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February 28, 2010: "Has AVATAR Changed the 3-D Game?" 
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Post February 28, 2010: "Has AVATAR Changed the 3-D Game?"
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Sun Feb 28, 2010 10:18 pm
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Assistant Second Unit Director

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Post Re: February 28, 2010: "Has AVATAR Changed the 3-D Game?"
Very interesting. Two questions come to mind for Mr. Berardinelli:

1. Have you seen the 2-D version of Avatar yet? If so, does it represent a signficant downgrade from the 3-D one (even to the point that you would not have given it four stars)?

2. Are there 3-D effects that can be done if the movie is 3-D from the beginning that are not technologically possible if a movie is converted to 3-D? Clearly, the major concern you expressed with conversion is that the technicians doing it may not have the desire, skill, or just artistic understanding of what makes a good movie to accomplish the process successfully, but is it at least conceivable that a converted 3-D movie could incorporate 3-D elements as well as Avatar does? Or to put it another way, would it have been possible on a technological level (with exceptionally skilled and dedicated people doing the process) for the 3-D Avatar to look the way it does even if all the 3-D effects had been added via conversion?

Thanks.


Sun Feb 28, 2010 11:37 pm
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Post Re: February 28, 2010: "Has AVATAR Changed the 3-D Game?"
I still have yet to see Avatar in 3D.


Sun Feb 28, 2010 11:45 pm
Post Re: February 28, 2010: "Has AVATAR Changed the 3-D Game?"
I saw "Avatar" in 3D and I enjoyed the experience. However, I don't know if I want to see all future films in 3D. I guess the main reason being I don't want to have to put on glasses each time I watch a film. Same thing for watching movies at home. I know it's not a big deal to wear the glasses, but still, watching movies should involve your own eyes.

Like CGI, 3D has the potential to be a great tool, but can easily be abused and overused. 3D will never mask flaws in a film regarding story, character, etc. But hey, if you're just watching for visual spectacle, then you'll have fun.


Mon Mar 01, 2010 1:24 am
Post Re: February 28, 2010: "Has AVATAR Changed the 3-D Game?"
From what I've read on IMDb, Alice in Wonderland was always intended to be in Disney 3D. Tim Burton reportedly considered shooting with 3D cameras, but decided to shoot 2D and convert would be easier. I also read that James Cameron was critical of that decision.

Edit: http://www.straight.com/article-173272/richard-zanuck-and-james-cameron-spar-over-alice-wonderland


Last edited by ShrunkenHead on Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Mon Mar 01, 2010 1:55 am
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Post Re: February 28, 2010: "Has AVATAR Changed the 3-D Game?"
So, for those movies that will only be shown in 3D, what will happen with home video? Will there continue to be two versions of DVD's and Blu-Rays?


Mon Mar 01, 2010 7:04 am
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Post Re: February 28, 2010: "Has AVATAR Changed the 3-D Game?"
Despite of Avatar, I still believe that 3D is effectively a novelty, which might wear out its welcome after some years. Avatar remains the only 3D film I've seen so far and I think I am not alone in having the impression that 3D has the opposite effect of "immersion". I liked the spectacle, but it was a contant distraction from the movie itself, im my opinion.

If 3D should continue its success, this will only affect special effects driven blockbusters, because there isn't much (artistic) benefit for other types of movies. This makes me wonder whether the production costs of filming in 3D are siginficantly higher than filming in 2D. If they are, I suspect that blockbusters may take even less risks in the future than they do now, in order to find the widest possible audience. Avatar would also point in that direction.


Mon Mar 01, 2010 7:37 am
Post Re: February 28, 2010: "Has AVATAR Changed the 3-D Game?"
I think it's nice to finally have a movie that showcased what 3D really SHOULD be. So now all the movies that are scrambling to cash in on the 3d craze and converting will always be compared to it.

Now this could either be good, or really bad. Either it'll force companies to make better 3D movies, or the ones that are converted will flop and Hollywood will get scared of making more 3D movies...hence killing 3D.

On a side note, Avatar was enjoyable in 2D, which is how I first saw it...but when I finally saw it in 3D all I could think was "why would anyone want to watch this in 2D?!!"

