Day Fifty-Three – Finally, Something Jim and I Agree On

22 02 2010

I have a hard time reading anything about what James Cameron has to say. It usually rubs me the wrong way.

Recently, he said that he thinks Katherine Bigelow should win Best Director, which was noble enough, but then he ruined any sense of that by saying the following:

3D movies have their place if they're made with 3D in mind, but exploiting the novelty will bring its demise.

“Look, for myself, I have already got an Oscar. I’ve got a couple of them, you know… I don’t really need another one.”

He’d still like to win Best Picture though, you know, for the team. He’s already been King of the World. A couple times.

Though graciousness isn’t his strong suit, the man knows what he’s talking about when it comes to technology. Specifically talking about 3D, I would have expected him and I to be on opposing war fronts. I’ve made my feelings about the current take-over about 3D quite clear in the past, but Cameron managed to get to the root of the problem I’ve had with the entire concept without even meaning to.

When talking at the 3D Entertainment Summit, which given my “love” for the format, sounds like the meeting to schedule the End of Days, Cameron made his feelings clear about what’s wrong with 3D:

“If you want to make a movie in 3D, make the movie in 3D! And by the way, it should be a filmmaker driven process, not a studio driven process. I’ve been telling filmmakers for the last five years, [there’s] this whole new way to paint, a whole new set of colors, and they’ve all kind of hung back. Now it’s getting crammed down from above, and people are getting told to make movies in 3D, and it should’ve been the other way around, they should’ve been banging on the doors of the studio saying, ‘I want to make a movie in 3D, let me do it!’ And it didn’t happen.”

This point was directed more at films like Alice in Wonderland, that intended to be in 3D at the on-set, but was shot in 2D and transferred to 3D afterward. Still, I agree with the virtue of what Cameron is saying here. 3D films should almost be a genre in themselves. Right now, Hollywood smells the extra dollar and knows the key to getting it is throwing in an extra dimension. It’s going to make everything 3D, regardless of whether it should be or not.

Cameron hopes that studios will make 3D movies for the sake of making movies with a third-dimension, not just to make a buck.

The current process of turning everything 3D will eventually lead to another demise of 3D if it continues. Hollywood seems to forget about the concept of diminishing returns.

I think there’s a place for 3D and so does Jimmy Cameron. Though we may not agree on where that place is, I think it does deserve to be given the extra thought, rather than being passed around like a collection basket at Sunday mass. The reasons for the demise of 3D the first and second time around was that the technology wasn’t quite good enough. Now we have the technology, but it all has the potential of being over-saturated for the sake of a quick cash-in.

3D movies have their place. They bring a special spectacle that can only be appreciated in the movie theatre. We can all agree that if they are treated properly, they can co-exist with 2D movies in the multiplex. Cameron and I seem to agree as far as that goes, and I wouldn’t have expected that.

Though, where he and I still disagree is that good story-telling and character should always come first. I’m still looking at you, Avatar.

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28 02 2010
Day Fifty-Nine – Two Months Later… « Fresh Buckets of OJ

[…] Day Fifty-Three – Finally, Something Jim and I Agree On […]

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