Guillermo del Toro had a right to be apprehensive when Legendary Pictures, studio for his upcoming Pacific Rim, approached him about post-converting his film into 3D. In the past couple years there are examples of decent post-converts (The Avengers) and even more examples of not-so-decent (Clash of the Titans). Del Toro wisely got the studio to agree on a few points to help ensure a final product befitting of the artist’s intensions. Chief among those agreements? Extending a process that typically takes 3-5 weeks and utilizing the full 40 weeks leading up to the film’s release: From Shock Til You Drop:
“What happened was, in the weeks and months following Comic-Con, what I asked from the studio was to agree to four points that I wanted to do,” he says. “The more the ILM shots arrived, the more I realized that there were only a few shots that would miniaturize. I asked the studio, number one, that we would not hyper-stereo-lize the thing. That we would not force 3D on the beauty shots. That we would keep the giant dimensions. They agreed. Number two, they agreed to something very unusual. Normally a conversion takes a few weeks. I asked to start it immediately so we could take the full 40 weeks to do the conversion. As an example, ‘Titanic’ took about 50 weeks to convert. The final thing that I asked that they agreed to, which was amazing, was that I asked them to give me an extra budget, which is considerable, to actually have ILM composite the shots that are CG native 3D. We’re not giving elements. ILM is giving the composite in 3D from the get-go. That’s a huge, huge element. Now I’m going to be involved in supervising it. What can I tell you? I changed my mind. I’m not running for office. I can do a Romney.”
This is splendid news both for del Toro and those of us who are greatly anticipating the film. It’s also a great example of cooler heads not only prevailing but compromising, as GDT had initially voiced displeasure with the move. A studio giving a terrific director additional funds to complete a post-convert as he sees fit is hardly a bad thing. Does the film need to be in 3D? Absolutely not. But the fact that we’re getting Pacific Rim on time and fully endorsed by the driving creative force is reassuring.