I’m aware of some independent experiments and small films that have tried to make the leap, but we are still awaiting the first high-profile drama to shoot in 3D. Even if the format never takes complete hold, this will certainly happen if merely for the gimmickry of being “first.”  And if there were any director that might be inclined to take that leap, Michael Mann is definitely one of them . In fact, he’s one of several directors that discussed the format at a CES panel, where he stated that he “would probably shoot… just a pure dialog drama I would shoot in 3D.” I’m inclined to believe him, even though being “first” is probably not high on his list of concerns.

Oliver Stone and Baz Luhrmann were also a part of the panel, with the latter stating that he’s workshopped and camera-tested 3D for his upcoming The Great Gatsby, but has by no means settled on it for the actual shoot. There is a chance he could beat Mann (or the many other 3D-enamored directors out there) to the punch though if he does decide to go that route. Stone seems less keen on the format, simply warning filmmakers not to format above their budget, since shooting in 3D can put you under “enormous pressure.”

You can take a look at the full talk below (I haven’t gotten through all of it, so there might be more interesting tidbits within!), and listen to the three directors discuss all manner of technology, including 2D-to-3D TVs and disc formats. Oliver Stone goes to bat for Blu-ray collections, while the other two discuss the technological leaps of the increased resolution. Lurhmann sepcifically warns that “The power of Blu-ray is so great, you have to be a bit conscious about misusing it. Are you trying to recreate from your memory? There are a whole lot of new question that powerful technology brings.” A point made evident by the constant controversy of this film’s Blu-ray color quality or that Blu-ray’s use of digital noise reduction (DNR).

I do have to roll my eyes a little bit at Stone’s comparison of Blu-ray to books, though I know he mentions it only because Blu will clearly be the last physical format. That said, I have even less nostalgia for the cheaply injection-mold produced pieces of plastic (likely slathered in poorly photoshopped artwork) than I do for the thinly bound paperback reprints of best-sellers that fall apart before you finish your first read-through. Obviously some publishers create the kind of packaging that are in some ways comparable to a nicely-bound book that one might enjoy more than an eReader, but it’s a rare thing. However, what makes Blu-ray something we need to savor and support is the fact that even HD downloads on our favorite services are nothing but laughable facsimiles of the actual high-definition images you get from a Blu-ray disc. The resolutions may be the same, but no online service can hope to even come close to replicating the bit-rate of Blu-ray, which is anywhere from 4 to 10 times higher than services like Netflix or the various cable OnDemand marketplaces. They might deliver the same absolute number of pixels, but far more of those all important little squares are interpolated garbage that discard the detail that makes HD worthwhile.

In any event, while these three directors publicly discuss the future of film capture and delivery, the premiere expert in those subjects sat down with ze juhmans to talk about storytelling and ideas in Hollywood. James Cameron is not known for varnishing his thoughts on any subject related to filmmaking, in fact, he’s kind of known for being a pushy dick about them. He’s also known for talking out of his ass from a pedestal that’s not entirely connected to reality sometimes, leading him to make statements like this, roughly translated by Google and myself…

“We have a story crisis. Now they want to make a movie from the game Battleship! This is pure desperation, because now the business is governed by the sequel, or what we call it: the franchise. This means turning something already successful into a sequel, because everyone in Hollywood knows how important it is that the movie, before it comes into the cinemas, is already a brand. If the brand has been around, Harry Potter“for example, or Spider-Man, you are light years ahead. And there lies the problem, because unfortunately these brands are always ridiculous. Battleship! This degrades the cinema.”

Now it’s easy to jump on Cameron for dumping on the story trend in Hollywood, considering he tread the easiest and most clichéd ground possible for the story of Avatar. It’s also easy to bring up his decision to direct two sequels to his two-billion-dollar hit when dumping on Hollywood for being conscious of branding. All that said… well, shit. I don’t know where to go from here. Just seems weird (or just indicative that he knows nothing about the project) to choose Battleship to pick on, when it’s become increasingly clear that Berg has used the brand to sneak out something of a bizarro Navy vs. aliens flick. I will give Cameron that part of his point is that building the brand of Avatar was a studio concern he was pestered to worry about long before the release of the film or any decision to make sequels.

Ultimately Cameron’s points are sound, but they are  so easy and obvious that we certainly don’t need him to make them, and they just seems cheapened when uttered by someone so explicitly (if skillfully) exploiting those very trends. It’s almost like a back-to-nature message of environmental worship being projected by a massive-scale, corporate-backed production that rivals any other in history in terms of size… it rings hollow just a bit.

When our best, brightest, and most cutting-edge directors talk though, we tend to listen. Sometimes we need a reminder they can be old-fashioned or hypocrites same as anybody else.

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Interview Source | Spiegel.de

(CES talk via THR)
(video via Bleeding cool)