Please don't turn this thread into a debate about Avatar in 3D vs 2D though...lol


Mon Mar 01, 2010 2:29 pm
Post Re: February 28, 2010: "Has AVATAR Changed the 3-D Game?"
What about people who get sick in 3D movies? Is it really fair to exclude them from enjoying a 2-D showing of the Avatar sequel? My girlfriend got all kinds of sick while watching Avatar in 3D. Is she now to be discriminated against in the future, when seemingly all big-budget flicks will be out in 3D and ONLY in 3D (as you are predicting)?

To hell with that, is all I have to say.


Mon Mar 01, 2010 2:40 pm
Gaffer

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Post Re: February 28, 2010: "Has AVATAR Changed the 3-D Game?"
I believe it has changed the game. Studios will certainly try to copy the success of Avatar. Which means people, projects and ideas will be centered around how to change or improve 3D when they other wise wouldn't have. Whoever can top Avatar in 3D is going to make big bucks, in theory... With so many people in Hollywood on the bandwagon, there is bound to be progress just with all the attention. Think of all the tech that has come around just in 20 years. If the people with the money think something will sell, they will dump research, time and sweat into whatever to make a buck.

3D may or may not be the future with blockbuster movies. Avatar certainly sped up the clock to see if 3D is the future.

Personally it doesn't bother me one bit that this is happening. 3D may not work out, but some other tech may be invented or some idea thought of that will change movies. I would be disappointed if in 50 years, watching a movie is the same or similar as today.


Mon Mar 01, 2010 2:49 pm
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Gaffer
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Post Re: February 28, 2010: "Has AVATAR Changed the 3-D Game?"
Back when Star Wars came out I first saw it at a huge theater in LA and was blown away. A few weeks later I saw it again in my small hometown screen and was completely disappointed. The drop in projection and sound quality was so acute it made for a less enjoyable experience.

I saw Avatar first in analog 2D then two weeks later in digital 3D. The differences I noticed were primarily due to the clarity of digital. While the 3D effects were interesting, I don't think they 'pulled' me into the movie any more than a digital 2D would have. On a whole I think I would enjoy a digital projection in 2D over digital 3D.

When Beowulf came out I did the same, first at 2D, then at 3D. The difference was that the 2D was digital and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The only thing I noticed about the 3D was the obvious tricks done for many 3D, the spear tip and the ship's mast tip pointing out to the audience. If anything, it distracted from the movie experience, taking me out of the story and back into the theater.

I think digital projection has done more for movies than 3D. Unfortunately, it looks like many of the screens showing digital will be done in 3D.


Mon Mar 01, 2010 3:09 pm
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Post Re: February 28, 2010: "Has AVATAR Changed the 3-D Game?"
My thoughts on the use of 3D in Avatar, c'n'p'ed from elsewhere:

Quote:
At the end of the day, cinema is a 2D medium and probably always will be. As "3D" as Avatar is with its effects, it's actually rather 2D in its shot compositions. You can look past the things in the foreground all you want, but there's not much going on everywhere else except the blurry, out-of-focus fuzz. This makes the 3D kind of pointless, other than looking cool when stuff pops out of the screen at you. You're still focusing on one plane of action.

And, conversely, Avatar got enough complaints about 3D-induced headaches as it is. The way the human eye works is that it knows when it's staring at a 2D surface, even when it's being "fooled" by cinematic trickery. Forcing it to change its focusing distance when the actual focusing distance isn't changing at all is understandably going to cause some eyestrain in more sensitive viewers. If somebody actually does try to exploit the potential of real 3D shot compositions, the shit's really going to hit the fan. Imagine deep focus compositions in 3D. It would be beautiful and painful.


Hmm. I cleaned up my language a little bit, since this is a little more of a PG-13 forum than the one I was originally posting on.


Mon Mar 01, 2010 4:07 pm
Post Re: February 28, 2010: "Has AVATAR Changed the 3-D Game?"
I really hope that 2D options are still available, because while I loved Avatar, I would not be willing to wear 3D glasses for any other movie as of now. I hate the glasses.


Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:24 pm
Post Re: February 28, 2010: "Has AVATAR Changed the 3-D Game?"
If 3D is used as a tool to add depth to a film, I don't see why any film can't use it effectively. It doesn't have to be a huge budget film like Avatar. When I saw Avatar in 3D, the things that blew me away was how much depth was added to the environment. It makes things more realistic. So if used properly, I'd love all films to use 3D.


Mon Mar 01, 2010 7:21 pm
Post Re: February 28, 2010: "Has AVATAR Changed the 3-D Game?"
I refuse to see anything in 3D unless it is filmed in 3D.

So this year that means I am only seeing Toy Story 3 and Tron:Legacy.


