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James Cameron blames post conversion for 3D's problems

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Wayne_j, May 30, 2018.

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  1. Wayne_j

    Wayne_j Producer

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    http://www.slashfilm.com/james-cameron-3d-movies-avatar-sequels/

    "However, 3D’s popularity is starting to slip. IMAX theaters have begun dropping 3D screens, and reports show a dramatic decline in 3D box office sales. Most of us would breathe a sigh of relief at the downfall of the 3D trend, but not Cameron. He says that the unpopularity of 3D is because of Hollywood’s gross mishandling of 3D conversion. He added:

    “I think that Hollywood has done 3D a disservice by embracing post-conversion, which to me is the wrong track. We should do native photography because if we’re ever going to incorporate 3D into broad content production, which most of which is live or near realtime or short turnaround TV production, we have to use the native production tools. Native production technology has basically stalled as of about three or four years ago. We need to re-embrace native production. My hopeful prediction is we’ll get 4K out of our system from a broadcast perspective. When that becomes utterly commonplace and 100 percent saturated, everyone will look around for the next big thing.”"

    I completely disagree, post converting has came a huge way and can have better 3D than native. The most important thing is planning the shots to look good in 3D.
     
  2. cinemiracle

    cinemiracle Screenwriter

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    3-D's decline could also be caused by parents not wanting their children to see films in 3-D due to the possible damage to their eyes. Also the poor quality of digital cinema is even worse in 3-D, especially when projected onto Imax screens.
     
  3. TJPC

    TJPC Producer

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    On what do you base either of these outrageous statements? Who ever told you these two “facts” probably has a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn.
     
  4. Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Lead Actor

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    I can't view 3D so I really don't have an investment in it. But I think the surcharges probably have a lot to do with it. A lot of my friends won't go spend money to go to the theater unless it's a huge blockbuster (Marvel or Star Wars are usually the most reliable to get them to go) and when they do spend the money, they're doing it in 2D to save. For me, I typically go alone to matinees and never buy snacks or drinks, but I suppose if you're going in a group in the evening, as many of my friends do, multiple tickets plus popcorn plus drinks would certainly add up. So since they're already making a big investment, it would make sense to look to save money where they can, which includes opting for the 2D version if there is a choice.

    Unless it's something where you know the filmmaker is a visionary has designed it for 3D, I totally get the sentiment of "Why pay extra?"
     
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  5. Keith Cobby

    Keith Cobby Cinematographer

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    I enjoy watching 50s 3D projected at home but have no interest in seeing contemporary films in 3D in cinema.
     
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  6. Jeff Flugel

    Jeff Flugel Screenwriter
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    This. Very much this. Eagerly awaiting receipt of The Maze, plus others in the pipeline at the wonderful 3D Archive, such as 3D Rarities 2, Jivaro, etc. But when I go see a new blockbuster flick in theaters, it's 2D all the way.
     
  7. Vic Pardo

    Vic Pardo Screenwriter

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    The 21st century has seen my interest in 3-D drop from moderate to zero. The last 3-D movie I saw was PACIFIC RIM (2013) in 3-D IMAX and I didn't like the experience at all. I haven't seen anything in IMAX since then either. I considered it a sensory assault. I don't go to movies for "immersion" or to be assaulted. Which is why I see fewer movies in theaters these days.

    The last contemporary film I saw in a theater that I found aesthetically pleasing was the Japanese anime feature, IN THIS CORNER OF THE WORLD, a drama set during the war that played in New York last summer (2017).

    [​IMG]
     
  8. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    Lackluster 3-D presentations can't have helped but, like Jake, I think the surcharge isn't helping either.

    And the worst part of the surcharges is that they're a rip off at this point. It's been almost a decade since theaters got 3-D back with Avatar so the cost of the 3-D equipment (which I'm sure was VERY expensive) has been long paid off. Even allowing that there's still some costs associated with 3-D (the glasses can't be free), there's no way that it costs the theater $4 a ticket.
     
  9. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    In terms of surcharges, RealD is even worse than IMAX.

    At least with the IMAX surcharge, IMAX keeps the glasses, so you're paying for the rental and then the cleaning of those glasses - they have to be loaded into trays and then into a special machine to clean them. It's not the most labor intensive job in the history of the world, but it does require some time and care and a little bit of physical labor.

    But with RealD, the dirty little secret is, you're not renting those glasses - you're buying them. The theater asks you to recycle the glasses, but what you may not realize is, you're under no obligation to do so. The theater ends up profiting twice on RealD glasses. They buy the glasses from RealD for less than what their surcharge is, so they profit when they sell the pair to you. Then, since most people think they're obligated to return them, the theater is then able to sell the used glasses back to the RealD company for a second profit. RealD will then clean and repackage them.

    At this point, it should be that if you have your own pair of RealD glasses, you should be able to get into a RealD showing for no additional fee. That's not how it is or how it's likely to be, but it would make more sense.

    I think the fees are a tremendous problem. It's the only real cinematic extra that we're asked to pay more for, both in theaters and at home. We're not asked to pay more to see a movie in color vs. black and white. We're not asked to pay more to see a movie in surround sound vs. mono. We're not asked to pay more to see a movie in widescreen vs. fullscreen. But for 3D, we're asked to pay more for the movie ticket, and more for the disc version, than the 2D counterpart. The original point of 3D was to provide something that couldn't be gotten at home - it wasn't designed to be an excuse to charge more, it was designed to be an added value thing to encourage people to see movies in theaters instead of staying home. If we break apart each innovation in cinema into a monetary value and start charging more for each add-on, people will simply stay home, or go with the cheapest option. We'd still have black and white silent films only if the audience was expected to pay for sound in perpetuity.
     
  10. Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Lead Actor

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    Which, of course, is exactly what's happening.
     
  11. Gary Seven

    Gary Seven Grand Poo Pah

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    I agree with Cameron. Planning the shots, while important, is not the end all. One thing conversion will NEVER handle correctly is depth of field. Native 3D cameras handle this much better and is critical to convincing 3D with pop-outs. Nothing worse than seeing a 3D image with a blurred blob in the foreground. This is common to converted 3D and always takes me out of the illusion. 50/60's 3-D movies are usually superior in this regard.
     
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  12. John Dirk

    John Dirk Producer
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    Cameron could say the world is flat and I would probably go along with it. The man made Aliens and The Terminator, not to mention Avatar. As far as I'm concerned he simply can do no wrong. He deserves one of those "licenses to kill" just like James Bond. I might even help him move if he asked. :)
     
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  13. Todd H

    Todd H Go Dawgs!

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    Perhaps the problem with 3D is that most people just aren't fans of the format. I know my local theater stopped showing 3D movies because, according to the manager, they sold very few 3D tickets.
     
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  14. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    I mean, that's certainly possible and I don't want to discount that possibility.

    But I think what I noted before is also true - that as part of an overall experience, a large audience can and will enjoy 3D, particularly when it's used in a way that enhances the film rather than offering little benefit. But the cost of a movie ticket continues to rise and people are being asked to pay for 3D in a way that they're not asked to pay for anything else. So the question for many people may not be, "Do I like 3D?" but "Is 3D worth paying $5-10 more per ticket?" and the answer to that may not be yes. I think that if any individual aspect of a film's presentation was put under scrutiny and audiences were asked if that particular aspect was worth an extra $5-10 to them per ticket, most people would say no to most aspects most of the time.

    In other words, I would be willing to bet that we'd see a resurgence in demand for mono audio if ticket buyers were given the option to get $5-10 off their ticket in exchange for viewing a new feature with mono audio instead of surround sound.
     
  15. cinemiracle

    cinemiracle Screenwriter

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    It's not outrageous. Just because you have not heard it,doesn't mean to say that there is no truth to the matter. The story was published in a medical journal -not sure from which country but it could have been the United Kingdom.Young children's eyes are still developing and need to have their 3-D cinema restricted depending on their age.
     
  16. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    I'd be happy if they stopped doing 3D conversions, as their existence makes the argument "But it wasn't really MEANT to be seen in 3D!" somewhat valid. While they CAN look good, some of them don't, and some of them were simply added onto movies that weren't intended to be 3D in the first place. (Although that's STILL going to be the version I'm going to want to see- for better or worse. Same reason I always choose the theatrical cut of movies versus any extended or 'unrated' versions given the choice.)

    I've pretty much given up on theaters altogether now for a laundry list of reasons, but the increased 2D showings of 3D movies is one of those. It's clear by now a lot of people DON'T want to pay the extra bucks, so in the end they make less money altogether on 3D showings. Drop the upcharges but also drop the 2D versions, especially if it's a movie shot in native 3D. If you don't like 3D, go see something else. It's not like you can see a non-shaky-cam version of a movie if you don't like that.
     
  17. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    Exactly- I can imagine people saying "The 5.1 mix in "I Feel Pretty" didn't add ANYTHING to the movie- stereo is such a rip-off and needs to just go away! Make sure to go to a mono showing if you see it!"
     
  18. BobO'Link

    BobO'Link Producer

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    I'm one of those people. I do not like "surround" audio mixes at all and, for me, they tend to distract from more than help the experience. I'd gladly pay a few $$ more to *not* have surround sound - as long as a mono or stereo track were properly mixed (most surround tracks are horrible with dialog frequently buried in the mix - they seem to want you to hear the music/aural effects more than dialog). You're more than welcome to put speakers beside/behind me as long as the sound is mono or stereo. You can keep your "surround" mixes.

    3D, for me, is wasted. I have an eye disorder that makes it difficult to impossible for me to see (depends on the process used) and when I do see it induces a headache after an hour or so due to eye strain. I avoid it, although when done properly it can look pretty good. I also refuse to pay a surcharge just for 3D and wouldn't do so even if I had no physical issues with the process.
     
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  19. Message #19 of 44 Jun 1, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2018
    DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I want to love 3D. When the resurgence started circa 2009, I was blown away by Coraline and Avatar. They showed me the future of cinema: movies made for 3D shot intentionally in 3D.

    And then the conversions came out, and I was paying extra money for bad 3D. And I quit. I couldn’t keep up with what was real 3D and what was fake and I wasn’t risking my money on mediocre 2.5D experiences.

    Today, I’ve lost interest in 3D almost completely. I’ve belatedly come around to Roger Ebert’s opinion that the loss of brightness isn’t worth it. “Solo” last week confirmed it: it was a dark movie made too murky with 3D’s loss of brightness. There was too much ghosting / crosstalk with the cheap glasses I bought. And it was obviously a conversion; 3D wasn’t part of the visual language, just some depth added. In every way, 3D made “Solo” a lesser cinematic experience.

    I want to love 3D. But I think I’m pretty much given up on it for theater and home.
     
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  20. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Big picture: I agree with those blaming it on the ticket prices. I think the surcharge coupled with nearly a decade of inferior 2.5D conversions taught people not to waste their limited entertainment dollars on 3D.

    Anecdotally: most people seem to not enjoy 3D — regardless of cost. When I do a movie night on my 120” screen, people ask for 2D because 3D is dim, or it gives them eye strain, or they can’t perceive 3D on screen, or they just don’t care for it.
     
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