Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Movies Entertainment

Filmmakers Resisting Hollywood's 3-D Push 521

Posted by kdawson
from the flatland-is-a-nice-place-to-visit dept.
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."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Filmmakers Resisting Hollywood's 3-D Push

Comments Filter:
  • by sconeu (64226) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @07:11PM (#33131900) Homepage Journal

    Just ask Jar-Jar Binks.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by IMightB (533307)

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

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by modecx (130548)

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

    • by 0100010001010011 (652467) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @07:57PM (#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: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Hadlock (143607)

        You must not have an arthouse theater in your town. Go find one. There are lots of good movies being made here in the USA and released in theaters all around the nation. 2002-2008 was a huge boom era, but there are still independent films that lean heavily on their story and lack of special effects, made from that boom era but stuck in post production and being put into theaters even now.

        • by dangitman (862676) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @11:33PM (#33133896)

          You must not have an arthouse theater in your town. Go find one. There are lots of good movies being made

          There really aren't that many good movies being made, especially not "arthouse" ones. The best filmic work being done today is on HBO with long-form dramatic TV series. They beat the hell out of anything the cinema has to offer today.

          The fact that you use the word "arthouse" as a substitute for "good films" is kind of funny. Among cinephiles and film critics, the term has been used derisively for years now. If a film is labeled "arthouse" then you can predict with almost 100% certainty that it's not a good film. It's most likely a film that has been shot pretentiously to appear profound and arty, but doesn't actually have a lot of substance. It's pretty much the flip-side of the shallow effects-driven film, where the "indie" aesthetic and posturing is more important than making a good film.

      • by dangitman (862676) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @11:26PM (#33133860)

        "Blockbusters" will always be the equivalent of fast food. Made as cheap as possible

        Say what? Blockbusters usually have the highest budgets of all films.

    • by jellomizer (103300) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @08:48PM (#33132772)

      Movies were always about the gimmick. Back in the black and white silent moving pictures film. They wern't great films most of them were crap. However people went to them to see moving pictures. Then they started to go to the talkies, then color, then with better picture and sound. They had 3D for a bit but the 2 colors messed up the experience. So they went for more effects. Now today with the average Joe having a 57 inch tv with surround sound. 3D is the best way to get people to the movies. The good movies, people wait for DVD

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Aphoxema (1088507)

      Just ask Jar-Jar Binks.

      The idle fears always at the fringe of my mind broke free of their self-subjected limitations for the smallest fraction of a moment and overwhelmed my psyche in a blaze of terror, casting my will into an endless pit of despair.

      Please, if you have even the smallest drop of humanity, you will never mention that catastrophe again. Now I can not help but to imagine Star Wars released in 3D with the idiot who shall not be named injected into every second of the movies he was not before.

      Now if you all will excuse

  • Finally (Score:4, Interesting)

    by radicalpi (1407259) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @07:12PM (#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: (Score:3, Funny)

      by biryokumaru (822262)

      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 (Score:5, Insightful)

        by BrianRoach (614397) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @07:33PM (#33132156)

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

      • by gstoddart (321705)

        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: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Rary (566291) *

        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!

        Adding sound took the experience to a whole new level. Adding colour didn't do as much, but it brought a new level of realism. Adding 3D... well, there seems to be a diminishing returns sort of thing happening, because it's just not adding nearly as much. Hell, the fact that people still make movies in black and white shows that even colour was a relatively unnecessary enhancement.

        Personally I have nothing against 3D movies, and I'm sure that in some cases the 3D makes the movie a tiny bit better. But ultim

      • Re:Finally (Score:4, Insightful)

        by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Wednesday August 04, 2010 @01:18AM (#33134398) Homepage

        People keep comparing 3D to adding sound to silent movies or color to black&white, but that doesn't seem like a fair comparison. When I watch a silent movie, I don't have sound. When I watch a black and white movie, I don't have color. When I watch a 2D movie, I still perceive depth. I don't perceive it was intensely as when watching a 3D movie, but it's there. I can tell what objects in the frame are closer, and which are farther away. The truth is that we use many different cues to determine depth, and stereoscopic vision is just one of them. So a "2D" movie actually contains lots of different visual cues about 3D space, and adding stereoscopic vision only adds one more cue. It's still lacking other cues, such as real parallax.

