So the evidence that 3D pisses me off continues to mount (like I need more). Ironically it’s none other than 3D spokesman James Cameron who baffles me with some of his remarks as to the state of 3D, the future of 3D, the use of upconversion in current films (Alice in Wonderland, Clash of the Titans) and how he’s going to sue the pants off of anyone and everyone who plans to make a 3D movie with his technology.
The full article and interview with “USA Today” can be found HERE, but I pulled a few choice remarks out of the story to make my point. Oh and did I mention he plans to re-release Titanic in upconverted 3D (“spring of 2012″)? Gee, thanks James.
“We now need the second wave [of 3D infrastructure]. We had more than enough for Avatar and more than enough for Alice In Wonderland. But now you’re going to have film coming upon film coming upon film. We’ve demonstrated that the 3D market is an extremely lucrative market and this is not a fad, this is not something that is going to go away.”
First of all, you didn’t have enough for Alice and Avatar. Hence, Alice trounced your blue nymphs at the box office. Secondly, I really hope he’s wrong about 3D not being a fad. If theaters resist the knee jerk to expensively convert all of their screens, he may be. It’s sort of a Catch-22: theaters need to convert in order to screen all the movies coming in 3D, but enough 3D movies need to be made to make it worth it for the theaters.
As of right now, theaters aren’t prepared for the onslaught of 3D movies that are supposedly on the way. So in the short term, if the theaters play the “wait and see” game, the film industry might begin to see losses on some of their big budget 3D films since not all of them can play at the same time in any given theater. A possible progression of events may (or may not) then happen: studios will scale back on the number of 3D movies produced (for cost effectiveness) while at the same time theaters realize that they’ve been missing out and need to start getting more screens ready for all of these 3D movies being released. So now you’ve got all of these theaters ready for 3D but no films coming out. And if the studios start producing more at that point, hopefully audiences will have grown weary of the mind numbing experience as a result of the combination of either the inferior quality products (since they don’t have access or the money to use Cameron’s technology – discussed below), the extravagant prices of wearing annoying glasses and/or just finally getting over the fad/novelty/distraction.
“[Industry people] think, ‘what was[sic] the takeaway lessons from Avatar? Oh you should make more money with 3D’ … they ignore the fact that we natively authored the film in 3D, and decide that what we accomplished in several years of production could be done in an eight week (post-production 3D) conversion with Clash of the Titans. If people put bad 3D in the marketplace they’re going to hold back or even threaten the emerging of 3D. People will be confused by differences in quality… They’re converting Clash of the Titans in eight weeks. But I’m guessing six months to a year to do it right. We’re targeting spring of 2012 for the release (of a 3D version of Titanic)…”
So no jabs at Alice (which finally stomped you out of the multi-plexes), but rip apart Clash of the Titans why don’t you? Then drop that you’re going to re-release Titanic in 3D and then say the following!?:
Q: Should the existing film catalog be converted to 3D?
A: If it’s done well. I think it should be driven by the artist. If Star Wars gets converted into 3D I think George (Lucas) should do it. If Terminator gets converted into 3D, I should do it.
Q: How do the converted films look?
A: It’s never going to be as good as if you shot it in 3D, but think of it as sort of 2.8D.
So you’re trying to revolutionize the film going experience and the digital marketplace with 3D television and high end technological feats, but deliberately release a film which you just admitted in your previous statement will be of inferior quality? wft?
Nevertheless, if we’re going to force theaters into upgrading all of their equipment so it’s capable of screening 3D films properly, we’re going to want the end product to at least look like quality craftsmanship. How would you go about ensuring that all 3D films from now on are as high quality (subjectively speaking) as Avatar was?
“Depending on who our strategic alliances are with, we’ll either put out our (intellectual property) and make it available for licensing or put it into a pool or whatever it is, or we’ll be in the suing people business for a long time. We figured this stuff out empirically six or seven years ago and we patented it. If people try to do it the way we’ve done it on Avatar they’ll get a phone call.”