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Filmmakers Resisting Hollywood's 3-D Push

kdawson posted about 4 years ago | from the flatland-is-a-nice-place-to-visit dept.

Movies 521

gollum123 passes along a piece from the NY Times on the building resistance to Hollywood's 3-D plans — from filmmakers. "A joke making the rounds online involves a pair of red and green glasses and some blurry letters that say, 'If you can’t make it good, make it 3-D.' While Hollywood rushes dozens of 3-D movies to the screen — nearly 60 are planned in the next two years, including 'Saw VII' and 'Mars Needs Moms!' — a rebellion among some filmmakers and viewers has been complicating the industry’s jump into the third dimension. Several influential directors took surprisingly public potshots at the 3-D boom during the recent Comic-Con... Behind the scenes..., filmmakers have begun to resist production executives eager for 3-D sales. For reasons both aesthetic and practical, some directors often do not want to convert a film to 3-D or go to the trouble and expense of shooting with 3-D cameras, which are still relatively untested on big movies with complex stunts and locations. Tickets for 3-D films carry a $3 to $5 premium, and industry executives roughly estimate that 3-D pictures average an extra 20 percent at the box office. Filmmakers like Mr. Whedon and Mr. Abrams argue that 3-D technology does little to enhance a cinematic story, while adding a lot of bother."

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FX always trump story. (5, Funny)

sconeu (64226) | about 4 years ago | (#33131900)

Just ask Jar-Jar Binks.

Re:FX always trump story. (2, Insightful)

IMightB (533307) | about 4 years ago | (#33132170)

I know right? Like OMG, I can't wait to see Step It Up 3D. I hear it's like hella awesome!

Re:FX always trump story. (2, Funny)

modecx (130548) | about 4 years ago | (#33132202)

Don't forget the thought provoking cinematic masterpiece that is Piranha 3D.

Re:FX always trump story. (0, Offtopic)

DJRumpy (1345787) | about 4 years ago | (#33132188)

Jar Jar wasn't a triumph. He was almost unilaterally hated in the franchise with actual 'hate jar jar' fan sites dedicated to the topic. I wouldn't hold him up as an good example.

When it comes to FX, I would look more to something like Star Trek the Motion Picture [imdb.com] . Big on visuals (for it's time) and technical achievements, but lacking in story.

FX done right would be more along the lines of Golem in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Great visuals and a great character to drive him.

The only thing I take issue with is that they imply that 3D doesn't add anything to the experience. Done properly, it can. Used improperly, it can simply be a crutch for a bad movie, but that doesn't mean that it can't be done right and add to the story. I would imagine the same arguments took place about technicolor, yet here we are...

We see the world in 3D just as we see it in color. It is a natural progression.

Re:FX always trump story. (1, Insightful)

cruff (171569) | about 4 years ago | (#33132260)

You missed the sarcasm of the OP.

Re:FX always trump story. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33132344)

It wasn't sarcasm. Read the subject line with the content.

"FX always trump story. Just ask Jar-Jar Binks."

Jar-Jar didn't contribute to the story at all. He was simply there as a bit of humor (unneeded, failed) and "look what we can do" FX.

Or maybe I'm totally mistaken and Jar-jar is really in there because George Lucas has some seriously twisted fetish about long-snouted, Rastafarian aliens with prehensile tongues.

Re:FX always trump story. (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 4 years ago | (#33132304)

Jar Jar wasn't a triumph. He was almost unilaterally hated in the franchise with actual 'hate jar jar' fan sites dedicated to the topic. I wouldn't hold him up as an good example.

Wrong. Just because lots of people hated him doesn't mean he wasn't successful. George Lucas made tons and tons of money with the prequels, even though they were all horrifically bad movies (but with great FX). So even though lots of people hated them (and Jar Jar), obviously lots more people loved them enough to shell out for tickets, books, toys, and various other merchandise.

The Star Wars prequels are the poster child for movies that make tons of money on FX alone, with the rest of the movie being total crap. The key is the audience: children who can't recognize crap for what it is, and are only interested in effects.

When it comes to FX, I would look more to something like Star Trek the Motion Picture. Big on visuals (for it's time) and technical achievements, but lacking in story.

Yes, and there we see a big difference with the Star Wars prequels: the audience. ST:TMP was not a movie for young children, it was aimed at adults. So the lack of story hurt it badly and it flopped.

You can easily make tons of money with a movie that's complete garbage and has great FX, you just have to market it to young children who are too dumb to tell the difference, and who have parents willing to buy them whatever they want.

Re:FX always trump story. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33132316)

You know, you would have done better if your username was "OverMyHeadGuy"

Re:FX always trump story. (1)

srodden (949473) | about 4 years ago | (#33132418)

I read the Jar Jar comment as being facetious :-)

Re:FX always trump story. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33132206)

and Inception and Avatar and District 9 and the matrix and ironman and terminator and spiderman etc..
You know you love it.

Re:FX always trump story. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33132328)

I have a huge dripping 12 inch erection from reading this comment, and as soon as I've finished posting this, I intend to give it a sound thrashing.

Is this wrong?

Re:FX always trump story. (1)

bugs2squash (1132591) | about 4 years ago | (#33132392)

Yes; it's most likely a blatant lie.

Re:FX always trump story. (5, Insightful)

0100010001010011 (652467) | about 4 years ago | (#33132372)

"Blockbusters" will always be the equivalent of fast food. Made as cheap as possible, trying to be flashy to get as many people in and out the door.

If you want stuff with a story, you're going to have to find stuff that was either limited release or maybe didn't even make it to the states. Look at what has won Sundance [sundance.org] or Cannes [festival-cannes.com] , usually movies with good stories and not enough $$ for big effects.

Apple trailers [apple.com] usually has trailers for independent films as well.