        If I were to compare the new 3D technology to something, it would be the move from stereo sound to surround sound. A decade or two ago, everyone was talking about Dolby surround sound, and you'd hear lots of conversations after a movie where someone would say "Did you notice that part where, in the middle of the gunfight, you could hear a gunshot coming from behind you! That was so awesome."

        And sure, most theaters have surround sound now, and some people put a lot of time and money into their home theater surround sound system. And sure, it adds something to the experience of watching the movie. But really, when you get down to it? Meh, no big deal. I bet you could release a big-budget action movie mixed for stereo only, and very few people would know the difference.

    • by Walzmyn (913748)
      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: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by geekoid (135745)

      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.

    • Simple explanation (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Locke2005 (849178)
      The film makers don't want 3D. The moviegoers don't want 3D. The MPAA members do want 3D, because it allows them to charge more per ticket, plus it makes it near impossible to bootleg a film by smuggling a camera into a theater. Now do you understand why 3D is being pushed so hard, and who is doing the pushing?
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by mattack2 (1165421)

        Moviegoers don't want 3D?

        "Avatar", "Up", and "Toy Story 3" have all made tons of money.

        (BTW, I've only seen 2 movies in the current 3D technologies, one at a preview screening.)

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by 1 a bee (817783)

      Similar thoughts here. And we're clearly not alone. Here's how a friend puts it in his blog:

      .. do we give up anything when we switch to this 3D medium? I wonder. Quite a lot, I imagine. For the traditional motion picture is less of a technology than it is of a language, an art form, cultivated over generations. Much of that language is a play on the medium's limitations. The composition of the picture, think of golden ratios, for example, is only realized against the bounds defined by the edges of the screen. Moreover, as our minds have become more introspective, more self-reflective, we have developed a more self-aware narrative, the camera behind the camera, the eye that sees the eye that's seeing. A meta language that describes itself and sees its reflection. A way of thought that cherishes its ability to step back and see itself--in a sense, an ability to step out of an immersing experience, the opposite of immersion. (It's this cultivated mental ability that makes the sports bar possible.).. [more here] [blogspot.com]

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by JaredOfEuropa (526365)
      It does add value... Sometimes. 3D isn't going to improve movies like "the Shawshank redemption" or "Snatched", but it may add a lot to other movies that rely more on special effects, or are more demanding in suspension of disbelief. I say "may" because it's very hard to do well. And 3D doesn't work equally well on everyone's eyes.

      Take "Avatar". Disregard for a moment the literary qualities of this "Pocahontas in space"... 3D did work exceptionally well in this movie, greatly increasing immersion into th
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ToasterMonkey (467067)

      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.

      I'm sure at one time the same was said about CGI, color, animation, sound, 2D projection, and uhh.. the stage, if you want to go back a ways.

      In case you weren't aware and/or your opinion is not even based on personal experience - filming for 3D encourages creative use of depth of field. You will benefit from this trend even if you watch a 3D movie in 2D, or even if the film was not shot with 3D cameras. Unless you prefer scenes to be as flat as possible, then I'm out of ideas.

      Here, a picture says a thous

  • Good (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jav1231 (539129) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @07:17PM (#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 (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Ephemeriis (315124) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @07:38PM (#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 (Score:4, Interesting)

        by L0rdJedi (65690) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @08:31PM (#33132644)

        I don't like people. I don't like dealing with the crowds, the cell phones, the kids, etc.

        I know the feeling ;)

        There are theaters around now that have policies prohibiting cell phones and children in the theater. You can also pick your seat. I know in So Cal, there's one in Hollywood, the Arclight, and one in Orange County (can't remember the name of it right now, but it's at the Garden Walk in Anaheim). If you like to go to movies and don't like all those things, check out one of those theaters. You get the movie experience without the bullshit.

