Latest Movie News Headlines

Why most 3D is just a movie studio scam

Mar. 17, 2010by: Paul Tassi

There's no greater debate in the movie industry today than about the newfound surge of 3D and its seemingly permanent $2-4 addition to all of our tickets.

I’ve claimed that AVATAR was the film that finally "converted me" to believing in 3D, but recently when I went to see ALICE IN WONDERLAND, I reversed that position, as it frankly, looked like shit. Now thanks to this Gizmodo article, I know why.

The piece details the difference between James Cameron’s 3D, which usues multiple cameras to capture every angle of a scene and upconverted 3D, where layers are just pulled and pushed around in order to trick your eye into thinking a scene is 3D.

"The problem is it's expensive and difficult to do it right. Double the camera gear means double the footage and often doubling the camera crew. It also doubles much of the visual effects work as you have to render everything twice. A lot of the old gags we once used to do our "movie magic" no longer work in stereo films.

But what you get is the real thing, a true stereo view of everything in the frame. Just like a director or cinematographer chooses to focus the camera to direct the viewers eye you must make the same decisions in 3D to direct the convergence of the two eyes. Not doing this right (or having to do it with a faked perspective in the second eye) is like overlooking composition or sound design, it's crummy movie making."

There’s too much knowledge in this article to post all the best parts here, but I highly suggest you go here and read the whole thing for yourself. It pretty much sums up my entire argument against 3D-ification, and uses science to back it up. Moral of the story? Only Cameron knows how to do it right so far.

Extra Tidbit: So nearly every new movie that is touting a 3D release is just trying to screw you out of $3. To tell the difference, be on the look out for the phrase "filmed in 3D" rather than "released in 3D."
Source: Gizmodo

Related Articles

MORE FUN FROM AROUND THE WEB

Strikeback
Not registered? Sign-up!
Or

8:58AM on 03/19/2010
3D is nothing but a gmimmick period, nothing interesting bout it, plus i wear glasses so its much harder for me to even see. i personally have never been into 3D, but if people are stupid enough to pay for it, ya of course studios will take advantage. Even James Cameron said it has to be done right.
3D is nothing but a gmimmick period, nothing interesting bout it, plus i wear glasses so its much harder for me to even see. i personally have never been into 3D, but if people are stupid enough to pay for it, ya of course studios will take advantage. Even James Cameron said it has to be done right.
Your Reply:



10:53AM on 03/18/2010
Glad I'm not the only one who thought Alice looked a little crap in 3D. HEre's hoping Toy Story 3D looks awesome since its animated I assume making it 3D should be relatively easy...I hear they did some good stuff on the re-release for Beauty and the Beast in this area.
Glad I'm not the only one who thought Alice looked a little crap in 3D. HEre's hoping Toy Story 3D looks awesome since its animated I assume making it 3D should be relatively easy...I hear they did some good stuff on the re-release for Beauty and the Beast in this area.
Your Reply:



4:45AM on 03/18/2010
Well at least I know for sure now that I haven't missed out on anything. Call me old-fashioned for a 23year old but I've never liked the 3D-phase. I only watched Avatar and UP in 3D so far...for some reason I'm way more comfortable and seem to appreciate a movie in 2D more. Guess I made proper judgments. :)
Well at least I know for sure now that I haven't missed out on anything. Call me old-fashioned for a 23year old but I've never liked the 3D-phase. I only watched Avatar and UP in 3D so far...for some reason I'm way more comfortable and seem to appreciate a movie in 2D more. Guess I made proper judgments. :)
Your Reply:



10:22PM on 03/17/2010

Where's all the hate?

I've been saying this for months, and got nothing but negative ratings. If it was SHOT IN 3D, then it's 3D, if not, it's just a bigger scam to get asses in the seats. 3D is a gimmick. Yes, it can be a gimmick that looks good, but it's still a gimmick. By the time Joss Whedon's Cabin In The Woods gets released, 3D won't be the "biggest thing since sound", rather a "Oh, another 3D flick... don't care", and Joss will pay the price for that.

The movie goer really has the final say in whether or
I've been saying this for months, and got nothing but negative ratings. If it was SHOT IN 3D, then it's 3D, if not, it's just a bigger scam to get asses in the seats. 3D is a gimmick. Yes, it can be a gimmick that looks good, but it's still a gimmick. By the time Joss Whedon's Cabin In The Woods gets released, 3D won't be the "biggest thing since sound", rather a "Oh, another 3D flick... don't care", and Joss will pay the price for that.

