From Avatar, Pirates of the Caribbean, and environmental films, Directors, Producers and Filmmakers explained Why 3D Movies are going mainstream during a Hollywood panel at RealD in Beverly Hills, CA last night. We actually get more emotionally engaged in 3D movies, and it was interesting to hear why 3D is growing so fast. Dreamworks and Pixar will produce all future animation films in 3D, and the next Men in Black, Spider Man, Transformers and Pirates of the Caribbean will all be in 3D. Janace Tashjian, Associate Producer for Avatar, explained, “We experience the world in stereo, and there’s no reason why we can’t see our entertainment in stereo (aka 3D).” Because the studios can make 3x as much money on 3D movies and it’s just a better experience for viewers, we’re on the brink of a 3D take-over. Why 3D Movies Now?
1. 3D is our Natural View – “Why 3D – 3D is our natural way of seeing the world,” explained Keith Collea, Stereographer, Cinematographer and Producer, who worked on Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. As a Stereographer, Keith’s job is to make sure the film brings out the best 3D images from behind and in front of the screen to enhance your experience. He explained that if your friends used to stay calm in horror movies, they’ll start grabbing your hand more when they watch the same film in 3D.
2. 3D Enhances the Story – Keith Melton, 3D Tech Producer, Director and Writer, shared, “3D is your friend. It’s there to enhance your story and bring your audience into the movie.” When you see things floating in front of you in the theater, this increases your emotional connection to the story so you have much stronger feelings about the characters and outcome. Catherine Cunningham, Director, Producer, Founder and CEO of Eikosphere, shared, “Your audience remembers 67 percent more of the story if it’s in 3D.” Filmmakers can even make the heroes rounder so you have a more positive connection, and then make the bad guys flat.
3. 3D Makes a Difference – After watching film clips using our 3D glasses, Catherine Cunningham shared a great success story about her 3D movie, In Lak’ech ala K’in, which means “I am you, you are me, we are together part of the web of life.” This movie was filmed in Mexico, and has been used there to teach people about climate change. Catherine was fortunate to meet with the President and the First Lady to discuss the importance the film’s climate change messages, and was happy to share the movie contributed to the forest agenda being passed to preserve our forests.
4. 3D Quality is Ready – The quality and equipment are now ready for mainstream 3D. The first RealD project was providing 3D equipment to view Disney’s Chicken Little in November 2005, which was a huge success. As Kevin Faul, RealD VP, Business Development explained, “The quality is really pushing it forward.” With this increase in quality and production, we’re going to see much more than 3D for animation and horror films. With 60 3D films currently in production, the boom is just beginning. RealD provides movie theaters such as AMC and Mann with the 3D technology to show you these films, which is now in 11,300 theaters nationwide. James Cameron is also on the RealD board, and has committed after Avatar to make all future films in 3D.
Following this Directors panel, there were technical demonstrations during the reception. If you’re really interested in learning more about 3D images, equipment and convergence/divergence of camera lenses, check out Panavision or Sony’s 3D Tech Classes. There is also a RealD Professional Stereo3D Calculator App that lets filmmakers determine the best angle and distance for the cameras (which ensures a great movie experience versus headaches and nausea that you might feel if 3D is not done right.) As Janace Tashjian, explained, “Stereo perception is different for all of us. We all have a different perception of depth.” The Stereographer challenge is to the find the right middle ground that enhances our 3D movie experiences.
Many thanks to the Alliance of Women Directors for being our host, RealD for sponsoring, the panelists for sharing great insights, Clarity Theater, Panavision, Just Cause 3D, and Kristina Kiesler (AWD Events Chair) for making this event happen!
© Liz H Kelly, National Digital Entertainment Reporter, Sunrise Road Media, http://sunriseroadmedia.com