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

      Don't listen to the naysayers.

  • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland @ y a hoo.com> on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @07:18PM (#33131970) Homepage Journal

    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.

    • by Chirs (87576) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @07:20PM (#33131998)

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

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Ephemeriis (315124)

        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: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Rary (566291) *

          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.

          Speak for yourself.

          Movies, books, and radio plays are all different ways to enjoy a story, along with live plays and stories told around a campfire. Each has its own merits.

          The movies that interest me may or may not have exciting wardrobes, interesting makeup, cool special effects, and/or dramatic locations. But they always have a good story.

      • by geekoid (135745)

        "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.

        • by Chirs (87576)

          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.

    • by Balthisar (649688)

      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.

      • 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.

    • by c0lo (1497653) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @07:42PM (#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: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by gstoddart (321705)

      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: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by iluvcapra (782887)
      I'm not sure on what planet J. J. Abrams and Chris Nolan are "old people."

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

      Except it adds tens of millions of dollars to the film's budget, it gives the audience headaches and all the existing technologies are 80% dimmer on screen by foot-lamberts, none of the present processes support photography on film (IMAX or super 35 -- they have to shoot digitally and blow it up). And the tickets are 20-40% more, which is the only reason they've ever pushed the tech any

    • by sdnick (1025630) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @11:04PM (#33133722)

      Old people resist change, news at 11.

      Old people resisted this particular change when they were young. 3D has been showing up every 10 or 15 years for decades, realizes that no one wants it, and wanders off. Only difference this time is that Cameron used it on a film that would have been an equally huge hit without it and now we have the creative masterminds in Hollywood pushing to film all of their comic book adaptations in 3D.

  • Let's do the math. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by blair1q (305137) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @07:22PM (#33132026) Journal

    "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?

  • by Gavin Scott (15916) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @07:24PM (#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.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by JaredOfEuropa (526365)
      3D can add immersion, which a great many viewers of Avatar will attest to. And increased immersion can make viewers more connected emotionally.

      I don't know about biological limits, but there are technical ones. Normally, when your eyes lock on to something two things happen: your eyes turn inwards or outwards so that they are both centered on the subject, and the lenses are adjusted to bring the subject into focus. Your eyes are doing this all the time and it happens without thinking.
      When you watch
    • by dbIII (701233) on Wednesday August 04, 2010 @12:38AM (#33134212)

      So unless Jim Cameron can keep cranking out 3D epics fast enough

      If it's like Avatar he can write the scripts for two or three a week!

  • by arthurh3535 (447288) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @07:25PM (#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!

    • Quick link that proves that everything old is new again. Dang movies with sound and talking!

      http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/related_features/top_100_films/article3817326.ece [timesonline.co.uk]

    • by Colonel Korn (1258968) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @08:05PM (#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 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @07:25PM (#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.
  • by Qzukk (229616) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @07:27PM (#33132094) Journal

    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: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by R3d M3rcury (871886)

      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 [...]

      Back when color first came out, there was no "converting to color"--it was either shot with color film or black-and-white film. There was no way to shoot it in black-and-white and then convert it.

      "Colorizing" movies didn't really start up until the 1980s and it was mostly for viewing on television. Films had already gone to color.

      As for

  • by ev1lcanuck (718766) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @07:28PM (#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: (Score:3, Interesting)

      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!
    • by donny77 (891484) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @07:55PM (#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: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Yvan256 (722131)

        In my opinion, surround sound in movies not only does not add anything to the experience, but actually detracts from it.

        Here I am, sitting and watching the movie happen in front of me and all of a sudden the action I'm watching is making sound behind me? I'm not in the holodeck surrounded by the characters and in the middle of the place!

