Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Hollywood tells Directors "You want to direct this movie? You’re doing it in 3D, motherfucker!"

The aforementioned quote is from James Cameron who describes Hollywood executives' current attitude toward their big money generating tentpole films. Cameron, along with Michael Bay, features in a rather lengthy and somewhat depressing Deadline Hollywood piece about 3D in which the directors continue to slam 2D to 3D conversion.

First up, Michael Bay is apparently under pressure from Paramount Pictures who want him to 3D-ify his forthcoming "Tranformers 3." The director, who did some initial test shooting with 3D cameras but decided they were too heavy for the kind of work he generally does, isn't sold on the conversion process: "I am trying to be sold, and some companies are still working on the shots I gave them. Right now, it looks like fake 3D, with layers that are very apparent. You go to the screening room, you are hoping to be thrilled, and you’re thinking, huh, this kind of sucks. People can say whatever they want about my movies, but they are technically precise, and if this isn’t going to be excellent, I don’t want to do it. And it is my choice.” Regarding that last statement, it will be interesting to see who blinks first between Bay and the studio.

Bay goes on to say what we've been saying all along, "This conversion process is always going to be inferior to shooting in real 3D. Studios might be willing to sacrifice the look and use the gimmick to make $3 more a ticket, but I’m not. Avatar took four years. You can’t just shit out a 3D movie. I’m saying, the jury is still out.”

As for Cameron, who conveniently leaves out the fact that's converting "Titanic," he says, "Now, you’ve got people quickly converting movies from 2D to 3D, which is not what we did. They’re expecting the same result, when in fact they will probably work against the adoption of 3D because they’ll be putting out an inferior product.”

Not only that, the director is worried about virgin 3D directors and is offering his services as a "crisis counselor to any director who asks." Cameron even goes so far as to suggest that Marc Webb, who he was rumored to be meeting with, had 3D shoved into his lap for the "Spiderman" reboot, "Sony says, we’re doing Spider-Man in 3D.’ The director doesn’t say, `Hey, I want to make the movie in 3D.’ The studio says, `You want to direct this movie? You’re doing it in 3D, motherfucker!' That’s not how it should be."

So just what upcoming films are being considered for 3D? "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides," "The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader," "Gulliver’s Travels" and "The Hobbit" are among those being eyed. For the latter, director Guillermo Del Toro is apparently leaning on going 2D but Warner Bros. want to pump as much money out of the franchise as possible and the decision on whether or not 3D-ify the "Lord Of The Rings" trilogy will depend on "The Hobbit" decision as they don't want Del Toro's film to appear as being visually inferior.

We can't really say we're surprised by any of this, but if "Alice In Wonderland" is any indication -- taking the top spot at the box office three weeks straight -- audiences don't care about craft. And as long as audiences keep making 3D converted films tops at the box office, studios will keep shoving them down our throat. - Kevin Jagernauth: The Playlist

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