The movie goer really has the final say in whether or not 3D stays, or fades away like the last 2-3 times it was "the next big thing". If a flick was shot in 3D, and that's what you want to see, then by all means see it. If it was "transferred" to 3D, then by all means, balk at the extra $3, and see the normal-D version.
Your Reply:



+1
7:55PM on 03/17/2010
Agree 100%, unless I know for sure it's filmed in "stereoscopic 3D" or it's a nice little slasher flick a la My Bloody Valentine I think I'm opting for 2D.
Agree 100%, unless I know for sure it's filmed in "stereoscopic 3D" or it's a nice little slasher flick a la My Bloody Valentine I think I'm opting for 2D.
Your Reply:



+4
7:49PM on 03/17/2010
Absolutely agree. They should be made to tell you if its been converted or filmed natively in 3D, hopefully this will come as poeple become more aware of the format. Obviously there is a difference between conversiona dn native 3D. Both do cost more, but conversion costs less, they should charge only one dollar more for conversions and 3 bucks for native 3D.
And that should only last a few years, after that the costs should be facotred into the budget, just like CG. You don't charge extra for
Absolutely agree. They should be made to tell you if its been converted or filmed natively in 3D, hopefully this will come as poeple become more aware of the format. Obviously there is a difference between conversiona dn native 3D. Both do cost more, but conversion costs less, they should charge only one dollar more for conversions and 3 bucks for native 3D.
And that should only last a few years, after that the costs should be facotred into the budget, just like CG. You don't charge extra for a film with CG in it. Why not? It's the same principle, why charge for one element of the film but not another.
Avatar got it right cause Cameron a: knows what he's doing and b: has been thinking in 3D for years.
Conversion is ok but natively shot 3D is the way to go from a viewing standpoint.
Tron looks like it might be getting it right.
But studios need to be careful here. Avatar presented 3D to the world in a wonderful way, lets hope the studios don't piss away that goodwill but flooding the market with crappy conversions and sub par 3D work.
Your Reply:



+4
7:01PM on 03/17/2010

Right On

Loved the 3D look of Avatar, but with Alice we had a throwback to the chinzy visual impact of old. Really too bad, 'cause when 3D works, it's magical.
Loved the 3D look of Avatar, but with Alice we had a throwback to the chinzy visual impact of old. Really too bad, 'cause when 3D works, it's magical.
Your Reply:



6:18PM on 03/17/2010
3D is still just a gimmick that is used to take more money from an already struggling populace to help a dying business survive. Until it's done right, I'm very content in watching my movies in 2D. I'm not missing anything. And the 3D in Avatar just served as a way to cover up how craptastic the movie actually was. I'm not losing sleep over this.
3D is still just a gimmick that is used to take more money from an already struggling populace to help a dying business survive. Until it's done right, I'm very content in watching my movies in 2D. I'm not missing anything. And the 3D in Avatar just served as a way to cover up how craptastic the movie actually was. I'm not losing sleep over this.
Your Reply:



5:11PM on 03/17/2010
I refuse to see a movie in 3-D unless it's actually filmed that way and I can enjoy it. Seeing the final part of Harry Potter 5 in it's converted HD was pure shit. It was blurry, unfocused and poorly done.
I refuse to see a movie in 3-D unless it's actually filmed that way and I can enjoy it. Seeing the final part of Harry Potter 5 in it's converted HD was pure shit. It was blurry, unfocused and poorly done.
Your Reply:



4:42PM on 03/17/2010

The thing about 3D is...

So as some people and this article have been saying, I also belong to the camp that says that so far, Avatar is the only film that has done the 3D thing correctly, precisely because it was SHOT with the technology, and not converted to 3D afterward, which makes films like My Bloody Valentine look so lame, and which is the reason that I will be more than content with seeing Clash of the Titans and the final two Harry Potter films in regular, good old-fashioned 2D. That said, many animated films,
So as some people and this article have been saying, I also belong to the camp that says that so far, Avatar is the only film that has done the 3D thing correctly, precisely because it was SHOT with the technology, and not converted to 3D afterward, which makes films like My Bloody Valentine look so lame, and which is the reason that I will be more than content with seeing Clash of the Titans and the final two Harry Potter films in regular, good old-fashioned 2D. That said, many animated films, including Bolt, Monsters vs Aliens and ESPECIALLY Pixar's Up have also been using 3D very well. And if I'm not mistaken, those films are double-rendered, much like Avatar, although obviously they aren't shot with double lenses (since it's animated). But anyway, yeah - the technology works on animated films and Avatar, but nothing else so far, at least until Tron or TinTin come out...
Your Reply:



3:22PM on 03/17/2010
I thought Avatar's 3D was pretty cool, but with Alice in Wonderland, I kind of forgot it was in 3D about 5 minutes in.
I thought Avatar's 3D was pretty cool, but with Alice in Wonderland, I kind of forgot it was in 3D about 5 minutes in.
Your Reply:



-15
3:08PM on 03/17/2010

3-D is 3-D

I can't believe we already have 3-D snobbery. It's barely even an art form yet and already people are nit picking and turn their noses up.