Mon Mar 01, 2010 9:37 pm
Post Re: February 28, 2010: "Has AVATAR Changed the 3-D Game?"
Judging from the two 3D previews I sat through before "Avatar" started, I'd say that quality 3D is still
going to be the exception. The script to "Avatar" was admittedly nothing to jump up and down about,
but Cameron's ability to tell a story visually remains extremely strong, and I doubt that too many other
production teams are going to be matching him anytime soon. I agree with James; at this point, 3D is
still a toy and a marketing device. I won't be rushing out to see too many (if any) of them.


Mon Mar 01, 2010 11:26 pm
Post Re: February 28, 2010: "Has AVATAR Changed the 3-D Game?"
From what I'm hearing things will change drastically...all in the studios pockets. No illegal copies(for a while) so more theater viewings etc... But...what happens to places like Blockbuster and Hollywood Videos? This sounds like a pretty big nail in the coffins there. Netflix may eek by but those little RED BOXES where you rent for a buck a night seem doomed also. Anybody really want to dole out big bucks for an ENTIRE new home video experience? Not just 1 single component but pretty much the whole thing. All your favorites reissued in 3D? It will be just like the Hi Def war. Think I'll sit this one out till it gets sorted out for me~


Tue Mar 02, 2010 7:37 pm
Assistant Second Unit Director

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Post Re: February 28, 2010: "Has AVATAR Changed the 3-D Game?"
My experience so far has overall not been a positive one. The distributor of a film I'm working on has been trying to push 3D down the directors and producers throat without it ever being a consideration before Avatar. The irony is, because the 3D and stereoscopic environment is so foreign to them, despite being a middle of the road distributor with two decades behind them, their offer to pony up the cost for the bare minimum of the stereoscopic is 1/4 of the lowest bid we could find from any vendor in the world and yet we have hundreds of visual effects shots already over budget they won't nudge to allow us to complete with the quality we need just to get past a quality control report....

While this is nothing new, the distributor would sacrifice quality for more $$, but in this case, they would gladly pay more for a gimmick and sacrifice the quality further by throwing a monkey in the wrench of our visual effects budget and delivery date...

ugh 3D...at this stage of the game, its a nightmare


Wed Mar 03, 2010 4:01 pm
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Post Re: February 28, 2010: "Has AVATAR Changed the 3-D Game?"
demerdar wrote:
What about people who get sick in 3D movies? Is it really fair to exclude them from enjoying a 2-D showing of the Avatar sequel? My girlfriend got all kinds of sick while watching Avatar in 3D. Is she now to be discriminated against in the future, when seemingly all big-budget flicks will be out in 3D and ONLY in 3D (as you are predicting)?

To hell with that, is all I have to say.


Plenty of people got sick during CLOVERFIELD, which was in 2-D. The number of people getting sick during 3-D films is negligible enough that Hollywood won't be overly concerned. Ditto for those who get headaches.


Wed Mar 03, 2010 8:35 pm
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Post Re: February 28, 2010: "Has AVATAR Changed the 3-D Game?"
nologo wrote:
My experience so far has overall not been a positive one. The distributor of a film I'm working on has been trying to push 3D down the directors and producers throat without it ever being a consideration before Avatar. The irony is, because the 3D and stereoscopic environment is so foreign to them, despite being a middle of the road distributor with two decades behind them, their offer to pony up the cost for the bare minimum of the stereoscopic is 1/4 of the lowest bid we could find from any vendor in the world and yet we have hundreds of visual effects shots already over budget they won't nudge to allow us to complete with the quality we need just to get past a quality control report....

While this is nothing new, the distributor would sacrifice quality for more $$, but in this case, they would gladly pay more for a gimmick and sacrifice the quality further by throwing a monkey in the wrench of our visual effects budget and delivery date...

ugh 3D...at this stage of the game, its a nightmare


I can't mention specifics because this was told to me off the record. A director with a film coming out in 2010 did not plan for a 3-D release. After the film was in the can, it was essentially taken away from him by the studio and is going to be converted to 3-D. This is over his objections. His complaint: the 3-D version did not represent his "vision." He threatened to go public with his objections and to have his name taken off the film and replaced by Alan Smithee. He was told in no uncertain terms that if he did anything like that and did not play "nice" and promote the film, he would be blacklisted. He publicly capitulated but is privately pissed.


Wed Mar 03, 2010 8:40 pm
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