        We're reading books and watching movies in the "3rd person" view, external to the story (there's a term for that but can't remember it right now). Why is the sound from the

    • by hamiltondaniel (1406971) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @08:26PM (#33132610)
      I'm going to start off with the full disclosure, too. I am currently a working 1st Assistant Cameraman, and I have worked on both "standard" (i.e. 2D) feature films and two feature films shot stereoscopically.

      Your claim that working with 3D isn't that much trouble obviously has a bit of a skewed perspective; in your air-conditioned office chair in the editing suite, yes, all you have to do is be smarter with your metadata. On an actual set, the sheer size, weight, and complexity of these 3D camera rigs means that a lot of things directors enjoy being able to do, especially shooting handheld and moving quickly, you can't do anymore. Obviously it depends on the setup you're using but some of these 3D rigs literally cannot fit through a door; to get them inside a room (for location shooting) you have to take them apart, carry the parts into the room, and then build the thing again. Forget about moving very quickly, so-called "run and gun" shooting, or really most handheld stuff at all. Yes, we all saw the photographs of Jim Cameron holding the 3D camera on his shoulder while shooting Avatar. What you didn't see was the 300-pound key grip he threw it at the second the stills photographer was done. These things are MONSTERS and there is already enough waiting around and wrangling of gear going on on a film set; you want to move AWAY from gear that hinders you, rather than towards it. I can see why a director would be VERY unhappy with losing these capabilities.

      Now, the first Technicolor cameras were ALSO monsters. Absolute beasts. Three cameras in one, basically, and since it was the 50s they were basically made out of cast iron and weighed about six tons (it probably felt like it, anyway). I won't argue that Technicolor was useless because the cameras were too big (especially since ALL cameras back then were enormous, but that's not the point). But I'm going to have to argue with you on your comparisons, as well. Technicolor was worth it. 2D to 3D is NOT the same as black and white to color; color is how we see the world. It makes sense for movies to be shot in color (it also makes sense for them to still be shot in black and white, if it will make the movie more effective). A 2D image, however, does not look inherently "flat", as a black and white image looks inherently colorless; the eye and the brain are more than capable of inferring three-dimensional spatial perception from a 2D image, especially if the director of photography likes depth of field. Stereoscopic depth is far from the only cue our brain uses to build perception of spaces; walk around with one eye closed and things might look a little less "three dimensional", but they certainly don't look flat and you're still quite capable of distinguishing relative distances between objects, because the brain also uses things like relative size, focus, light and shadow, movement parallax, etc. The 3D in movies does not, to my eye anyway, make the movies look more REAL; it makes them look more 3D. 2D movies look much closer to the way that I see the world than a 3D movie does, because I don't (and I doubt you do, either) see a 2D image as flat; I am able to infer all kinds of depth cues from things going on in the 2D image. Adding 3D to a 2D screen exaggerates all of those cues so much that things start to feel sort of grotesque; objects seem distended and loom out much closer to you than they should. It doesn't look real at all. It looks fake and made up, and for a lot of aesthetically-minded people, like directors, or directors of photography, the fakeness of it detracts from the experience much more than it adds.

      Perhaps someone will shoot a masterpiece with very very subtle stereoscopic 3D effects; they key to the thing, I think, is subtlety, enhancing and enriching the depth cues that are already there, not blasting them away with a huge monster jumping out of the screen. That's cool, yeah, but it takes you OUT of the movie, it reminds you that you're in a movie theatre looking at a screen by sheer fact of trying
      • by zippthorne (748122) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @10:12PM (#33133432) Journal

        On an actual set, the sheer size, weight, and complexity of these 3D camera rigs means that a lot of things directors enjoy being able to do, especially shooting handheld and moving quickly

        Well there's a tangible benefit to 3D right there! No more supertrendyshakycam!

      • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Wednesday August 04, 2010 @02:26AM (#33134746)

        Most movies are going to be watched on 2D screens. Most homes have 2D only setups, and that's where a lot of movies get seen. It is going to stay that way too. Never mind the cost, there's the simple inconvenience factor of needing glasses or having an unwatchable image. When a movie is in 3D and you don't have glasses on, it is a blurry mess. That means that for someone who walks through the room they can't watch it for a bit unless they go get some glasses themselves.

