In a time where money is short for all, there’s a new fad going around making movie viewing even harder. 3D. Everyone wants to cash in now a days. And can you blame the industry? If they bill their film as 3D, that immediately jacks ticket prices up to $19.50 for an adult ticket. Congratulations Hollywood, you’ve managed to make ticket prices even more outrageous. You do the math: If a family of 4 wants to go to the movies, they have to pay 2 ($39) adult tickets and 2 ($33) child’s tickets which totals $72. For one movie. Then you add-on snacks and you’re over $80/$90. What happened to the movies being a cheap alternative to a night out? Instead, you leave the theater feeling that Hollywood just bent you over and had their way with you for an hour and a half. And they never called you back. But let’s even get away from prices. Sure, do it right and a 3D movie is a great concept. I want to be attacked by mythical creatures in Clash of the Titans, I want boats coming off the screen in Piranha 3D, and I want Buzz Lightyear flying directly at me when I watch Toy Story 3. I could forgive the $20 raping for such awesome feats. But that brings us to my next problem. NONE OF THAT HAPPENS! Producers would rather decide last-minute “Holy shit, look at the gross for Avatar! Were going 3D” and rush a movie FILMED FOR 2D into editing for 3D effects. Thanks a lot James Cameron. Might as well drop trow now and expect to feel a lot like Ving Rhames in Pulp Fiction.
Problem 1: “Real” 3D vs. “Movie” 3D
So how is Hollywood just shoving another gimmick down our gullible throats? By using what I call “Movie” 3D instead of “Real” 3D. First, what is “Real” 3D? Think back to Disney world or a similar theme park. Think of the shows they have. Take the Honey, I Shrunk The Audience ride for example. It’s a 3D movie where things come off the screen at you like a dog licking your face. Is that worth $20? Hells yea it is. If I’m paying that much I want to feel some sort of interaction with the film. Sure, they amp it up even farther in the ride by getting you wet when the dog licks and blowing air by your feet to make it seem like other critters are touching you; but I’m realistic and know that would be too much effort just for a theatrical movie. But still, we obviously have the technology to bring images forward and not just backwards, where we are stuck right now. So far I have to give My Bloody Valentine 3D the most credit for its “pick axe to the face” shot while the camera is in first person mode. That is the one instance I was happy a movie was in 3D. Which brings me to “Movie” 3D. It uses a process called stereoscopy which “creates the illusion of depth in an image to make it seem 3D.” Essentially, the process creates a FAKE 3D to fool you into thinking you are watching a 3D image. But instead of projecting images off the screen, all it does is create layers in the film like you’re looking into a shadow box. Images still can’t break the plane of the screen as if they are in an enclose glass box we’re looking into. Is that worth $20? I have not seen a movie yet I regretted watching in 3D versus 2D except Avatar, and even there I had to convince myself it was breathtakingly beautiful enough to justify the “3D”. That enough of an answer for ya?
Problem 2: Post Production Conversion
Why else does 3D suck? It’s nothing more than a marketing ploy to make you spend more money. I hated the fact that I had to watch Piranha in 3D because it was the only way it was released. Did I love the movie? Absolutely. Would I have loved it in 2D? Probably more. It took James Cameron years to perfect his 3D technology for Avatar and you can see the benefits. Cameron did it right. But all this did was make producers and executives push movies into 3D conversion after they are made. They’re rushed into labs, rushed through production, yet executives expect to achieve the same product in only a few weeks that took Cameron years. Or doing post-production is just cheaper and they know you’ll buy into the 3D gimmick anyway so sales will skyrocket (you decide which makes more sense). But think about it this way. If a film isn’t shot in 3D, what is converting it to 3D going to do? None of the shots are meant to handle 3D and you know for a fact nothing innovative is coming out of the process. Even worse is the final product. Did you see Clash of the Titans in 3D? Then you understand. Post-production 3D turned the characters into cardboard cutout looking things thanks to spotty layering and even created blurs on the screen because again…THE FILM WAS NOT MEANT TO BE IN 3D. If you’re going to do something, do it right. How much did Clash gross? How much did Avatar gross? If you put the time and effort into you film, it will come out looking amazing and you will reap the benefits. If you rush a process that takes careful consideration, you’re going to get the shit you’re asking for. The problem is, we need to stop falling for this post-production crap and send a message to the industry. Even Michael Bay, MICHAEL BAY has the sense to go against “Movie”3D, saying he sent Transformers footage to be rendered 3D and the images looked like “fake 3D.” This man passed on 3D because it threatened the integrity of TRANSFUCKINGFORMERS. If a man whose mind can’t get past explosions and exploiting woman can make such a brilliant deduction, surely we viewers can follow suit.
“You know, everybody is an overnight expert. They think, “what was the takeaway lessons from Avatar? Oh you should make more money with 3D.” They ignore the fact that we natively authored the film in 3D, and decide that what we accomplished in several years of production could be done in an eight week (post-production 3D) conversion with Clash of the Titans.” -James Cameron
Moral of the story, please Hollywood stop screwing us over by charging outrageous prices for unacceptable technology. Do one or the other. If you’re gonna insist on keeping 3D around, do it right. If it’s worth it, I’ll pay for it. I promise. If not, get 3D out of here and let us pay $10 a movie like we’ve begrudgingly been doing. Is greed really worth your reputation?