3D Fincher

Whatever you may think of James Cameron's Avatar, it has definitely changed the cinematic landscape, for better or for worse. Now, one can only wonder what Fincher will achieve with that new technology.

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?

Some follow up reading:
Michael Bay and James Cameron on 3D conversion
3D Movies Now More Expensive


  1. Cameron's a douche, he didn't invent 3D and Avatar is certainly not the first movie to make use of the new expensive-ticket 3D movies that have been coming out the last few years, if anything Avatar's late to the game.

    Even Coraline was filmed with 3D in mind, released a complete year before Avatar.

  2. James Cameron definately IS a douche. And it hurts him more than anything when he says Avatar is not about 3D but about well told stories... cause that's one story that sucked!! It essentially is a retale of Pocahontas, seriously. Just in 3D. And 3D, my friend... Robert Rodriguez has been making 3D movies for kids (Spy Kids) for years, with 3D in mind, not just converting 2D to 3D.

    So, what's groundbreaking about Avatar? NOTHING! Just the fact that a shitty story can be successful monetarely with the right marketing.

  3. For Anon 3:31,

    I appreciate the fact that Pocahontas has a similar story as Avatar, but the theme of Avatar, Jim Cameron's possible douchery notwithstanding, is not dissimilar to many stories where a more advanced society attacks a more primitive (and peaceful) society. Pocahontas was not the first such story, and there are only basic thematic similarities between Avatar and Pocahontas to begin with. The reason you have chosen to focus on it at all is because it is the film that earlier critics of Avatar used to undermine it when the argument about its profitability began to dry up as a result of its huge financial success.

    I love how ironic it is when someone accuses others of unoriginality by copying someone else's criticism.

    P.S. There's no such word as "monetarely."

  4. Bay shoots complicated stuff? You can't get much simpler than a slo mo Megan Fox rack shot Michael!

  5. http://www.filmcrusade.com/the-trouble-with-3d/

  6. Avatar did set the standards for 3D movies, though it is not shown in 3D. With good story telling and realistic visuals, Cameron did a great job of reinventing the industry and our imagination. That's what a movie genius is all about.