films, it might not present the best quality that theatrical presentation can achieve and Nolan is correct in pointing that out… but will audiences listen or just keep gorging on the eye-candy?

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Christian Hokenson

Christian Hokenson

Christian Hokenson enjoys knife throwing, growing exotic mosses, and that warm spot where the sun shines through the corrugated box. Christian also writes for Gadget Review. You can also find Christian on Google+, and Twitter.

One Reply to “More Directors Slamming 3D?”

  1. eric says:

    No need to slam Louis Leterrier, it wasn’t his decision and he’s got a bit more invested in “Clash” than you or I:

    http://www.cinematical.com/2010/04/05/louis-leterrier-isnt-wowed-by-3d-conversion-either/

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