3-D is 3-D. Don't let them sell you on a right way or a wrong way.
I can't believe we already have 3-D snobbery. It's barely even an art form yet and already people are nit picking and turn their noses up.

3-D is 3-D. Don't let them sell you on a right way or a wrong way.
Your Reply:



6:32PM on 03/17/2010
barely an art form yet? 3D Movies have been around since the 50's/60's. It was a gimmick then, it was a gimmick during the first resurgance in the 80's, and its still a gimmick now
barely an art form yet? 3D Movies have been around since the 50's/60's. It was a gimmick then, it was a gimmick during the first resurgance in the 80's, and its still a gimmick now
+5
2:50PM on 03/17/2010
Let's wait and see Tron Legacy and see if they get it right :)
Let's wait and see Tron Legacy and see if they get it right :)
Your Reply:



2:48PM on 03/17/2010
i saw the trailer for piranha in 3d, and it looked friggin awful .. the water splashed at the screen once or twice, and it was pathetic looking, like three 2D layers put at different distances... it was really dumb looking.
i saw the trailer for piranha in 3d, and it looked friggin awful .. the water splashed at the screen once or twice, and it was pathetic looking, like three 2D layers put at different distances... it was really dumb looking.
Your Reply:



2:30PM on 03/17/2010
Yeahh i hate this 3-D gimmick... Avatar did it correctly but as I remember the movie Beowulf was AWESOME in 3-d... I tried watchin it on dvd and i just couldn't finish it... The 3-D experience really made that movie a blast to watch in my opinion.


Ohh yeahh, I for one second that statement about seeing Clash in a 2-D theatre... I mean c'mon, all shitty 3-D movies give you a headache(atleast me and a few others i know and I'm betting sooner or later, someone will file a lawsuit and earns
Yeahh i hate this 3-D gimmick... Avatar did it correctly but as I remember the movie Beowulf was AWESOME in 3-d... I tried watchin it on dvd and i just couldn't finish it... The 3-D experience really made that movie a blast to watch in my opinion.


Ohh yeahh, I for one second that statement about seeing Clash in a 2-D theatre... I mean c'mon, all shitty 3-D movies give you a headache(atleast me and a few others i know and I'm betting sooner or later, someone will file a lawsuit and earns millions because of it, hey... If that lady from McDonalds can sue for a hot ass coffee, why couldn't someone sue over a headache while after watching a 3-D movie)
Your Reply:



+4
2:11PM on 03/17/2010
This is why I would NEVER see a flick like Alice or Clash of the Titans in 3D...
This is why I would NEVER see a flick like Alice or Clash of the Titans in 3D...
Your Reply:



2:07PM on 03/17/2010
personally I liked the 3D in Alice
personally I liked the 3D in Alice
Your Reply:



2:02PM on 03/17/2010

GREAT MOVIES ARE GREAT ...

... without 3D. And Avatar ain't one of them.
... without 3D. And Avatar ain't one of them.
Your Reply:



1:44PM on 03/17/2010

AND SELICK!

Henry Selick is also doing it right! CORALINE was shot in 3D and for my money is uses 3D even better than Avatar! More artistically anyway...
Henry Selick is also doing it right! CORALINE was shot in 3D and for my money is uses 3D even better than Avatar! More artistically anyway...
Your Reply:



+1
12:53PM on 03/17/2010
Extra tidbit: I've also been saying this for quite some time now.

Frankly, without the 3D gimmick, Avatard would have made a much smaller amount of money than it did. Why? Because the 3D was the only thing this movie had going for it. If it had to stand on story, well, I guess if you're going to steal a plot you may as well steal it from an Academy award winning movie (Dances With Wolves), right? Of course all the fanbois are going to vote me down on this one, but I don't care. It was a
Extra tidbit: I've also been saying this for quite some time now.