You may have to resort to "piracy" to find some of it too. On a whim I grabbed and watched The Man from Earth. [imdb.com] it was everything Hollywood was not. A story, thought provoking, almost everything was shot in a single house, NO Fx.

The guy that made it even thanked pirates for raising his movie's profile. [bloggernews.net] . I sent the guy $20 over paypal and I know that there wasn't any hollywood accounting keeping it from him either.

Heck, not all Documentaries are super politically slanted or as boring as the stuff you sat through in grade school. 420 The Movie [420themovie.com] and Bigger Stronger Faster [imdb.com] , Food, Inc [foodincmovie.com] , and The Corporation [thecorporation.com] were all entertaining AND thought provoking.

Re:FX always trump story. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33132378)

3D will never trump 2D until I can view giant 3D tits bouncing up and down only an inch away. Or, for the ladies, a huge 3D c-

(Sorry, the real life experience doesn't beat 30' boobs.)

Re:FX always trump story. (1)

thewb005 (1849962) | about 4 years ago | (#33132464)

YES! Starwars in 3D would be awesome. I think just releasing it on 3D BluRay would justify the purchase of a 3D TV.

Finally (4, Interesting)

radicalpi (1407259) | about 4 years ago | (#33131920)

Well, at least someone is making a stand. I really don't understand the push to 3-D. Yes, it's "new" and "exciting" for 7-year olds, but, in my opinion it doesn't add any real value for the rest of us movie-goers. It's just a way to increase ticket prices.

Re:Finally (3, Funny)

biryokumaru (822262) | about 4 years ago | (#33132090)

That's what I said when they wanted to add sound to pictures! Heresy, I say, heresy!

Next thing you know, they'll want all the pictures with that no-good technicolor!

Re:Finally (4, Insightful)

BrianRoach (614397) | about 4 years ago | (#33132156)

I don't have to wear a pair of headphones in the theater to listen to the movie.

Re:Finally (0, Troll)

biryokumaru (822262) | about 4 years ago | (#33132186)

And I don't have to wear special glasses [wikipedia.org] . What's your point?

Re:Finally (5, Insightful)

srodden (949473) | about 4 years ago | (#33132348)

Are any of the technologies you cite suitable for use in a cinema environment? The wikipedia article refers to flat panel displays which are much smaller than a cinema screen, lenticular lenses and the like which are very dependent on head and eye position. If not, your argument is undermined by faulty logic :-) Also, I have an astigmatism in my right eye. It doesn't impede me in normal life, it just makes everything a little bit blurry in that eye; my left eye compensates just fine with rare exception. The rare exceptions include any kind of "magic eye" picture which requires balanced stereoscopic vision. No matter how much I try, I just can't see the dolphin jump out of that picture. How well will these technologies work for the substantial percentage of ordinary folk with minor vision impairment?

Re:Finally (-1, Troll)

biryokumaru (822262) | about 4 years ago | (#33132416)

So your concern is that this technology will never work because you personally belong to a genetic minority group that can't use it?

Re:Finally (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 4 years ago | (#33132360)

So if the only way to get stereo sound from a movie was to where headphones, you would opt for mono?

I seriously doubt that.

Re:Finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33132444)

This, of course, is the real reason most people dislike 3D in its current cinematic form. "I have to wear those stupid glasses".

Cry more.

Re:Finally (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 4 years ago | (#33132238)

That's what I said when they wanted to add sound to pictures! Heresy, I say, heresy!

Well, that's funny and all ... but when I came out of Avatar, I had blurry vision and a mild headache for the next two hours.

I won't be spending my movie-going dollars on 3D, and I sure as hell won't be buying a 3D TV. I'm certainly not willing to pay the extra $$ for the movie if it's not actually going to be significantly enhanced by 3D.

Re:Finally (1)

radicalpi (1407259) | about 4 years ago | (#33132258)

Sound and quality of the picture both add something to the value of the film. However, 3D doesn't. I'm not just resisting it because it is "new". When I leave the theater, I'm going to remember the movie. The 3D effects are fleeting and won't last past a few minutes afterwards. It doesn't contribute to the story or my experience. If anything, it distracts from the movie. But, ultimately the market will decide. If people enjoy 3D movies and want to pay extra to see movies in 3D, then they will, and 3D movies will continue to be made. Otherwise they won't. You know where I stand on the issue. Let's see where we are in 3 years and if 3D is still as popular and if it has become a staple of modern cinema.

Re:Finally (1)

Walzmyn (913748) | about 4 years ago | (#33132098)

Exactly. At the bottom of it all a movie is just a medium to tell a story and the 3D B.S. does nothing to enhance that.

Re:Finally (1)

suutar (1860506) | about 4 years ago | (#33132182)

3D does nothing inherently to do that, true. Likewise color didn't inherently help with the stories that had been told in black and white. But over time, filmmakers will learn ways to use the new feature to say things they couldn't have said without it. In the meanwhile, gratuitous use of 3D will continue, hopefully not too painfully, until it stops being novel enough to make back the extra costs of filming that way.

Re:Finally (2, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | about 4 years ago | (#33132162)

Just like color. Creative new movie makers will use this technology and create some pretty kick ass stuff.

I thought it added amazing detail and immersion to Avatar; but was useless when tacked on to The Last Air bender.

heh.

Reminds me of a joke. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33131932)

How does the farmer get the sheep to push back?

Fucks them on the edge of a cliff.

I would take a SD movie of a real cute girl (1)

gagol (583737) | about 4 years ago | (#33131936)

over a granny filmed in HD 3D.

Re:I would take a SD movie of a real cute girl (1)

Sollord (888521) | about 4 years ago | (#33131974)

Personally I'm rather fond having a real girl but hey this is /. after all so what ever floats you boat.

