Roger Ebert: Why I Hate 3-D (And You Should Too) - Page 2 at DVinfo.net

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Old June 4th, 2010, 08:48 AM   #16
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Since it seems most are going 2D over 3D, I thought I'd jump in because I'm in the 3D camp. I understand there are some people who legitimately can not watch 3D because of motion sickness. There are also many people who can't read in a car without getting sick.

Thankfully I am not in that boat. I really, really enjoy 3D especially when it's done right and it was planned to be released that way not just an afterthought as in Alice in Wonderland and Clash of the Titans.

I had no desire to see Avatar, but after hearing many people talk about it, I decided to go. I watched it in IMAX 3D and found myself fully immersed. I haven't felt that connected to what was happening on screen ever.

I thought it was so cool that I picked up the Blu-Ray because I just had to have my wife see it. I was very disappointed. So much in fact, that I had to turn the movie off half way through. It was nothing like I remembered. I had zero connection with the screen. I just wasn't there.

Hopefully someday I can have that same experience at home, but right now, I just don't have 3k to make it happen.
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Old June 4th, 2010, 01:20 PM   #17
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This is reminiscent of the mono-stereo-quad audio formats that preceded my time, but no one will buy an audio system or music that is not stereo in some way. 3D is new. Most of the current films overdo the effect to make it obvious, and I think that is a detraction from the movie to the 3D technology. 3D in "Beowulf" was totally overdone. Ebert and many moviemakers may also resist higher frame rates (60-120 fps), but we can see 24 frames/second fluidized with motion interpolation on the latest crop of 240-600 Hz TVs at BestBuy.
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Old June 4th, 2010, 02:17 PM   #18
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I thought it was so cool that I picked up the Blu-Ray because I just had to have my wife see it. I was very disappointed. So much in fact, that I had to turn the movie off half way through. It was nothing like I remembered. I had zero connection with the screen. I just wasn't there.
That's my usual issue with Cameron's films. Amazing on the big screen (even Titanic) but when you watch on TV it looses it's impact. At that point you have to go on is the story, which is Cameron's weakest skill, it seems. I recently watched Titanic on TV and found my self laughing at the bad script and cheesy acting. Eventually just lost interest and turned it off.
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Old June 4th, 2010, 02:30 PM   #19
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The Terminator films were his best, they hold up on both large and small screen. In many ways "A Night to Remember" is a better telling of the Titanic story.

Speaking of which, I didn't realise until recently that Lighttoller, the 2nd mate on the Titanic, also skippered one of the small boats that went over to Dunkirk.
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Old June 4th, 2010, 04:24 PM   #20
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This is reminiscent of the mono-stereo-quad audio formats that preceded my time, but no one will buy an audio system or music that is not stereo in some way.
I'm not sure that I agree. As Ebert pointed out, as far as your mind is concerned, a 2-D movie is already in 3-D. Our minds process the perspective present on the screen into a 3-D image.

This, I think, is where the analogies to the addition of sound, color, and multi-channel audio fail. Our ears could never effectively create sound where there was none. Our eyes could never create color in a monotone image like our brain could interpret depth in a 2-D image. And when it comes to monophonic audio, it is arguable that our mind could never re-create the kind of stereo perception that it could in a 2-D image.

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Ebert and many moviemakers may also resist higher frame rates (60-120 fps), but we can see 24 frames/second fluidized with motion interpolation on the latest crop of 240-600 Hz TVs at BestBuy.
At the end of Ebert's article he reveals the process he fervently believes brings the most improvement to the movie experience: 48fps recording and projection. He describes it as "so good that the screen functions like a window into three dimensions".
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Old June 5th, 2010, 07:57 PM   #21
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Many of us who make a living with filmed entertainment are between a rock and a hard place. Few people on this board will ever make a Hollywood level feature. So in this discussion, we are all but knowledgeable audience members. So we are looking at the process as viewers. What about viewing it from a producer's standpoint? What about camera that we may be able to afford to rent or buy like the new Panasonic AG-3DA1? What about 3D television? 3D YouTube and Vimeo and whatever else will be the next big thing in exhibition?

Hollywood is gouging for 3D tickets because most people are Lemmings and will do almost anything Hollywood tells them to do. Witness the overall deterioration of quality in storytelling over the past 20 years. Hollywood doesn't, for the most part, make artistic films and quality cinema anymore. They don't make great films anymore because the audience is willing to accept the pablum that they put out as being "good". It's all conditioning.

