The Kidd here...
Of course we'd like filmmakers to be able to release their films however they originally intended without the studio interfering all in the name of money... but let's face it. That's not the world we live in. Oh, sure... it happens every so often, like with Christopher Nolan having final cut on THE DARK KNIGHT RISES and being able to go through an entire trilogy in this day and age without even sniffing the extra dimension of 3-D, but that's really become the exception to the rule in the industry.
The bits of outrage surrounding the announcement that Guillermo del Toro's PACIFIC RIM would be post-converted to 3-D were understandable. Here was a movie that absolutely blew Hall H away at this year's Comic-Con with the package of footage they showed, and then Warner Bros. seemed to jump all over that enthusiasm with the idea of collecting a few extra bucks per head for the 3-D presentation.
Well, Guillermo del Toro is talking now about the decision to go forth with the post-conversion, and it looks like the studio needed to make certain concessions to the director in order to gain his approval. Talking to Shock Till You Drop at the Universal Studios Hollywood's Halloween Horror Nights Eyegore Awards, del Toro explained what prompted his change of heart to pull the 3-D switch on PACIFIC RIM.
"What happened was, in the weeks and months following Comic-Con, what I asked from the studio was to agree to four points that I wanted to do," he says. "The more the ILM shots arrived, the more I realized that there were only a few shots that would miniaturize. I asked the studio, number one, that we would not hyper-stereo-lize the thing. That we would not force 3D on the beauty shots. That we would keep the giant dimensions. They agreed. Number two, they agreed to something very unusual. Normally a conversion takes a few weeks. I asked to start it immediately so we could take the full 40 weeks to do the conversion. As an example, TITANIC took about 50 weeks to convert. The final thing that I asked that they agreed to, which was amazing, was that I asked them to give me an extra budget, which is considerable, to actually have ILM composite the shots that are CG native 3D. We're not giving elements. ILM is giving the composite in 3D from the get-go. That's a huge, huge element. Now I'm going to be involved in supervising it. What can I tell you? I changed my mind. I'm not running for office. I can do a Romney."
I'm not one to condemn 3-D in a sweeping generalization for all movies nor am I set to do that for post-conversion either. It can work. It can look good. It can add something to the film. However, that decision shouldn't be made in post-production. That decision should be made in pre-production, so that you can shoot for the conversion, shoot with 3-D already in mind. Tacking it on at the end without any consideration for doing so during the film - that's when it looks flat and sloppy and doesn't really add anything to the movie, except more money to your ticket price.
I hear what del Toro is saying, and I have no question that they're going to work hard to make it look as amazing as possible. However, my concern is that if the film isn't meant for 3-D, how much can adding it really enhance that experience?
"The Infamous Billy The Kidd"
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