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What's with the name?

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she blinded me with science

Star Trek Into Darkness‘ 3D Post-Conversion is Going to be Good, Guys, Really, Says J.J. Abrams.

3D can be a controversial subject among film fans. On the plus side, it can turn out well if done properly, i.e. if the film is shot with 3D cameras and not converted in post-production (see: Hugo, Cave of Forgotten Dreams). However, that tends not to be the case, with a large number of films post-converted so the studio can tack a 3D surcharge onto ticket prices (see: Clash of the Titans, Green Lantern). Post-conversion has a bad rap, and for a good reason: It tends to not be good.

But post-conversion has a fan in J.J. Abrams, who spoke out recently about how Paramount forced him convert Star Trek Into Darkness to 3D… and he actually ended up liking it.

OK, Abrams. You have thirty seconds. Convince me.

Says the director:

“3D was something that, frankly, I was not a big fan of to begin with. Essentially in order for us to make this movie, the studio said ‘You gotta do this in 3D’. So we said, well, we can do a 2D version that we love that can also be converted to 3D. And the truth is that I’ve actually been having a lot of fun with it…This is kind of the myth, that it only looks good if you shoot the movie in 3D, which is completely not true…

In fact, we’re doing a bunch of things with the 3D in this movie that have not been done before, using techniques that have not been seen. All the exterior shots, including the shots in space, are all either shot or rendered in IMAX format.

It’s the first time a movie has been shot in IMAX to this scale and converted to 3D.”

Well. Abrams knows more about the technology of 3D than I do, so if he says shooting in IMAX makes a difference when it comes to post-converting, I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Then again, he wouldn’t exactly come out and say “This thing the studio forced me to do really sucks, I hate it, but they control the budget so YOLO!”

I think what it comes down to for me is this: Shoddy 3D conversions tend to make movies dark (Deathly Hallows Part 2, anyone?), and I can’t believe that Abrams would jeopardize his love affair with shininess by not making the 3D look good. I mean, lens flare is his baby, and you can’t have shady lens flare. That’s just crazy talk.

Can anyone who saw the 9-minute preview of Star Trek Into Darkness with The Hobbit confirm whether it was in 3D or not? Did it look good? Awful? Lens flare-y? (No spoilers, please!)

(via: Digital Spy)

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  • Kenya

    I work in stereo conversion and I think that implying movies converted in to 3d are bad is a misconception. Most 3d movies that are shot in stereo do have some 3d conversion in them to correct shots where a camera went down or when a shot couldn’t be done in 3d do to a bulky rig, old footage or a number of reasons. Transformers Dark of the moon had really great 3d and most of that movie was converted. A well converted movie comes down to a few factors mainly the directors working with and having a good stereographer and the production not being rushed. All of the badly converted movies you named were notoriously rushed jobs. Add on to the fact that a lot of directors won’t tell people their movie has conversion in it unless the conversion is bad. 3d conversion has been the movie industries scape goat for bad 3d when it really shouldn’t be; it’s a tool like any other.

  • EleniRPG

    I saw the 3D Star Trek preview yesterday, and I thought it looked great. I’m not a connoisseur, but I wouldn’t have guessed that it was post-converted. Things looked bright and vivid and shiny.


    I have just finished watching the hobbit. I have seen the 9m preview footage of Trek 2. All i have to say is that I only realised it was a 3d conversion upon reading it here. The film looks stunning and the 3d looks mature and fits perfectly into the universe of Star Trek. It just shows when good filmakers tackle any medium they will execute to its best in a way that compliment thier vision. JJ succeeds in that here! Amazing

  • Anonymous

    I found my experience to be the same. Plus, once those 9 minutes were over I said, “What? I NEED to watch the rest of that.”

  • Rebecca Pahle

    Whew! OK, that’s good to hear.

  • Joseph Finn

    Like any responsible movie-goer, I’ll be seeing the real movie and not some 3D-gimmick version.

  • Rebecca Pahle

    So you’re a bad movie-goer if you see a movie in 3D, then? Really?

  • Joseph Finn

    I believe so, yes. It’s supporting a money grab that adds nothing artistically and often gets in the way of the story and the image.

  • Anonymous

    Except that almost all of Transformers’ best 3D was of the bots fighting, and that was all CG rendered natively. There were a handful of live action shots that looked good- I particularly liked shots of the cars blazing through the city rubble- but almost everything else looked pretty so-so. The problem with JJ Abrams is that he wasn’t a fan of 3D until the last minute, and it’s hard enough to shoot a movie in 2D, it’s like shooting with the monitor off and reviewing it much later.

  • Anonymous

    I consider myself a “responsible movie-goer,” and I see several 3D movies each year. Maybe the difference is, I do my research and look for movies that are being near-unanimously praised for their 3D. Oftentimes, the people talking crap about 3D in those topics haven’t seen a 3D movie in years. The people praising 3D will just as soon bash it if the movie’s 3D sucked.

  • Lettice Peyton

    I saw the IMAX 3D Hobbit specifically so we could see the 9 minute preview and sadly both Star Trek and The Hobbit suffered by comparison to the 3D preview for Oz, which made things feel like I could reach up and touch them.

    In Star Trek’s favor, though, it looked good, not astoundingly so, like Oz, but good, and it looked much better than The Hobbit did.