3 D

Variety has a great far ranging interview with director James Cameron on 3D movies, digital production, resolution vs. frame-rate and much more.

I believe that Godard got it exactly backwards. Cinema is not truth 24 times a second, it is lies 24 times a second. Actors are pretending to be people they’re not, in situations and settings which are completely illusory. Day for night, dry for wet, Vancouver for New York, potato shavings for snow. The building is a thin-walled set, the sunlight is a xenon, and the traffic noise is supplied by the sound designers. It’s all illusion, but the prize goes to those who make the fantasy the most real, the most visceral, the most involving. This sensation of truthfulness is vastly enhanced by the stereoscopic illusion.

I suspect I’m not alone when I say I’ve had plenty of horrible experiences with 3D movies. Colored glasses, flickery picture, ghosting, headaches, gratuitous use of pointy objects… Bah. It’s just a lot of annoyance with no real payoff. In the last couple years, though, I’ve seen two movies in 3D that changed my mind. When Henry and I saw Chicken Little and Meet The Robinsons, we saw them in 3D. Now, neither of these are destined to be classics (though for the record, Meet the Robinsons is far far better than Chicken Little), but nonetheless, they opened my eyes to the possibility of 3D. There was nothing gimmicky about the 3D at all. With comfortable polarized glasses and digital projection, the experience was pretty much like seeing any other movie, but the world of the movie seemed just a little bit more real. Neither movie ever hit you over the head with it, it was just there adding to the overall experience. You know, like color… or sound.

Both Chicken Little and Meet The Robinsons are animated–computer animated. CG animation tends to have a more three-dimensional quality to begin with, so 3D seemed a great match to me. Indeed, Disney announced last week that beginning with the release of Bolt later this year, all Disney and Pixar features will be released in 3D. I’m not completely convinced about 3D for live action movies yet. I still haven’t seen one that’s changed my mind, but I’ve heard good things about U23D. Maybe Cameron’s Avatar will be the one. It’s bound to come, right? What’s more 3D that the real world?

(via Daring Fireball)