I've seen movies where the 3-D could be called 'good', but none where it was even remotely necessary and plenty where it was detrimental.
I will not see 'Prometheus' in 3-D.
From what I've read about Scott's work on Prometheus is that it is going to be used in a way that he hopes enhances the experience - and seeing as this is Ridley Scott working on a sci-fi movie I'm sensing more than an ounce of confidence that what he is saying about 3D being a wonderful tool when used correctly and thoughtfully with RED cameras etc is truthful.
But then people don't like 3D for a host of reasons, some reasons are like those who didn't like talkies or colour or HD or on-demand because they feel that technology somehow cheapens the artform and it can do when it's used to ill effect, but we all know if you give the right artist the right tools then wonderful things can happen. But in this case Scott has made a point of making this in 3D and has gone as far as saying "Eff off!" to a fan who refers to his practical effects as old school. Which is another point... about 80% of this movie is going to be sets... they BUILT the whole ship, Prometheus as if they were building the real thing, you could walk around in it and live in it if you wanted to. This isn't going to be a 3D CGI feast like Avatar was.
Call me a fool but I shall be seeing it in 3D to make up my own mind and see if I can't give movies filmed using this technique a second chance.
I know it sounds crazy, but I'll probably see it in 3D and 2D.
It's not crazy, I might be doing that, too. 3D first, then 2D.
I totally get the backlash, and most arguments are valid, but I'm still pretty excited by the technology. Speaking as a movie-goer, it's fucking expensive, and not always fulfilling, but I like that it puts people in the theater. I've had varied experiences, but seeing the last trailer for The Avengers in 3D got me all riled up again (and that wasn't even filmed with 3D cameras). In Ridley's enthusiastic hands I think there will be some notable 3D sequences in Prometheus.
Regardless of the amount of Ds present, this will be an incredible film!
Herzog's documentary Cave of Forgotten Dreams is a good example I can think of where 3D greatly enhanced the experience.
But 3-D is more like going from one eye to two, adding depth perception to the same image. It's clearly a change, clearly affects the experience of 'seeing' the movie, but not so much that of 'watching' it, as filmmakers have always been able to play with space and have always been able to convey their images in a way that implies the third dimension, our brains construct the extra dimension as we watch, even if it isn't present in the 'flat' frame. The vast deserts stretching off to the distant horizon in Lawrence of Arabia, or the huge green or snow-white mountains in Lord of the Rings were not harmed nor made less real somehow by their limited medium. This is why the format has been met with some ambivalence by so many directors and cinematographers: we've already been 3-D.
With the new '3-D' the effect is overt to the eye, but it brings with it new problems, including a current technical one that muddles any fast action, and a practical one that a very large minority of the audience is incapable of perceiving the stereoscopic image. And there are other issues.
But the point is, no: the advent of 3-D is not comparable to sound or color.
Except it doesn't put people in theaters. 3-D attendance has never really been what it's cracked up to be, and it—and enthusiasm and acceptance for the technology from movie-goers—has been declining steadily. When programmed against an equivalent schedule for the same feature without the enhancement, attendance for the 3-D version is almost always (exception being only, as far as I can remember, Avatar) lower, and often significantly so. People coming to the theater attest to feeling cheated when prime show times are given to 3-D versions of a film. The big story in 3-D has always been in revenues (especially on the production side: printing thousands of 35mm prints for exhibition costs tens of millions of dollars), enabling NATO and the MPAA to talk up growth in industry with new box-office records while attendance continues its yearly decline.Speaking as a movie-goer...I like that it puts people in the theater.
Last edited by Corvus T. Cosmonaut; 04-22-2012 at 02:20 AM.
The "latter developments" in your example became huge over time from people experimenting with the new format. Your comparison doesn't make any argument against the format at all and it certainly doesn't serve up any points of contradiction as to why this is an invalid format.
I think if I was to make a comparison I would compare the use of 3D on Avatar to the use of surround sound on the original Star Wars. You can certainly apply everything you said regarding why 3D is not necessary to surround sound as well.
And lets not forget the most amazing reason for 3D - DARIO ARGENTO'S DRACULA 3D aka DARIO ARGENTO'S ASIA ARGENTO'S TITS PART V;
Last edited by Lutz; 04-24-2012 at 07:53 AM.
