3D Conversions: Are We Being Milked?

film reviews | movies | features | BRWC 3D Conversions: Are We Being Milked?


2010 has been the year that 3D has made a big come back on our cinema screens all thanks to James Camron and Avatar.  While that movie really showed off the potential for 3D and how it could enhance our movie going experience, we also got films like Clash Of The Titans and The Last Airbender which kinda made my head hurt a little.

You see while Avatar was filmed from the beginning in stereoscopic 3D from the start, Clash Of The Titans and The Last Airbender were not.  They were examples of last minute conversions rushed through by studio heads so they could squeeze those few extra pounds out of us at the counter.

Forget about if you thought the films were any good or not (Clash Of The Titans was a little hit and miss and the less said about The Last Airbender the better), as soon as you compare them to the immersive experience offered by Avatar you’re left wanting.

Resident Evil came out a little while ago and you can say what you want about whether the film is good or not but After life had some impressive 3D shots in it; it was clear, you could see what was going on, and there was some real depth there. Oh and a lot of bullets and such came right out at you!

Now me being a little bit of a geek when it comes to this knows that this was filmed using the same techniques as Avatar putting the film and its 3D in a class above the others.

However Piranha 3D was filmed with the intention of using the 3D conversion method right from the beginning due to the film’s cheaper budget . And that didn’t turn out to bad showing that it can if done properly and given enough time turn out good.

But the average cinema goer doesn’t know or care about the different processes used to achieve a 3D movie- but simply buy into the novetly of the 3rd dimension.

After Avatar there was Alice In Wonderland from Tim Burton and there was a lot of hype surrounding this. A director and material, deemed to be a match made in heaven – with 3D conversion thrown in on top! (all be it with some more time allowed than for its other conversion competitors). It went on to make 1 billion dollars world wide. 1 Billion.

With Avatar making just about 2 billion studio’s eyes were being opened to how much money could be made on this new technology.

In comparison when Titanic made it to 1 billion dollars they said it would never be beaten, it was crazy for a film to make that much money. (Well yeah it can. If the director doesn’t make a film for ten years then comes back with the hype of most expensive movie ever made, best computer effects you have ever seen in a movie and oh yes brand new 3D that you’ll pay a premium for.)
So are higher ticket prices and bigger box office to blame for shoddy 3D. Well yeah really.

Only now are the average cinema go-ers are starting to get wise to films being made and converted after to 3D with poorer results.
So where does it leave 3D now?

Well it’s just been announced that the final Harry Potter (part 1) won’t be converted into 3D as there was not enough time to bring it up to a high enough standard for the highest grossing movie series of all time.

Yet part 2 out in June will be.

A lot of plans for classics film to be re-released in 3D cinemas are moving forward. Im sure Star Wars 3D is not in a galaxy far, far away.

There has been a lot of talk weather the next Batman movie will be shot in 3D giving director Christopher Nolan has called it “just a gimmick” in the past. Same with the up coming Hobbit films.

The next big 3D release will be Tron this Christmas touted as being made the with next generation of 3D cameras after Avatar and the hopes are high as will be the price of the ticket.

Who will really see an “old” 2D version when a brand new shiny 3D one is playing in the next screen.

So time will tell.

If the 3D films keep making them big box-office returns then the big studios will keep turning them out as long as they can but if some of them big sequels and tentpole movies in the next few summers pass up on the 3Dness maybe that will signal the end of it all.But I wouldn’t count on it. What do you think?

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Alton loves film. He is founder and Editor In Chief of BRWC.  Some of the films he loves are Rear Window, Superman 2, The Man With The Two Brains, Clockwise, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Trading Places, Stir Crazy and Punch-Drunk Love.



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