I recently had the pleasure to sit down for a radio interview with up and coming broadcaster Emma Bailey(!) to weigh in on the latest craze to hit cinemas, 3-D. Check out the transcript.
3-D in Movies
Hello, I’m Emma Bailey. Today I’m joined by local movie aficionado Philip Joyce to talk about the explosion of 3D themed movies to hit our screens in recent months. With the huge success of Avatar, studios are ever more convinced of bringing us the latest films in 3D. But is this a good thing? Is 3D a fad or is it here to stay?
Emma: Great to have you here in the studio.
Phil: Thanks for having me.
Emma: Philip, I have a recent quote from Avatar director James Cameron on the state of 3D movies. He says “With digital 3D projection, we will be entering a new age of cinema. Audiences will be seeing something which was never technically possible before the age of digital cinema.”
Do you think this is an overstatement or do you think we are at the beginning of a revolution in cinema technology?
Phil: Well I think it’s evident from the current crop of films that we are seeing a definite shift in the studios commitment to the format – When it was introduced in the 1950’s and again briefly in the 1980’s it was seen mostly as a gimmick, but now Hollywood is confident in the technology and they are trying to create a more immersive movie-going experience, and audiences seem to be in agreement that it is here to stay, as is evident from the success of nearly every 3D movie released in the past 12 months.
Emma: What films have you seen in 3D and do you think the experience is worth the extra few Euro?
Phil: Certainly Avatar is the film that springs to everyone’s mind once 3D is mentioned. It’s really the film that brought 3D into the mainstream and it’s clear to see why. It’s easily the most accomplished 3D film I’ve seen so far. On seeing the film, personally I wouldn’t be the biggest fan of the format. Technically, it’s still at a point where I’m not blown away by what I’m seeing. Sure, there’s added depth but the question is how far will they take it. Another film I’ve seen is Up. I’ve seen both the 2D and 3D versions in cinemas and interestingly I found the 2D to be the far more enjoyable experience. The colours were far richer and the animation much more crisp. It showed that 3D is still in it’s infancy but it’s not to say I’m opposed to more 3D movies hitting our screens, as long as consumers are given a choice of 2D or 3D then I have no complaints.
Is it worth the extra few Euro? In my opinion, no. Try it out for the experience but the next blockbuster I see will definitely be in 2D.
Emma: Do you think studios are sacrificing traditional movie ingredients such as plot in favour of giving us more 3D effects?
Phil: Yes and no – definitely films like Final Destination and My Bloody Valentine are examples of movies which did just that. They were insistent on giving us as many ‘fun’ 3D heavy scenes but when seen in 2D or for example on DVD, which is where many people will see it – the scenes feel forced and unnatural. On the other hand, a film such as Avatar used 3D as a tool, not a gimmick.
Emma: Do you think there has been pressure from studios on filmmakers to jump on the 3D bandwagon because of all this recent success?
Phil: It does seem like there has been significant studio pressure. Everyday we seem to hear about another film in the works which is hastily being unconverted to 3D in the hopes that it will increase profits. There’s also speculation that older movies are being readied for a 3D re-release. James Cameron has already said Titanic is to be re-released in 3D. For me, this is where I would draw the line. Where do we stop? Do we need to see movies like The Godfather or The Shawshank Redemption re-released this way? Personally I think 3D movies have their place but there is no need for an over-saturated market.
Emma: And finally, where do you see this technology heading in the next 5 years or so?
Phil: It looks as every big film in the near future will feature 3D. It will become second nature to see the latest blockbuster in this way. There will also be a slew of classics re-released. Also, we will definitely see the technology improve to a standard that really takes cinema to the next level and really immerses us in the film. I can’t say 3D is just a niche market, as it does seem to be taking over somewhat but I still see a place for standard 2D movies for sometime to come.
Emma: We’ve heard today how 3D seems to be a bit of a mixed bag. It has definitely introduced a new audience to an exciting and different movie-going experience but at an added cost. Our advice is to make up your own mind, if you haven’t tried a 3D movie yet, go for it. so get out your 3d glasses because it looks as though 3d is here to stay.
Emma: Well Ive been Emma Bailey with Philip Joyce. Thank You and goodbye
So what does everyone think. Are studios milking a cash cow or is there real potential here? Leave your thoughts below