I don't disagree with anything you've said, Corvus. Honestly, my post was an expression of a pet-peeve that went off the rails: is there really such thing as necessary 3D?
OK: sound and color are incomparable advances in motion picture. That's undeniable. 3D pales next to those major steps (if it can even be put in the same category): it's overly dim, it causes headaches, it's extra-expensive, it's unpopular with audiences, et cetera. It's more light and gimmicky than game-changing. Still, I don't care whether we're talking about movies, TV, comics, or theater - calling something "(un)necessary" when it comes to being entertained is just lazy communication.
I'm not pushing the tech. so much as I'm pushing it's use from people of Scott's talent, or James Cameron's passion.
When you've got a legendary director taking his first stab at a developing tech. and applying it to his first sci-fi film in decades, that's pretty fucking cool. If Ridley's first 3D film was a Kingdom of Heaven sequel, I wouldn't care as much (though I do love me some Kingdom of Heaven). It's simply fun and exciting that Ridley's long-awaited return to science-fiction is also his inaugural 3D voyage. The final effect could be incredibly underwhelming (among other things), but at least the film itself is looking damn promising.
You could tell the directors of all the recent Marvel movies were kind of bullied into converting their films, but Scott is genuinely intrigued by 3D, and that's more than enough to get me to fork over the extra bones. I guess the important thing is that we're still lucky enough to choose what format we want to pay for. Hooray choice!
Also, the LA Times' Hero Complex started a YouTube show, and their first episode is an interview with Ridley. I love hearing him talk about movies from a fine art perspective, and in relation to storyboards. Makes me all happy inside.
A few years ago Jeffrey Katzenberg stood before us at a NATO meeting in Hollywood and talked for a long time about how important and new and revolutionary 3-D was. This was the future, he said, and he rolled out the ol' comparison to sound and color. He said it would make films more powerful, engaging, emotional experiences, even in retrofit: he said specifically that, among a few other titles I don't remember, The Godfather and A Man For All Seasons would benefit and become better films by being (again, retrofitted) in 3-D. I was like, this guy has no idea, which seems silly because, you know, he's Jeffrey Katzenberg. But he really doesn't. Later on when new and old movies were receiving the ret-con 3-D and bombing in the box office, he talked about how they weren't doing it right, were lazy with the process, etc. Finally he came out and said he feels 3-D treatment in post would kill the new tech and advised against it. In interviews he never talked about the quality of the movies using the tech, just the tech itself and whether he felt it was properly utilized (mostly according to this metric, as far as I can tell: if it made good money, it was good work).
Something that's really hard to do because we can't un-see the seen and un-know the known and then after contrast independent, personal, fresh experiences, is to watch a movie in both formats. The best we're able to do is watch one and then the other and try to give each a fair shake. And I feel I've done this with a few titles, sometimes with the 3-D version first and others the normal, and I've come to the conclusion: 3-D means fuck-all for how much I actually like a thing. Again aside from the technical annoyances, I found Avatar no less visually splendorous in two dimensions after having seen it in three. Toy Story 3 was not more funny or poignant or wonderful or visually stimulating because its second review had an extra 'D'. The vertigo-inducing sequences in Up were vertigo-inducing in either format. And so on.
When a movie is done well enough to actually draw you in, the format becomes invisible. Great story doesn't need it, great acting doesn't care. And as a visual matter 3-D is unnecessary because our minds normally infer three-dimensionality. We don't need it to build out our sense of space, because we already recognize space in the film. It's useful in those moments where something's flying at the screen, but I don't know anyone sees these moments as better than cheap gimmicks...that tend to pull one out of the experience for an Oh right, I'm watching a movie moment, literally interrupting engagement with the material. So why do we need it?
NOW the technical problems come in. If I can watch great film with or without, why am I paying more and wearing these obnoxious glasses? If the action is mind-boggling in either case, why am I watching this dimmer version that has obvious judder during movement? If most of the features being released look awful and are poor movies besides, why do I want to keep dropping my money on them, sending the signal to studios that this is something I want more of? Higher frame rates and other tweaks may eliminate some of the image problems, but that still leaves us paying more to wear glasses for something utterly divorced from the actual quality of the feature. And even if Prometheus turns out to be the best argument yet for 3-D (I guess it's possible), supporting it here still only plays into the studio/exhibitor impulse that audiences want 3-D, beyond consideration of movie quality (trust me: I'm nearly blind from face-palming at their e-mails).