Re:I would take a SD movie of a real cute girl (1)

omnibit (1737004) | about 4 years ago | (#33131990)

over a granny filmed in HD 3D.

I would take a 3D movie of a really cute girl over an SD movie of a granny any day.

It's nice to see (1)

omnibit (1737004) | about 4 years ago | (#33131958)

That some directors retain artistic integrity and don't kowtow to the whims of movie executives.

I would like to cry out to would-be 3D obsessed directors: don't ever ever ever post-render another film in 3D when it was initially conceived in 2D.

My eyes - the goggles - zey do nuhsing!

Re:It's nice to see (2, Informative)

sexconker (1179573) | about 4 years ago | (#33132072)

My eyes - the goggles - zey do nuhsing!

The quote is "My eyes! The goggles do nothing!".
Get it right. There is no "they", nor is there any bad pronunciation. There is an accent, but it is still clearly and properly enunciated and articulated.

Re:It's nice to see (2, Funny)

binarylarry (1338699) | about 4 years ago | (#33132116)

Agreed, worst meme attempt ever.

Re:It's nice to see (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | about 4 years ago | (#33132128)

Proper enunciation, of course, being one of the problems earlier in the show -- "Up and at them!"

Re:It's nice to see (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33132132)

Why zo zerious ?

Re:It's nice to see (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 4 years ago | (#33132384)

" Ah! My eyes! The goggles, they do nothing!"

If you are going to be needlessly pedantic, you had better get it correct.

Re:It's nice to see (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33132446)

I believe the "nuhsing" and "zey" is probably a hybridisation with the quote by Schultz on Hogan's Heroes who would often say he "knows nothing! Nothing!". The pronunciation was often close to the above modifications.

Simply put - two fake German accents from pop culture sharing a word uttered in a similar way (emphasised, and at the end of a sentence), leading to the now classic "zey do nuhsing!"

(At least, that's my guess).

This just in (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33131962)

Upcoming biopic of Justin Bieber also in 3D.

Re:This just in (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33132038)

Unfortunately for him his crotch bulge on the big screen in 3d will be even more pathetic than it is in real life.

Good (3, Insightful)

jav1231 (539129) | about 4 years ago | (#33131964)

I really haven't seen anything compelling with 3D. Most tend to only have certain parts that really "show off" the effect but mostly it just distracts from the film. The push to 3D is an attempt to rekindle interest in cinema but people are still going to the theaters. I had a couple of friends who saw a 3D film only because they wanted to see the movie at that time when only it was showing. By and large, it doesn't seem like anyone really wants 3D.

Re:Good (3, Interesting)

Ephemeriis (315124) | about 4 years ago | (#33132212)

I really haven't seen anything compelling with 3D.

Basically the only reason to see Avatar was the 3D. Completely forgettable storyline. Hell of a show on the screen though. Saw it again on DVD... Couldn't even sit through the thing.

Up and Coraline were both very good movies, thoroughly enjoyable in 2D, but the 3D genuinely added some depth to the film.

Most tend to only have certain parts that really "show off" the effect but mostly it just distracts from the film.

My Bloody Valentine was absolutely awful, 3D or no. The 3D sure as hell didn't help... But I don't think anything could have saved that thing.

The push to 3D is an attempt to rekindle interest in cinema but people are still going to the theaters.

These days I really need a good reason to go to the theater.

I don't like people. I don't like dealing with the crowds, the cell phones, the kids, etc. I'd much rather watch something in the privacy of my own home. And these days I can watch something on pay-per-view almost before it leaves theaters. Plus, with a large HD television and a blu-ray player there isn't a whole lot of difference in visual quality between home and theater viewing.

The one thing I can't really get at home is a decent 3D movie.

That may change as 3D televisions become more common... But, for now, if I want to see 3D I have to go in to the theater. And these days that's about the only thing that will get me to pay for a ticket.

By and large, it doesn't seem like anyone really wants 3D.

I do.

I wouldn't say it belongs in every single film made... But it's a handy tool, just like pyrotechnics or green screens or digital effects. Sure, right now it's going to get abused... Just like every new gadget and gizmo before it. But once folks figure out how to make it work, and figure out where it is appropriate, it'll make a nice addition to the toolbox.

Re:Good (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 4 years ago | (#33132338)

I don't like people. I don't like dealing with the crowds, the cell phones, the kids, etc. I'd much rather watch something in the privacy of my own home.

I've found it's better to go to the local "dollar movie" (actually, it's 2 or 3 dollars these days), which shows movies after they've been in the first-run theaters. The dollar places are usually much less crowded and don't have all the poorly-behaved kids and cellphone users that the mainstream theaters do. Plus, the tickets are a lot cheaper.

Avatar? (1)

mosb1000 (710161) | about 4 years ago | (#33132298)

Have you seen Avatar? 3D added a lot to that movie.

Don't listen to the naysayers.

Re:Good (-1, Offtopic)

geekoid (135745) | about 4 years ago | (#33132426)

No one want sit..besides most movie goers... and pre-teen kids are going to demand it as they get older.

It's hear, it's going to stay, and it will become the norm.

But yeah, lets ignore the numbers and demands and go with your two friends. I mena, what kind of myopic twit would think that thre 2 friends are what determins a trend? "Support the Fair Tax. http://fairtax.org/ [fairtax.org] " ah, I see.

entrenched people don't like new. (4, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | about 4 years ago | (#33131970)

Old people resist change, news at 11.

There is no reason why 3-D can't be a good thing. Arguing it's bad because some people have made bad movies with it is stupid. I loom forward to a young generation of filmmakers to be tinker with this technology.