        Ok well this also implies that the 2D version of the movie has to look good, it cannot suffer for the 3D version, at least not if you want to have good sales.

        Plus there's the fact that the new fake 3D only goes so far. It does not produce a real 3D experience. While it presents separate images to the eyes, focus is not dealt with, nor is head tracking. So sure it looks "more" 3D than a single flat image but it doesn't look real. A neat effect, but not necessarily any more "realistic" than a transformation to a flat screen.

        Also you run in to problem with regards to colour and contrast. Those flicking shutters? They aren't just filtered out to nothingness by the brain. They are perceived and what it does is has the effect of messing with the perceived contrast as well as colours.

        It is kinda cool and all, but when you get down to it there are plenty of downsides and you still have to deal with the fact that most people aren't going to see it in 3D. This even includes people with better gear. I just bought a TV this year, nice 46" LCD to go with my large 5.1 setup. No 3D support though, way too expensive. So I've got a real "home theater" setup, and I don't have 3D support, and I'm not replacing that TV any time soon. Then of course there's plenty of people who just have a TV (sometimes even a CRT still) and aren't interested in "home theater" at all. You have to deal with this market, like it or not.

  • by Megahard (1053072) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @07:29PM (#33132120)
    3D or not, I bet Mars Needs MILFs would do a lot better.
  • 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
    • Re:That's fine (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Abcd1234 (188840) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @11:09PM (#33133772) Homepage


      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.

      That's because your kids are idiots.

      No, really, I don't mean that to be a flame, but kids are, well, stupid. Sit them in front of a great film like 2001 or The Shining and they'll get bored out of their minds because, guess what, *they're kids*.

      Gauging the relative merits of a technology based on whether or not your 7-year-old likes it is probably one of the worst metrics I can think of...

  • 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?

    • by geekoid (135745)

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

      It certainly would have been less of a gas~

  • by cowtamer (311087) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @07:39PM (#33132216) Journal

    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.

  • by ardent99 (1087547) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @07:39PM (#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.

  • by mosb1000 (710161) <mosb1000@mac.com> on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @07:39PM (#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.

  • Do they have like a tip jar or something? Cuz raging against 3D sounds like great news to me.
  • by wagadog (545179) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @07:46PM (#33132282) Journal

    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, 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 d

  • I had heard.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mark-t (151149) <markt@@@lynx...bc...ca> on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @07:55PM (#33132354) Journal
    ... 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.
  • 3D isn't worth it (Score:4, Interesting)

    by GreatDrok (684119) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @08:03PM (#33132434) Journal

    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.

  • by mark-t (151149) <markt@@@lynx...bc...ca> on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @08:15PM (#33132530) Journal
    ... is the distance that the film is usually viewed at... it's often from 80 feet away or more. To focus cleanly on objects at that distance, the left and right eye views are going to be virtually identical. If you move the images for the left and right eyes for near objects further away from eachother, you may create a greater sense of depth in the resulting image, but as the eyes are almost parallel already (unless you are sitting in almost the front row), this forces your eyes to go outwards from the natural position for focussing on objects at that distance, creating a sort of anti-cross-eyed effect. This is the key problem with 3d, and to the best of my knowledge there is no current-technology solution that can get around it in the public theatre setting.
  • it's too dim (Score:4, Insightful)

    by circletimessquare (444983) <circletimessquare&gmail,com> on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @08:26PM (#33132614) Homepage Journal

    everything HAS to be super bright, during filming, and during showing. it's lame because some movies work great with effective use of the dark negative space, which you can't do with 3D, because everything has to filmed/ shown all washed out

    of course 3D is better, what's awful is current 3D technology. i'd rather watch 2D done well then 3D done badly, and all current 3D tech sucks

    fix the current technology, and then 3D will be fully embraced

  • by Yvan256 (722131) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @08:44PM (#33132732) Homepage Journal

    Turanga Leela.

