And Another One Bites the 3D Conversion Dust: Pacific Rim
BAD IDEAS FROM SMART PEOPLE
I’d describe my feelings towards 3D in feature film as a big on the negative side of neutral. While I don’t think I will ever want to see a 3D movie where I’d actually like to invest myself in the characters and plot for the first time, I’m all in favor of 3D rereleases. There’s something magical about seeing a movie on a big screen in a dark theater full of other folks who love it, and I feel like 3D is a small price to pay, even it means I have to wear two sets of glasses. Case in point: I haven’t seen the original Star Wars on a big screen since I was eleven. And there are even some cases, like Tron: Legacy, where I feel that 3D enhanced (even if slightly) my experience of an otherwise (okay, perhaps “even still”) forgettable movie.
But my sympathy for 3D ends at it being applied to movies against the wishes of the director, and particularly with 3D post conversion, the laziest way of making 3D movies.
According to Variety, the latest casualty in the studio push to charge more for ticket prices is Guillermo del Toro‘s Pacific Rim (AKA the closest thing we’ve got so far to a live action Neon Genesis Evangelion movie). The director has never made a 3D film before, and also expressed firmly at San Diego Comic Con that he was resistant to the idea of converting his movie into 3D. He cited the “size and scale” of the movie’s kaiju antagonists, but if the above picture is any indication, color may also be a deciding factor. One of the limitations of 3D is that it mutes and darkens a movie’s colors, a process Peter Jackson‘s The Hobbit is fighting with some nearly day-glo colored sets.
Jackson’s films, however are being filmed in 3D, built from the ground up to compensate for the weaknesses of the process. Since principle photography on Pacific Rim has already begun as a 2D process, Warner Bros. is apparently just going to be converting Pacific Rim in post production, the same slap-dash process that every Hollywood blockbuster is getting these days. del Toro still lacks the sort of industry clout of folks like Christopher Nolan, who managed to get through three Batman movies, and Inception without Warner Bros. forcing 3D filming or conversion on him.
So allow me to update my opinion of the current 3D fad: studios can keep their 3D rereleases, if it means they’ll stop messing with good directors.