And no, not every movie should be made 3-d. In fact I would argue if it wasn't shot in 3-d with the idea of it being shot in 3-D , then it should not be added later. All the will do is make people dislike it and kill it.
The current technique for 3-d are awesome.
The Matrix filmed with current 3-d technologies would have had people wetting in their seats.

it's more expensive (5, Insightful)

Chirs (87576) | about 4 years ago | (#33131998)

If the story doesn't need 3D to be effective, why force people to pay the extra money?

Re:it's more expensive (1, Insightful)

Ephemeriis (315124) | about 4 years ago | (#33132092)

If the story doesn't need 3D to be effective, why force people to pay the extra money?

Folks don't go to see a movie for a story. If all you wanted was a story you'd read a book or listen to a radio play. Folks go to a movie to see the story played-out on the screen. They're looking for visual stimulation. That's the whole reason why there's a wardrobe department, and folks in makeup, and special effects, and dramatic locations.

3D adds to the visual spectacle.

Re:it's more expensive (1)

Bman21212 (1067680) | about 4 years ago | (#33132106)

If a story doesn't need a movie to be effective, why force people to pay the extra money?

Re:it's more expensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33132148)

If the story doesn't need 3D to be effective, why force people to pay the extra money?

You've never gone to a more expensive theater to get better sound?

Re:it's more expensive (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 4 years ago | (#33132288)

"nd no, not every movie should be made 3-d. "

Did you read my entire post, or was the span of attention needed to do that to much for you to bear?

When new film makers grow up with this, there will be stories that use 3-d to make them better. The first to make it necessary to then story will be heralded as a genius.

Re:it's more expensive (1)

Chirs (87576) | about 4 years ago | (#33132322)

Did you not read the original article? They're not resisting it because it's new, they're resisting the execs that want to rake in the extra money that 3D movies currently make because it's new and shiny technology.

I'd hazard a guess that Joss Whedan would make a 3D movie if he had a script that actually made effective use of it.

Re:it's more expensive (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | about 4 years ago | (#33132390)

I really haven't seen anything compelling with 3D.

People don't go to the cinema to watch a movie. If they want to watch a movie, they'll get a DVD, stream it from Netflix, watch it on cable or satellite, or (unfortunately for filmmakers) download one from their favorite torrent site.

People go to the cinema because it's a night out. Watch a movie, hang out with family and friends (or their girlfriend, but this is /.), and pay exhorbitant prices for sweet and salty snacks. See and be seen. You know, go do something.

Re:entrenched people don't like new. (1)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | about 4 years ago | (#33132078)

>> There is no reason why 3-D can't be a good thing.

I'm holding out for a 4-D film.

Re:entrenched people don't like new. (2, Funny)

bami (1376931) | about 4 years ago | (#33132166)

Go watch Memento.

Well, tha's more like 2.5D.

Re:entrenched people don't like new. (1)

Balthisar (649688) | about 4 years ago | (#33132084)

But the contrary can be true. I only saw Avatar in 2D, and didn't really think it was all that great, and that's the type of movie I would ordinarily love. Yet every, single person I talk to who saw it in 3D first (or only in 3D) goes on and on about how great a movie it was. Maybe the 3D and effects were great (heck, even in 2D, the effects were good), but they don't make a movie.

Re:entrenched people don't like new. (1)

FrankSchwab (675585) | about 4 years ago | (#33132144)

I saw Avatar in 3D, and didn't think it was all that great. There were a few of the normal 3-D effects that had people reaching for things in space, but the effect had minimal impact on the actual movie, other than having the effect break up a lot in various places.
Frankly, the movie reminded me more of Wall-E than anything - a director with a heavy hand pounding his banal point into my head over, and over, and over again.

Re:entrenched people don't like new. (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | about 4 years ago | (#33132404)

Frankly, the movie reminded me more of Wall-E than anything

You've never seen Pocahontas [thefunnyblog.org] then?

Re:entrenched people don't like new. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33132118)

My kid is 10, and doesn't like 3D.

People resist stupid change for changes sake. It reeks of gimmick, because, much like smell-o-vision, it is a gimmick.

Re:entrenched people don't like new. (4, Insightful)

c0lo (1497653) | about 4 years ago | (#33132246)

Old people resist change, news at 11.

There is no reason why 3-D can't be a good thing. Arguing it's bad because some people have made bad movies with it is stupid.

Calling names, youngster, are you?

I loom forward to a young generation of filmmakers to be tinker with this technology.

Me too.
Just that, until then, give me good movies in 2D and I'll gladly pay the extra bucks, otherwise I won't. For the crappy-movies-night-StarWars-excluded [xkcd.com] , the rental shop is good enough for me (hey, the very crappy movies do have a good side: they are timeless and young - i.e. stay very crappy [xkcd.com] - forever).

The current technique for 3-d are awesome.

Says one which in 20-30 years time will whinge at the next awesome technology.

Re:entrenched people don't like new. (2, Interesting)

gstoddart (321705) | about 4 years ago | (#33132262)

There is no reason why 3-D can't be a good thing

If the eye strain I got from Avatar is any indication, I'll pass on the whole 3D thing. It was cool, but the lingering effects weren't what I'd call pleasant.

My eyes just aren't happy with the 3D experience.

Re:entrenched people don't like new. (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | about 4 years ago | (#33132370)

I see it both ways. I watch 3D movies and enjoy it as an occasional treat, but I don't know if I want to watch everything in 3D, not with the current technology. I don't mind watching one 3D film a month, but I don't know if I want to watch 3D every night or every weekend. I'm not convinced that this round of 3D is a fad, that can go both ways as well. People groused about not needing sound, stereo, surround, color, widescreen, HD, I think 3D will eventually fall into the standard way of doing things, whether it takes hold in the next five years or 20 years from now, I think it's eventually going to be accepted.