  • by Hartree (191324) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @09:10PM (#33132934)

    Every so often, Hollywood et al come up with some new technology that "improves" the experience.

    Sometimes, these are quite good. THX, for example. More often, they're just "ok".

    The good:

    I can see 3D being used to very good effect when the story has the right kind of overwhelming scenery that (and this is the key) is integral to or at least relates closely to the plot.

    Avatar did that part of it pretty well. We had a colorful world with surprising depth relationships (floating mountains, lots of flight scenes, etc) that played well in 3D. The acrobatic abilities of the Na'vi were a core part of their lifestyle, rather than just something tacked on, and that worked well in 3D

    Personally, I think the script could have been done better, but then again, no one is going to give me a fair fraction of a billion dollars to make a movie. They will give it to James Cameron.

    The bad:
    It's the current gimmick. Like Sensurround with its vibrations was in the 70s.

    Movies are being made in 3D whether it makes a major addition to an existing set of scenery/plot or not. And, in many of the current crop of 3D films, they insert scenes just for the 3D effect.

    Regardless of the technical prowess, you can't substitute for the old maxim "Good Story, told well."

  • Plot vs. Effects (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DaveAtFraud (460127) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @10:17PM (#33133484) Homepage Journal

    Reading through quite a few response, it's pretty clear that there are those of us who prefer a good plot, well acted and directed and those who prefer special effects. I've watched some really good movies in black and white and also some foreign films with only English subtitles (almost like watching a silent film but you can still hear the emotion in the actors' voices and whether they are whispering, etc.). I didn't need anything more than the movie as I saw it to really enjoy it. I've also seen some just god awful crap that was supposed to be wonderful because of special effects, 3D or whatever.

    A movie with a good story line and good acting doesn't need special effects to be good. For some movies, special effects, 3D surround sound, color and whatever else aren't enough to turn it into anything worth wasting your time watching. As an example, "Avatar" had a two bit, recycled plot (big bad corporations is willing to kill off indigenous people for profit) that wouldn't have gotten beyond the late night re-runs if it hadn't been in 3D with lots of CGI effects. I'll take a movie like "Black Book" that had a great plot and acting but no 3D any time over "Avatar".

    Cheers,
    Dave

  • by Animats (122034) on Wednesday August 04, 2010 @01:38AM (#33134514) Homepage

    Cameron made a good 3D film, in which he used depth effects with restraint. This was then followed by a slew of films in crap post-processed from 2D to stereoscopic 3D. Not a good thing.

    Cameron has been quoted as saying that what he really wants is a higher frame rate, at least 48FPS. It's obvious why. Cameron orders up good high=-detail backgrounds, and panning shots across high-detail backgrounds produce seriously annoying edge effects at 24FPS. So you don't do medium speed pans over a high-detail background today. He'd like to get past that.

    Remember, depth in 3D movies is horribly fake, because it's scaled. In the real world, there are no visible stereoscopic effects beyond 3 meters or so. This really bothers some small kids. Kids also have to face the headache-inducing effect of films scaled for adult inter-ocular distance. Seen with kid-sized eye spacing, it forces the eyes into a cross-eyed situation, which usually induces a headache.

    Also, watching 3D TV while lying sideways on the couch is not going to be fun.

    • http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117983864.html?categoryid=1009&cs=1 [variety.com]

      I'm hearing that there are already calls to increase the frame rate to at least 30 fps for digital 3-D because certain camera moves, especially pans, look jumpy in 3-D. I saw that in the Imax 3-D "Beowulf." You've been an advocate for both 3-D and higher frame rates. Have you seen the problem and do you have any thoughts on it?