American audiences have become conditioned to accept bad films as "good". That is probably a one-way door and will not change, at least not in our lifetimes. Damage done. Bigger, brighter, more explosions, more immersive and gimmicky = better. High quality writing, direction and acting = not really important to the majority of the movie-going public. If it was, the top 20 grossing films each year wouldn't be based upon comic books, childrens animation and torture porn, it would be more films that will stand the test of time like the classics still do. How many true classics has Hollywood produced since 1970? A few, but not nearly as many as from 1920-1969.

For the most part, Hollywood makes hyperactive amusement park rides for a willing brain-dead audience who will accept these remakes, re-hashed stupid sitcoms on film and films based upon video games, board games and toys. So for that type of movie "business", 3D is perfect. It is the next big thing. Studios want to jack up ticket prices and hold them there, 3D is the perfect excuse to do so.

But on to us. I am not sure at all if people will be willing to spend the time, money and effort to artistically exploit the 3D medium. If you read the cover story on 3D Production that I wrote for the April NAB issue of HD Video Magazine, I discovered that in order to create effective 3D storytelling, guess what you have to do? Plan, plan and then plan some more. Shoot in the same way that the classic directors did, using tasteful, simple and effective movement and most importantly, you have to know and understand the medium. 3D is VERY different than shooting in 2D. Manipulating the convergence point and the screen depth takes the artistry of a master like Cameron. I have a feeling that when most of us do our first shoot in 3D, then look at the results on a screen, a sickening realization is going to dawn in most of our heads. "Wow, this didn't work. Wow, everyone who has watched this gets a headache or wants to vomit!. Wow, I think I need to go back to film school 101 and take a minor in 3D." The saving grace of 3D is that, by necessity, we will never have to endure a Bourne Identity-like random throwing of a camera around ever again. Because in the 3D world, you can't do that, it just plain doesn't work.

The best training that you can have right now in anticipation of shooting 3D is to keep on shooting with your Canon 5D MKII in 24fps. You know all of those CMOS rolling shutter artifacts, Jellovision and strobing that you can get on a 5D MKII? How do you get around those artifacts? Yes, that's right, you have to move the 5D MKII cinematically. On a dolly, slider, jib, Steadicam and possibly very conservatively hand-held. But I am amazed at how slowly and deliberately you have to move a 5D MKII to avoid these artifacts. Realistically, you need to mostly move a 5D MKII the same way you move a Panavision Gold. Cinematically. 3D is more of the same, except not only must you move the camera smoothly and deliberately, you must learn how to utilize and manipulate that convergence point and your stereo lens offsets.

So to me, the more relevant concern to most of us is, "will clients pay extra for me to produce content in 3D?". If they won't, this whole discussion is moot point. I will never touch a 3D camera unless I have a client, network or studio who will pay the premium for me to rent the gear, conceptualize the visuals in 3D and to re-learn a large part of my craft. As far as what Hollywood does in regards to visuals, in a way, it is also moot point. Avatar is the largest grossing film in history. How much of that is due to the 3D process in debatable. But In Hollywood, they too are Lemmings so they think 3D = an audience willing to roll over, open their wallets and blindly like anything made in 3D or converted to 3D, whether well done or botched.

It will be interesting to see where this all is by the end of next year.

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Old June 5th, 2010, 09:59 PM   #22
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But In Hollywood, they too are Lemmings so they think 3D = an audience willing to roll over, open their wallets and blindly like anything made in 3D or converted to 3D, whether well done or botched.
And Hollywood is correct, at least for a little while. They'll rake it in until audiences realize that 3D doesn't add anything of value to the vast majority of films. Then Hollywood will move on to something else.

I saw Avatar in 3D and thought it was great, even with the slight headache, and the lower than optimal screen brightness. Then I saw Alice in Wonderland in 3D and thought, "maybe the slight headache isn't worth it. And boy I wish the screen were brighter."

I'm done with 3D already I think...
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Old June 6th, 2010, 11:40 AM   #23
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Jon Landau, one of the producers of Avatar, was all over the airwaves during the pre-release publicity push pontificating about how there's nothing more immersive than 3D. In fact, the truth is there's nothing LESS immersive. 3D just keeps pulling you out of the story, either because you're marveling at how "neat" it looks or, more likely, because it's giving you a headache.

Technology's only purpose is to serve the story.
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Old June 6th, 2010, 12:20 PM   #24
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One other consideration is that once I saw Avatar in the theater in 3-D, I had no desire to buy the DVD, which is in 2-D. Possibly it's because I thought the story was weak, but also because it now lacked the 3-D experience.
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Old June 6th, 2010, 12:24 PM   #25
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I totally agree Adam. 3D is like a hot looking girl at the party, telling you to have a good time. She is ostensibly there to tell you to have a good time but meanwhile, you, as a guy, will fixate on the hot looking girl, not having a good time at the party.