And yes, I agree, it MUST be made up front with 3D in mind or forget it. The Pixar shots I've seen look fantastic, but they also have a relatively easy way to manage it compared to physical production (more sliders vs. a bigger, more complicated camera rig), and I've attended a presentation where some Pixar cinematographers discussed their methods and intents, and they do talk about how they adjust the apparent 3D depth and other factors to enhance the mood, and they're very careful to not to too much of the extreme "in your face" 3D.

3d sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33131988)

Whedon is my master, any who wish to force 3d on him shall perish. Or something.

Besides, it doesn't add anything to the story or my enjoyment of the film, so why should I bother with it? And if people dont want it forcing it on them will piss people off, or worse. And even if I want to watch the movie, do not want to watch it in *3d*.

3D is a gimmick (1)

HunterA3 (553453) | about 4 years ago | (#33132008)

Glad someone is still sane in Hollywood. 3D is nothing more than a weak attempt to squeeze more money out of a market that has no where to go past 1080p, unless they can figure out a way to make a 2160p display for cheaper than Red is making them.

Let's do the math. (4, Insightful)

blair1q (305137) | about 4 years ago | (#33132026)

"Tickets for 3-D films carry a $3 to $5 premium, and industry executives roughly estimate that 3-D pictures average an extra 20 percent at the box office."

So adding an extra 30-50% to the unit price results in a 20% increase in revenues, or an 8-20% drop in unit sales.

Why would a director complain about that?

The brain doesn't always want/use the 3D info (4, Interesting)

Gavin Scott (15916) | about 4 years ago | (#33132042)

I loved Avatar in IMAX 3D, and the 3D definitely looked cool, at least in the exterior CG shots.

But I don't know that I believe 3D is really capable of adding emotion to a film presentation, and if you can't heighten the emotion somehow, then how are you going to say the experience is $3 better?

I think maybe it's something like this: If you don't provide explicit 3D information to the brain, it seems to be quite happy to generate that information itself based on the visual cues it gets from analyzing the scene. The end result is that a short time later you'll have the same memory of the scene whether it was presented in 3D or not.

Anyhow, I'm almost certain there are some basic biological limits like this on how much you can get out of 3D in the theater, since we just haven't evolved to care about stereo-derived depth as important information. We care a lot about spatial positioning and relationships, but we have lots of ways of computing that information and stereo isn't that important for the sorts of scenes presented in a movie.

I saw Toy Story 3 the other day in RealD 3D and honestly for most of the movie I really didn't notice the 3D effect unless I actually looked for it. My mind seemed to prefer its own analysis of the images over that provided by the 3D.

So unless Jim Cameron can keep cranking out 3D epics fast enough, I think the rest of the industry is going to have a hard time keeping 3D afloat.

I think 3D capability (with glasses) will be with us forever on TV and computer displays (since it costs virtually nothing to add to a modern TV) and you'll see it used for sports and some special programming, and definitely it adds a lot to video games potentially (or any kind of interactive environment).

But for your average movie, not so much.

G.

But when it does add... (3, Insightful)

arthurh3535 (447288) | about 4 years ago | (#33132062)

...it adds quite a bit. The scene in 'How to Train Your Dragon' where the soot is blowing in the air and the viking appears was amazing. I also thought the massive fight against the Kraken in 'Clash of the Titans' was absolutely incredible.

And I have to wear glasses normally.

It was still worth it!

Re:But when it does add... (3, Insightful)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | about 4 years ago | (#33132458)

...it adds quite a bit. The scene in 'How to Train Your Dragon' where the soot is blowing in the air and the viking appears was amazing. I also thought the massive fight against the Kraken in 'Clash of the Titans' was absolutely incredible.

And I have to wear glasses normally.

It was still worth it!

I would argue that noticing how cool the 3-D illusion of the blowing soot looked was a distraction from the film, not an enhancement. Some movies are about showcasing modern visual effects. On average, these are the high budget, low quality movies. 3-D technology can add another tool to the director's arsenal to keep you from noticing that nothing else is very interesting.

Most good movies are about telling a story. It's not like it can't be done, but no one yet has included 3-D in this sort of movie in a way that didn't detract from the experience.

Casablanca (4, Insightful)

Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) | about 4 years ago | (#33132068)

My favorite movie was shot in black and white. It has great acting from a great script with great directing and great cinematography. All of those trump special effects, even that last new thing, color. Good movies don't need gimmicks.

Re:Casablanca (4, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 4 years ago | (#33132290)

Good movies don't need gimmicks.

Yes, but the other 99% do.

Re:Casablanca (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 4 years ago | (#33132308)

so what, there was no costuming in that movie? no make up? no lighting? no editing? no sound?

Of course not, who would need those gimmicks~

Hell, the best presentation is clearly done by a cast of all men on stage, and in Greek.

*yeah, yeah, I know.

Just a passing fad or... (2, Insightful)

Qzukk (229616) | about 4 years ago | (#33132094)

Just imagine if way back when, people were saying

Several influential directors took surprisingly public potshots at the color boom during the recent broadcaster's dinner... Behind the scenes filmmakers have begun to resist production executives eager for color sales. For reasons both aesthetic and practical, some directors often do not want to convert a film to color or go to the trouble and expense of shooting with color cameras, which are still relatively untested on big movies with complex stunts and locations. Tickets for color films carry a $0.05 to $0.10 premium, and industry executives roughly estimate that color pictures average an extra 20 percent at the box office. Filmmakers like Mr. Niblo [imdb.com] argue that color technology does little to enhance a cinematic story, while adding a lot of bother.

Re:Just a passing fad or... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33132400)

The difference being that 3-D films arent 3-D. Do a little research on how they are constructed.

