Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Michael Bay Shows Restraint
There's a great article running over at Deadline Hollywood today about how studios are getting all hot and bothered over converting their big movies into 3D at the last minute. Personally, I've never seen a movie in 3D because A) I'm too cheap to pay extra for the gimmick, B) I've never seen a movie that gave me a burning desire to see it in 3D and C) in a post-Avatar world, 3D has stopped being about quality and is now just about studios desperately raking in as many spare dollars as they can. James Cameron himself says it best in the article when he notes how after Toy Story theaters were flooded with sub par 3D animated films as if someone got it in their head that the success of that movie was in seeing cute things brought to life by computer animation and not say because of quality, originality, characters, story, etc. Now it seems that every movie is being converted into 3D at the last minute in order to capitalize on the success of Avatar, as if Avatar wasn't a big success because of quality, originality, characters...you see what I mean? It especially struck me that Warner Bros. made the announcement that all of their big tentpole releases will go through the 3D conversion process, especially considering when theaters didn't even care if they boycotted Alice in Wonderland a few weeks before its release because, as Mad Hatter mentioned in my comments section once, there are so many 3D movies lined up that exhibitors are sweating just trying to find enough 3D enhanced screens to get them onto. And then Michael Bay weighs in on the pressure he is feeling on converting his Transformers 3 into 3D. Bay says that he tried to shoot the film using a real 3D camera so that the technique would feel authentic and have an air of professionalism about it, but it was too bulky to work with his complex, high speed style of action filmmaking. He proceeds to discuss, with a large degree of truth, that, despite what you may think of his movies, he always delivers a technically sophisticated product and he's not going to jeopardize that by giving it up to a technically unproven gimmick that he isn't sold on. Good for him. Like him or not, it's up to director's like Bay, who have clout within the studio, to ensure that the quality of their pictures don't suffer under the narrow-sightedness of a studio that thinks people will flock to anything just because it's 3D. And plus, if Transformers 3 is anything like Transformers 2, adding 3D into the mix will only result in leading to faster, more severe migraines. In an age where studio tentpole pictures are getting worse and worse (Marmaduke? Yogi Bear? Battleship?) Hollywood is now trying to cut corners once again by not taking the time and effort that Cameron did to make Avatar's 3D process such a success, instead resorting to after-the-fact rush jobs. When will studios ever learn that fads become so because they possess a large degree of specificity and when you saturate the marketplace they will simply die off once audiences are bored with them? Personally, I can't wait to see Warner Bros. shooting itself in the foot once 3D films start to bomb at the box office and to be honest, I see that happening sooner then later (Piranha 3D anyone?). Check out the full article here.