      For three-fourths of a century of 2-D cinema, we have grown accustomed to the strobing effect produced by the 24 frame per second display rate. When we see the same thing in 3-D, it stands out more, not because it is intrinsically worse, but because all other things have gotten better. Suddenly the image looks so real it's like you're standing there in the room with the characters, but when the camera pans, there is this strange motion artifact. It's like you never saw it before, when in fact it's been hiding in plain sight the whole time. Some people call it judder, others strobing. I call it annoying. It's also easily fixed, because the stereo renaissance is enabled by digital cinema, and digital cinema supplies the answer to the strobing problem.

      The DLP chip in our current generation of digital projectors can currently run up to 144 frames per second, and they are still being improved. The maximum data rate currently supports stereo at 24 frames per second or 2-D at 48 frames per second. So right now, today, we could be shooting 2-D movies at 48 frames and running them at that speed. This alone would make 2-D movies look astonishingly clear and sharp, at very little extra cost, with equipment that's already installed or being installed.

      Increasing the data-handling capacity of the projectors and servers is not a big deal, if there is demand. I've run tests on 48 frame per second stereo and it is stunning. The cameras can do it, the projectors can (with a small modification) do it. So why aren't we doing it, as an industry?

      Because people have been asking the wrong question for years. They have been so focused on resolution, and counting pixels and lines, that they have forgotten about frame rate. Perceived resolution = pixels x replacement rate. A 2K image at 48 frames per second looks as sharp as a 4K image at 24 frames per second ... with one fundamental difference: the 4K/24 image will judder miserably during a panning shot, and the 2K/48 won't. Higher pixel counts only preserve motion artifacts like strobing with greater fidelity. They don't solve them at all.

      If every single digital theater was perceived by the audience as being equivalent to Imax or Showscan in image quality, which is readily achievable with off-the-shelf technology now, running at higher frame rates, then isn't that the same kind of marketing hook as 3-D itself? Something you can't get at home. An aspect of the film that you can't pirate.

      Other than that, for digital 3-D, would you rather see energy going into moving from 2K to 4K, or into moving from 24 fps to 48 or 72 fps, and why?

      4K is a concept born in fear. When the studios were looking at converting to digital cinemas, they were afraid of change, and searched for reasons not to do it. One reason they hit upon was that if people were buying HD monitors for the home, with 1080x1920 resolution, and that was virtually the same as the 2K standard being proposed, then why would people go to the cinema? Which ignores the fact that the social situation is entirely different, and that the cinema screen is 100 times larger in area. So they somehow hit on 4K, which people should remember is not twice the amount of picture data, it is four times the data. Meaning servers need to be four times the capacity, as does the delivery pipe to the theater, etc.

      But 4K doesn't solve the curse of 24 frames per second. In fact it tends to stand in the way of the solutions to that more fundamental problem. The NBA execs made a bold decision to do the All Star Game 3-D simulcast at 60 frames per second, because they didn't like the judder. The effect of the high-frame-rate 3-D was visually astonishing, a huge crowdpleaser.

      I would vastly prefer to see 2K/48 frames per second as a new display standard, than 4K/24 frames per second. This would mean shooting movies at 48 fps, which the digital cameras can easily accommodate. Film cameras can run that fast, but stock costs would go up. However, that could be offset by shooting 3-perf, or even 2-perf, because you'd get the resolution back through the higher display rate. The 48 fps negative or digital master can be skip-printed to generate a 24 fps 35mm DI negative for making release prints, so 48 is the magic number because it remains compatible with the film-based platform which will still be with us for some time, especially internationally. 30 and 60 fps are out for that reason. Anyway the benefit of 30 is not great enough to be worth the effort, especially when 48 is so easy to achieve. SMPTE tests done about 15 years ago showed that above 48 frames the returns diminish dramatically, and 60 fps is overkill. So 48 is the magic number.

      Of course, the ideal format is 3-D/2K/48 fps projection. I'd love to have done "Avatar" at 48 frames. But I have to fight these battles one at a time. I'm just happy people are waking up to 3-D.

      Maybe on "Avatar 2."

Air is water with holes in it.

Working...