Where's that one eyed fuck? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33132096)

The last time I read a thread about 3d films there was some total loser who thought that 3d was going to fail because he was a handful of people who couldn't see out of both eyes. I hope he shuts his fucking stupid fucking cunt whore mouth.

Why directors shouldn't resist... (5, Insightful)

ev1lcanuck (718766) | about 4 years ago | (#33132100)

I'm going to start off with the full disclosure. I am currently editor of a 3D film, and have previously worked on both motion capture and stereoscopic live-action 3D films. Also, I firmly believe post-conversion is terrible and is the number one thing the industry is doing to harm the advancement of 3D. Both live action 3D films I've been involved with have been shot completely stereoscopically in true 3D.

I don't believe that directors are particularly wise to resist the move to 3D. There are a lot of benefits to shooting in 3D and to embrace the technology will allow filmmakers to be at the forefront and to dictate the advancements in the technologies - rather than having the producers dictate the advancement of the technology.

It's just like the move from black & white to colour, from mono to stereo to surround, etc. 3D is going to consume a large portion of the market share in the coming years. Also, working with 3D isn't really that much trouble. You have to be smarter with your metadata and think a bit more about what you're doing ahead of time, but that holds true with any profession as technology becomes more complicated and more capable.

People will expect more out of your product. Most people now expect cars to have airbags, ABS, air conditioning, and power locks and windows. As technology advances, people will expect new filmmaking technologies like 3D to come "standard". Will it increase the cost of films? Sure. Will ticket prices rise? Definitely. Do cars cost more now than they did 15 years ago? Absolutely. Has the experience of driving improved? I would argue that it has.

Re:Why directors shouldn't resist... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33132254)

The thing is this. I love movies. Watch them all the time. But 3d is meh for me, the you know customer, it really seems like a gimmick. I have watched 3d movies for ages. They were always meh for the 3d part. The MOVIE itself is why I go to see it.

Instead of 'hey lets add 3d because it adds a lot to the story, experience, whatever'. It is about 'hey we can charge an extra 5 bucks a pop for people to see it.' You know when your audience feels ripped off they do not tend to come back. Cameron got lucky with it. He polished that bad boy for 10 years. Now everyone is thinking 'we can make the next avatar out of this crap movie'. Good luck with that.

The cinema is competing with 55-65 inch TVs, and decent surround systems in peoples living rooms. A 55 inch tv in my living room is equivalent to what I see sizewise in a theater, and I dont even have to sit that close to the tv :). The sound is decent enough that it sounds like space ships are flying by. I still go to the theater as it is a different experience. But if I want to just see a movie. I can get the same or better from not even leaving my house and not pay 15 dollars for 2 bucks worth of snacks.

You are right we movie goers expect more. But just not where you think.

Re:Why directors shouldn't resist... (2, Interesting)

Radical Moderate (563286) | about 4 years ago | (#33132334)

The automotive features you mention all produce tangible benefits. The only benefit to 3d is it looks cooler...and a lot of us don't think it's cool enough to be worth the bother or expense. To me, it's a gimmicky distraction that costs more and requires me to wear glasses. No benefit at all. But if it sells, they'll shoot it. Oh, and get off my lawn!

Re:Why directors shouldn't resist... (4, Insightful)

donny77 (891484) | about 4 years ago | (#33132358)

In my opinion that a lot of leaps of faith. For me 3D doesn't add anything to the experience. Color adds to the experience. Surround sound adds to the experience, but 3-D doesn't. Why? The fact is every movie I've ever seen was in 3D. Not on the screen, but in my brain. It did the work and it did it well. To me, standard movies to 3D movies is like CD to HD-CD, even most audiophiles don't care.

Let's examine it more closely. Surround sound brought you into the audio of the movie. You could hear things behind you, to the side, below or above. With 3D video, you are still looking at a scene. You can't look to the side, look up or down, you can't significantly change the artistic shot of the camera. What you get is a depth perception, that is really already there. It is enhanced, sometime to the point of being distracting.

And this is another reason directors should dislike 3D. Directors are acclaimed by the shot they produce. 3D removes from their shot by providing slightly different angles, or possibly in the future drastically different angles. This is the only value add to 3D in my opinion, providing the ability to pan around a scene and change the angle. This removes the art aspect of the film, and would force reliance on the story. This would also require an insane amount of cameras to shoot.

In closing, full disclosure, I have seen one recent 3D movie. I am not sure if it was post production or not. I left the theater with a headache. The 3D effect was ok, but the backgrounds of the sets were blurry. I attributed this to cameras focusing on the foreground leaving the background slightly out of focus. This provides depth in a 2D setting, but in 3D you should set the focus not the camera. This is ultimately while I do not expect 3D to take off. The directors want artistic control of the shot, and should have it in my opinion. Yet this limitation negates the only benefit 3D has to offer. I'd prefer to watch a good movie in 2D.

Re:Why directors shouldn't resist... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33132410)

Most people now expect cars to have airbags, ABS, air conditioning, and power locks and windows. As technology advances, people will expect new filmmaking technologies like 3D to come "standard".

Airbags, ABS, air con... these things are useful. Let's cut the baloney -- the only reason Hollywood wants 3D in an age of HD camcorders on cell phones is to keep the barrier of entry for filmaking high. Directors play the studio game for the chance to work on projects they care about. Very few of these projects are going to be enhanced by 3D and even then I'd be seeking out the 2D showings of most films.

No 3D p0rn! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33132112)

Please, no 3D p0rn, the mere thought of a guy in an an aroused state pointing his thing at the 3D camera.... shudder.

Mars Needs Moms? (3, Funny)

Megahard (1053072) | about 4 years ago | (#33132120)

3D or not, I bet Mars Needs MILFs would do a lot better.