3D is a total "effect" and is therefore distracting. I don't see how 3D can be perceived as anything elemental like color and sound, at least not without 20-30 years of audience conditioning. Personally I have no problems concentrating on a two hour feature in B&W and silent, if the film making is exemplary. A great story is a great story whether B&W, color, sound, silent, 3D, 2D. But Avatar is not a great story, it's an adequate re-telling of Pocahantas with some really dazzling technological achievement.

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Old June 6th, 2010, 12:47 PM   #26
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3D is here to stay.

1) Higher ticket prices.
2) New DVD players to sell.
3) New TVs to sell.
4) 4-6 pairs of 3D glasses per household to sell.
5) "3D" versions of all our old favorite movies.

And of course, better versions of each 3-5 years from now!

2D is dead... It just can't be repackaged and resold any more. 3D is the way of the future, baby.
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Old June 6th, 2010, 01:01 PM   #27
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Those are the reasons the companies want 3D to stay, not the reasons it will. Let's see where audience demand is two years from now. 3D might well be ubiquitous, or it might fail again, as it has each time it's been reintroduced with all the same hype over the last 50 years or so. Time will tell.
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Old June 6th, 2010, 01:35 PM   #28
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It may become "standard", or it may be a "pet rock" - I thought it was interesting on the "4th pixel" thread how someone dug up an ancient (relatively) advertisment for a CRT set with a "4th color" and how it was supposed to make everything different...

In order to work, technology has to be accessible, not just marketed the snot out of. And I have to suspect that ANY tech that supposedly causes adverse physical effects on 15% + - of the population may have a tough row to hoe.

3D has been around before, remember the stereopticons of the early 1900's (IIRC), the "viewmaster" I fondly recall from my youth, 3D posters you'd stare at until they popped (from another era of our lives) etc, etc. The "effect" and novelty may be impressive, sort of fun, and so on, BUT is it REALLY something we "need"? If nothing else, the launching of an expensive and limited new technology into "the new economy" we have doesn't suggest a high chance for market survival, IMO.

So you have a few (one?) great movies that use 3D to fullest effect, and a bunch of "me toos" rushing to join the club in hopes of cashing in. How does this a market make? I don't see EVERY film benefitting from 3D in the same way sound and color transcended most every possible genre - sure it's a "cute" add-on (Bob's Big Break as a "freebie" with Monsters v. Aliens for instance), but frankly the issues discussed kill the experience for me - 3D doesn't "add" anything to the story, and detracts from the image quality IMO.

Exactly how many "chick flicks" would gain from being 3D? How many dramas? Romantic comedies? Etc. Now what about sitcoms and reality TV shows? The "Law & Order" franchise? American Idol? Remember for a minute that the now ever present "reality show" exists PRIMARILY because it's cheap to produce! You think they are "going 3D" and raising their production costs?

Think about it for a minute and ask why you'd blow top $$$ on a "3D" TV set and additional tech toys to make it work for a small fraction of your content viewing . Sure, if you're the uber-geek, and have a great job in the tech arena (ha ha ha), and your new company just went public gaining 500% on the first day of IPO (oh remember the days), so you're trying to keep up with the Joneses who just bought a bigger house (flash forward to the "Homeless Joneses")... I'm not "seeing" it.

Just my 100 cents, adjusted for inflation...
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Old June 6th, 2010, 01:52 PM   #29
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One of the problems with current 3D productions is that they tend to look like something seen in a Viewmaster, which isn't the same as we see the real world. Perhaps it's the same as when stereo first came out, when they had to have EXtreme sterEO imaging and the 3D guys will have to calm down a bit.
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Old June 6th, 2010, 09:35 PM   #30
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3D is fine, and I believe it is the ultimate future of television and movies. Not immediately, but in the foreseeable future. I don't believe 3D will be fully accepted until we're able to see 3D programming without glasses. When that happens, look out!
If you were at this year's NAB convention, you would have seen an amazing amount of 3D products on display. It's hard not to think of this technology as the wave of the future.

First came the talkies, then color, then amazing special effects, then CG effects, now polarized 3D films. It's a natural progression of technology. I watch 3D movies and I have no problem with them, and I hated the red-green glasses from the past. We see in 3D, why can't we watch our films the same way? And I'm sorry, a 2D film and a 3D film are not the same. Content will always be king, but there's no reason good content can't be in 3D.

We welcomed the advent of HD video, and watch how it is replacing film as a capture medium. I welcome 3D like I did HD. As a professional in the video production field, I prefer to learn as much as I can about 3D. Those in our field who choose to ignore this emerging technology do so at their own peril, I believe. With all due respect to Mr. Ebert, I prefer to be ready for 3D production.
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