So I say it's unnecessary. So I say plenty of the time it's actually detrimental. I find most of the enthusiasm even now comes from the angle of what how it might be used in the future, the possibility that the 3-D grass will be greener. There's a lot of "Well, Avatar was pretty neat, but I'm looking forward to some great film artist getting his or her hands dirty finding out what this thing can really do." And I'm saying: I don't think so.
Hey, if it works for you, great. But I'm still calling it unnecessary.
Well, I'd take Cameron's enthusiasm with a bale of salt. Avatar didn't exactly have much meat on its bones, and Cameron's got a big vested financial interest in the success of 3-D: the Cameron Pace Group (a company he co-founded with Vincent Pace) makes its money selling 3-D equipment and software, and he's more or less going for broke on it with his future projects (Avatar 2, 3, and possibly 4)....or James Cameron's passion.
EDIT: David Bordwell made a great blog post a few days ago covering a few of the same points, including the bit about the Cameron Pace Group. Bordwell's a reliably excellent writer on film (Ebert, for one, worships the guy; the blog, co-authored with Kristin Thompson, is called 'Observations on Film Art'). I came to discover his work through this excellent piece examining a shot from There Will Be Blood. Anyway, I thought I'd share:
Originally Posted by http://www.davidbordwell.net/blog/2012/04/22/its-good-to-be-the-king-of-the-world
Last edited by Corvus T. Cosmonaut; 04-26-2012 at 05:20 AM.
aw fuck, whenever some new footage hits the web I'm dry humping my desk. This looks too good to be real.
Unused Giger Dune concept art now finally realised in Prometheus? Hell yes!
EDIT: And a new trailer this Saturday: http://www.brandrepublic.com/news/1128874/
Last edited by dlb; 04-26-2012 at 02:14 PM.
Hm. I read that as the existing trailer + some screened tweet responses, not new footage.
You're right, but it also says "world premiere" and I've seen the trailer fairly often on television by now. We'll see.
Good stuff. Thanks for the link.Well, I'd take Cameron's enthusiasm with a bale of salt. Avatar didn't exactly have much meat on its bones, and Cameron's got a big vested financial interest in the success of 3-D: the Cameron Pace Group...
David Bordwell made a great blog post a few days ago covering a few of the same points, including the bit about the Cameron Pace Group. Bordwell's a reliably excellent writer on film (Ebert, for one, worships the guy; the blog, co-authored with Kristin Thompson, is called 'Observations on Film Art'). I came to discover his work through this excellent piece examining a shot from There Will Be Blood. Anyway, I thought I'd share.
Now enough of this 3D talk. I'm gonna work on my David 8 impression.
(I've got my ticket.)
Just saw the trailer for this in the adverts of Homeland in the UK along with a load of Twitter responses in the next ad break. Exciting trailer, might actually be the first film I go to see at the cinema since The Social Network. (I have 2 kids and don't ger out much these days)
I can't wait to see this fucking movie
International launch trailer.
I can't even wrap my head around how awesome this looks.
I don't care that this is basically the entire movie in 3 minutes, I have to change my pants now.
Space cobra! Space jockey! Space axe!
That was amazing.
I posted the trailer to Facebook, and my friend's response really said it best: "Ok, this looks good. Like, shit your pants to death type good."
Huge boner right now for this!
And I don't think that it gives away too much. While it gives away alot, but still there's so much left to discover. What is Charlize Theron's character all about? What happens to Rapace to be all sweaty and praying? Is the face melting dude really dead? What are the holographic Space Jockeys running away from? Is that space ship the same we see in the original Alien? Is there a whole fleet? What has mankind got to do with the Jockeys? What's the big stone-face all about? Where is Weyland? And finally, will we get to see the Xenomorph in some kind way?
What intrigues me most is that every crew member individually seems to be suffering from something bad. Cobra/worm thing, acid to the face, some kind of C-section performed, mutation, worm in the eye etc.
I'm waaaaay to excited for this!