That's fine (1)

mccalli (323026) | about 4 years ago | (#33132122)

A lot of stars never made the transition from silent to talkies either.

Face it: a new era is here and the kids love it. -I- love it. My kids, all under ten, all expect to see 3D when they go to the cinema now. I'm rather older than that, and I like seeing 3D too. It's just the new given, not a novelty any more.

I don't turn my nose up at 2D, abut then I don't turn my nose up at black and White or silent either. There are. thkse that would, and as time goes on I expect there will be those that feel the same about 2D bs 3D, at least at the cinema. Cheers, Ian

get off my 3d lawn, and .... (1)

Surt (22457) | about 4 years ago | (#33132190)

Take your color cinematography with you.

Seriously, 3d is closer to reality. Every step closer to reality has been found to be an improvement in the capabilities of storytellers.

Where would Schindler's list have been without the pink jacket?

Re:get off my 3d lawn, and .... (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 4 years ago | (#33132320)

"Where would Schindler's list have been without the pink jacket?"

It certainly would have been less of a gas~

I recall Jaws 3D (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33132196)

Free 3D glasses in cereal cartons it was going to be the "next big thing" back in the '80s. Stereoscopic "3D" is about as compelling now as it was back then. The truth is that if 3D were anything but a gimmick and a distraction it would have taken off years ago.

It all reminds me of the surround sound effects added to the Star Wars special editions. The sound of rice bouncing against taught tracing paper somewhere behind my head does not immerse me in the film, it causes me to turn around.

The modern Hollywood business plan involves distracting paying customers from the low quality of the product. So we'll have the star wars prequels rerendered and processed to 3D. Adding 3D or CGI will not improve a shit film and audiences are increasingly wise to this.

Similar to color... (2, Insightful)

cowtamer (311087) | about 4 years ago | (#33132216)

I'm sure there were many filmmakers who resisted to push to color, a small minority with good reason.

Not every movie should be in 3D just like every movie should not necessarily be in color. But I think a lot of the pushback is from people who can't see (or handle) 3D. As others have pointed out, new directors will come up with new ways of using this, just like they did with color.

You will see new tools in the next couple of years that will make 3D movies more 'directable' as well as post-processing tools that will make it hurt your eyes less. I hope the technology catches on this time. I imagine it's easier to shoot a movie in 3D than to convert it to 3D later (this _may_ change with technology, but I kind of hope it doesn't -- watching a movie converted to 3D is as painful as watching a "colorized" classic movie). 3D to 2D conversion is trivial.

3D frenzy will peter out (5, Insightful)

ardent99 (1087547) | about 4 years ago | (#33132222)

I've seen a few 3d movies now, and in my experience, you notice it for a few minutes and think "that's interesting", but if you are absorbed in the story you quickly forget that you are watching it in 3d. The point of watching a movie is to immerse yourself in the story. If you are noticing the 3d effects, you are not immersed, you are looking at the medium itself, not the story. Saying a movie was better in 3-d is kind of like saying "That novel was really good. The leather binding really made it better."

Because of that, and because it is extra bother to wear uncomfortable glasses, and extra expense for admission, I think 3d will prove to be a fad that settles down to a minimal sustainable level. It probably will never go away, but it will never take over either.

Re:3D frenzy will peter out (1)

Kenja (541830) | about 4 years ago | (#33132452)

Its cyclical it seems. Still got a copy of "cat women from the moon" in 3D and my old LCD shutter glasses around here some place. There have been 3D moves since the 50s. People think they're great for a while, then it fades out. Then ten years later it all gets dusted off and we start over.

Those directors are wrong. (2, Insightful)

mosb1000 (710161) | about 4 years ago | (#33132226)

It's short sighted to say that 3D adds little to the movie-going experience. A director who thinks that simply lacks the imagination to realize the full potential of the medium. Using 3D, you can bring the viewer into an intimate setting, or a wide-open expanse. Characters, objects and settings can appear life-size, giving the audience a sense of scale without the need for objects of known size for comparison. The result can be a much more immerse viewing experience than was previously possible.

Of course, the 3D has to be done correctly. And directors will have to resist the urge to make objects jump out of the screen for "wow" factor. But in the end, you will have a better movie.

Hooray 3D !!! (1)

spottedkangaroo (451692) | about 4 years ago | (#33132250)

Do they have like a tip jar or something? Cuz raging against 3D sounds like great news to me.

Give me 35mm anamorphic B&W thank you (3, Insightful)

wagadog (545179) | about 4 years ago | (#33132282)

Some Like It Hot. La Dolce Vida. To Kill a Mockingbird. Young Frankenstein. Sunset Boulevard. The Last Picture Show.

Do they really think having 3D CGI fairies fluttering around the screen would really make these movies better than they already are?

Who do they think they're kidding?

3D is fine, making films shot in 2D into 3D is bad (5, Insightful)

aibrahim (59031) | about 4 years ago | (#33132352)

3D, in its current form, is just another way to get the viewer involved in the space of a film. Its just a technique... and like any technique can be badly misused or carefully applied. Just like the transition from black an white to color photography, it takes time for people to learn how to use it to tell stories effectively.

What I abhor as a film maker is the desire by studios to convert films shot in 2D, with no regard to "into the plane" or "out of the plane" effects into 3D films. Its true that 3D is just a gimmick when implemented this way- and it can lead to a very unpleasant viewing experience.

One of the key elements to be reconsidered when shooting 3D is the amount of camera movement to use as well as the level of backlighting. Both of these techniques are used to enhance the sense of space in the film... by separating subjects from the background and by taking viewers on a tour of the environment. I believe that directors and cinematographers need to focus on showing the environment more simply with wider shots. Its almost required to turn back the clock in terms of cinematic motion. We need to use less movement and make that movement more subtle. This flies in the face of the MTV inspired cinema trends of wild dutch angles and whipsaw motion, as seen in Abrams Star Trek film. The use of backlighting is still a question up in the air for me. I think we still need it, but we can turn down the levels a bit.