Frankly, without the 3D gimmick, Avatard would have made a much smaller amount of money than it did. Why? Because the 3D was the only thing this movie had going for it. If it had to stand on story, well, I guess if you're going to steal a plot you may as well steal it from an Academy award winning movie (Dances With Wolves), right? Of course all the fanbois are going to vote me down on this one, but I don't care. It was a badly written special effects movie. More along the lines of Bay or Emmerich then the guy who gave us Terminator (hey, which he also stole) and True Lies.
Your Reply:



9:34AM on 03/18/2010
Agreed. Btw, The Terminator is one of my all-time favourite films, but I couldn't help but feel a little disappointed when I realised the story was, let's say, surprisingly similar to a 60s movie called 'Cyborg 2087'
Agreed. Btw, The Terminator is one of my all-time favourite films, but I couldn't help but feel a little disappointed when I realised the story was, let's say, surprisingly similar to a 60s movie called 'Cyborg 2087'
+10
12:52PM on 03/17/2010

i still dont get it?

why do we have to pay extra if we own a pair of those damn goofy glasses? i have like 5 effin pairs, it should be an option to pay extra for a new pair.. it's bullshit
why do we have to pay extra if we own a pair of those damn goofy glasses? i have like 5 effin pairs, it should be an option to pay extra for a new pair.. it's bullshit
Your Reply:



1:56PM on 03/17/2010
In the UK Odeon Cinemas are claiming that they will soon be offering a ticket that lets you take the glasses back with you, and pay less.

I'll believe it when I see it. What I want personally, is them to sell me glasses with two left or right lenses in them, so I get a 2D picture.
In the UK Odeon Cinemas are claiming that they will soon be offering a ticket that lets you take the glasses back with you, and pay less.

I'll believe it when I see it. What I want personally, is them to sell me glasses with two left or right lenses in them, so I get a 2D picture.
4:25PM on 03/17/2010
I work at a movie theatre and I get this question all the time. The extra money is not for the glasses, but (apparently) for the digital projector used to play the 3D movies.
I work at a movie theatre and I get this question all the time. The extra money is not for the glasses, but (apparently) for the digital projector used to play the 3D movies.
6:21PM on 03/17/2010
@Moviefreak - I worked at a movie theatre about 10 years ago, and we used digital projectors before the resurgance of 3D. Projectors have nothing to do with it, it's a money grab
@Moviefreak - I worked at a movie theatre about 10 years ago, and we used digital projectors before the resurgance of 3D. Projectors have nothing to do with it, it's a money grab
+0
12:44PM on 03/17/2010
Extra Tidbit - I've been saying that all along
Extra Tidbit - I've been saying that all along
Your Reply:



12:41PM on 03/17/2010

3D

I have to disagree. Of course 3D helped Avatar, but I also thought it look cool in Alice. When it comes to movies like Alice, and Coraline, the fantasy world / cartoony / zany movies, I feel like it helps a load. Personally, it made the Cheshire Cat seem pretty friggin cool.
I have to disagree. Of course 3D helped Avatar, but I also thought it look cool in Alice. When it comes to movies like Alice, and Coraline, the fantasy world / cartoony / zany movies, I feel like it helps a load. Personally, it made the Cheshire Cat seem pretty friggin cool.
Your Reply:



+6
12:25PM on 03/17/2010
3D has had a resurgence thanks to AVATAR (a true 3D film), but if studios continue to up-convert their films to 3D, rather than actually shoot in 3D, then the general public are going to catch on and stop spending the extra bucks. Alice in Wonderland's 3D was horrible and added nothing to my experience. I'm giving one more try to Clash of the Titans. If that sucks, then I'm giving up 100% on these fake 3D films.
3D has had a resurgence thanks to AVATAR (a true 3D film), but if studios continue to up-convert their films to 3D, rather than actually shoot in 3D, then the general public are going to catch on and stop spending the extra bucks. Alice in Wonderland's 3D was horrible and added nothing to my experience. I'm giving one more try to Clash of the Titans. If that sucks, then I'm giving up 100% on these fake 3D films.
Your Reply:



+3
12:21PM on 03/17/2010

3d

first... yeah avatar wasn't a gimmick i dont think cuz it didn't have stuff flying at you. it helped the audience become apart of pandora. but every other movie has been a gimmick i'd say. the part where alice falls down the rabbit hole looked TERRIBLE
first... yeah avatar wasn't a gimmick i dont think cuz it didn't have stuff flying at you. it helped the audience become apart of pandora. but every other movie has been a gimmick i'd say. the part where alice falls down the rabbit hole looked TERRIBLE
Your Reply: