First, some bad news for moviegoers this weekend: ticket prices are expected to go up around 20% for a 3D show. Which basically means that in some theaters one could pay up to $20 per seat. For studios on the other hand, that means profit: Charging higher ticket prices and, as witnesses with Avatar, fueling Box Office success.
However, post production conversion has considerable downsides: "After Toy Story, there were 10 really bad CG movies because everybody thought the success of that film was CG and not great characters that were beautifully designed and heartwarming," AVATAR director James Cameron says. "Now, you’ve got people quickly converting movies from 2D to 3D, which is not what we did. They’re expecting the same result, when in fact they will probably work against the adoption of 3D because they’ll be putting out an inferior product."
Converting movies to 3D for marketing purposes only, as with CLASH OF THE TITANS, will probably not yield the desired results: The first and foremost driving force of a movies success, as Cameron argues, will never be its technical wizardry; it will be fascinating characters and a well told story.
TRANSFORMERS 3 3D rumors being busted this week, may have nothing to do with studios' lack of confidence in the process. Much rather it may be director Michael Bay's dissatisfaction with the quality: "I shoot complicated stuff, I put real elements into action scenes and honestly, I am not sold right now on the conversion process". Too often, Bay says, companies selling 3D retrofitting services arrive with a sharp demo reel, but leave with a deer-in-the-headlights look when he gives them his own footage to convert, on a tight deadline. "I am trying to be sold, and some companies are still working on the shots I gave them. Right now, it looks like fake 3D, with layers that are very apparent. You go to the screening room, you are hoping to be thrilled, and you’re thinking, huh, this kind of sucks. People can say whatever they want about my movies, but they are technically precise, and if this isn’t going to be excellent, I don’t want to do it. And it is my choice."
Since Fincher is commonly not one to bend to studio pressure, and neither to hesitate when experimenting with new technology, one can only wonder, if, when and what he will do with 3D: The Goon 3D in 3D? Rendezvous With Rama reboot? Heavy Metal 3D?
There are a ton of projects on his development slate that seem perfect for a 3D experience. Let's just hope they won't try to force it on The Social Network.
What do you think?