Also to be reconsidered is the use of selective focus. (Typically done by using shallow depth of field.) We do this in order to help viewers know what we want them to pay attention to in the frame, for example racking back and forth between two speakers in a two shot. The problem is that in the real world the viewer always chooses when to look at whom, whereas in film the director, cinematographer, 1st camera assistant (or focus puller) and editor make these choices. We've learned to just follow along in 2D film as we percieve 2D to be an abstraction. 3D comes closer to a real world experience, and we expect more of the freedoms we are used to in the real world. We want to look where we want to look. So, if we look at the "wrong" persons face we are subtly frustrated as viewers.

Furthermore, how our eyes and brain react to out of focus areas is different in 2D and 3D. In 2D we accept that what we are looking at is blurry, and our eyes just slide over to the more interesting in focus areas. In 3D we tend to believe that the out of focus areas have sharp detail, and we start to attempt to bring them into focus rather than simply looking away. This is a subtle but important fact, and it can be a major source of eyestrain in current 3D film viewing.

Finally, I am not a huge fan of "out of the plane" effects, like an axe being thrown into the audience. (From the trailer to the upcoming Resident Evil movie). They are only appropriate very occasionally- and usually in the same places where you would have an object move directly towards the camera lens in 2D film making. More often, the 3D space should be treated as a window into another world we are looking into- and most of the 3D effect should be "into the plane," showing depth and perspective. We should use wider angle lenses to emphasize that perspective, and give viewers more time to absorb the scene before moving into it.

If you compare Avatar to other films you'll see that Cameron and Mauro Fiore (the cinematographer) followed my advice... they moved the camera more circumspectly and they used cameras and lighting to allow much deeper focus than normal. The story was paced so as to allow you to "go sightseeing" on Pandora (the fictional setting of the film, if you have not seen it) and even the fast action scenes used a more distant camera with a broader view than has become typical in order to let the viewer follow the action they chose to show us, rather than just wrenching your attention around like the Bourne films might.

3D can be done well, and it allows film makers to tell good stories. I can not wait to direct and photograph my first 3D productions, but in the meantime I am just taking it all in... the good and the bad, and trying to learn the new rules of film making. On the flip side, while adding 3D can make a film more profitable, it also adds a tremendous expense, and its very hard to do well. I am staying away from working 3D until I have all the tools, crew and knowledge I need in order to do it properly.

I had heard.... (4, Interesting)

mark-t (151149) | about 4 years ago | (#33132354)

... from somebody that works in a theatre that 3d films apparently make it harder for people to record them in the theatre, so maybe the push is partly driven to fight piracy. I don't know how accurate that assessment actually is, but it's an interesting take on the situation.

I wonder.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33132382)

If directors that were used to working in black and white said the same things when color filming technology was new.

Obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33132406)

Look. It's obvious that everyone thinks 3D is a joke. I mean, seriuosly, it's so stupid I can't believe that people don't barf. I refuse to see movies in 3D, period, unless I'm drunk and wanting to watch a 70s B flick type movie.

Eventually, this fad will go, as audiences realize that the extra $3 isn't close to worth it.

That some directors stand up and push back is actually sad. Why are they not ALL refusing to be whores to the studio execs. F, people, get some backbone.

My guess is that they like fucking 19 year old girls too much to give up the money that the execs shovel in their direction.

Oh, it's back already? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33132422)

It seems every few decades people get the idea that 3D films are a brilliant idea - and then they're popular for a few years, and fade. This is how the comparison to sound or color differs. 3D isn't new - it's from the early 1950s, and it was popular for a few years and then faded. Then it came back in the 1980s, with wonderful masterpieces such as Jaws 3D, and faded out yet again. It was here in early 2000s with equally brilliant films such as Spy-Kids 3D, until it faded out yet again!

And now, a bit early but still in a cyclical pattern, they're back. I wonder how many years before people yet again regard them as obnoxious and gimmicky yet again, as they should be?

Forget "3D", give us three dimensions (1)

imunfair (877689) | about 4 years ago | (#33132430)

To me the current 3D is lackluster - though I would be interested in technology that would allow you to actually view and rotate a movie action scene in three dimensions. Imagine watching a movie in three dimensions projected from a turntable on your lap - that would actually add value. Want to watch a specific person during a dialog scene - rotate to watch them rather than being stuck watching the camera jump between two people conversing.

Yes it would remove some of the art from directing - but it would actually give you a new movie-viewing experience. The current 3D is the equivalent of DVD vs 1080p - it adds some eye candy, but doesn't change the intrinsic value of a film, a bad one is still bad. B/W to color was a much bigger change than 2D to "3D" and even that doesn't change the value of a film - there are plenty of classic B/W films that are better than 95% of the color films. Story and acting ability are where the value resides, and that will never change.

3D isn't worth it (3, Interesting)

GreatDrok (684119) | about 4 years ago | (#33132434)

I saw Avatar at the cinema in RealD 3D and I found it distracting at best and it gave me a dreadful headache after an hour or so. Watching it again recently just off DVD on my 100" projection screen and enjoyed it a lot more. It wasn't as high res as the cinema and it wasn't 3D but despite that the experience was better.

The other issue I have with 3D is on TVs. Films shot fro 3D are shown on a really large screen and it works fine but if you shrink the screen down to domestic sizes, everything on the screen similarly gets scaled and the effect is really odd. I watched a demo on a 50" 3D set recently and it looked pretty good if you stood 1m away from the screen but any further away and the people on screen seemed to shrink down to the size of puppets. Very odd experience.

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