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Director Alfonso Cuaron thinks most 3D films are "crap"; technique is completely misused

Sep. 27, 2013by: Niki Stephens

For the longest time all we talked about was how much 3D sucked, well to be fair, 3D conversions were the biggest problem. Not to mention that not EVERY film needed the 3D treatment. I don't hate it, nor do I think that it's a completely unusable technique, I just think that we are using it too much just for the gimmick factor.

Visionary director Alfonso Cuaron expressed his thoughts on 3D during a press conference for the Zurich Film Festival where his film GRAVITY is screening this evening. This is what he told reporters:

The problem with 3D is that its been completely misused. The problem now is that they make all these films that are not designed for 3D and then convert them as a commercially afterthought and they are crap. They dont follow the rules of 3D of what does and doesnt work. There are a handful of films that have used 3D in a proper way so it can be an amazing tool.

You will be able to see GRAVITY is both 3D and 2D, but Cuaron says that 2D only gives you "30% of the experience". I'd take this man's advice.

On another note, when asked why he picks the projects he does, Cuaron answered that he doesn't think about it but rather does "whatever feels right".

He elaborated, There are many other kinds of films I would like to do. Sometimes its down to money, not only getting the finance together but also if I can afford it. I have a dream movie Id like to make but its tiny and not commercial. I couldnt be paid but I have a family and a life.

Cuaron went on to say that he thought GRAVITY would be a quicker job but lasted took more than stour years, I improvise a lot in my other films so this was completely different. I enjoyed every part of the process but would never do it again. Cuaron added, I now want to work on films in which people walk. I feel very strongly about this. If they walk, lay down, sit in wheelchairs or even swim, that would be fantastic.

Source: ScreenDaily

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9:35AM on 09/29/2013
Sheesh does this article need an editor.
Sheesh does this article need an editor.
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5:25PM on 10/01/2013
Many have been commenting lately, on the literacy level of the JoBlo writers in general. This article, as an example, does appear to have been typed by a somewhat more intelligent than average monkey.
Many have been commenting lately, on the literacy level of the JoBlo writers in general. This article, as an example, does appear to have been typed by a somewhat more intelligent than average monkey.
+0
1:39AM on 09/29/2013
Sam Raimi said the same thing about 3D when promoting Oz. In fact, he said he went back to school to learn what camera movements did and didn't work in the medium.

You can't throw an action-heavy, or something with a ton of movement in it into a 3D movie, because it just turns into crap. I've only seen three movies use 3D to their advantage, Harold and Kumar 3, Dredd, and Oz. So I'll spring for the extra $3 to see this one in 3D.
Sam Raimi said the same thing about 3D when promoting Oz. In fact, he said he went back to school to learn what camera movements did and didn't work in the medium.

You can't throw an action-heavy, or something with a ton of movement in it into a 3D movie, because it just turns into crap. I've only seen three movies use 3D to their advantage, Harold and Kumar 3, Dredd, and Oz. So I'll spring for the extra $3 to see this one in 3D.
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10:04PM on 09/28/2013

Interesting....

You will be able to see GRAVITY is both 3D and 2D, but Cuaron says that 2D only gives you "30% of the experience".


So he's saying if you don't want to see it in 3-D, it's not worth paying to see. Okay Alfonso, I'll wait for the DVD.
You will be able to see GRAVITY is both 3D and 2D, but Cuaron says that 2D only gives you "30% of the experience".


So he's saying if you don't want to see it in 3-D, it's not worth paying to see. Okay Alfonso, I'll wait for the DVD.
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4:58PM on 09/28/2013

Spoilers Ahead

Gravity is definitely the best 3D film I've ever seen. I was a little underwhelmed after seeing it, but my biggest issue is the Blu-Ray release. I'm one of those guys who buy the Blu-Ray or DVD release whenever I really enjoyed it, as I did with Gravity (minus my little issues with it). I don't own a 3D TV, and Cuaron is right, it really does need to be experienced in 3D because his take on 3D isn't only a game changer, but he did basically something that hadn't been done before: utilizing the
Gravity is definitely the best 3D film I've ever seen. I was a little underwhelmed after seeing it, but my biggest issue is the Blu-Ray release. I'm one of those guys who buy the Blu-Ray or DVD release whenever I really enjoyed it, as I did with Gravity (minus my little issues with it). I don't own a 3D TV, and Cuaron is right, it really does need to be experienced in 3D because his take on 3D isn't only a game changer, but he did basically something that hadn't been done before: utilizing the 3D as a tool with the story.
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3:29PM on 09/28/2013

I'm not buying it.

I'm gonna see Gravity for sure and any Cuaron movie is worth watching in the theater in my opinion BUT... this is the same shit EVERY movie maker says right before they release their 3D movie. "3D sucks when others have tried it but I figured out how to use it to tell a story and immerse the audience in a what that blah, .blah, blah."

Now don't misunderstand me, usually the movies turn out pretty good but not once have I seen a 3D movie where the 3D was any more than a fun little gimmick at
I'm gonna see Gravity for sure and any Cuaron movie is worth watching in the theater in my opinion BUT... this is the same shit EVERY movie maker says right before they release their 3D movie. "3D sucks when others have tried it but I figured out how to use it to tell a story and immerse the audience in a what that blah, .blah, blah."

Now don't misunderstand me, usually the movies turn out pretty good but not once have I seen a 3D movie where the 3D was any more than a fun little gimmick at best or at worst (and more often) a distraction and annoyance.

Gravity is going to be a wonderful movie. I would be truly surprised if it wasn't. Just as surprised as I would be if it turns out the 3D in this movie was essential. It'll be a fun gimmick for about ten minutes then I'll wish I went and saw it in 2D.

Also Cuaron is wrong, 3D Movies aren't crap. A movie might suck but that has nothing to do with whether it was in 3D or not. Hugo was a good movie in spite of (and without) the 3D. Clash of The Titans was a bad movie in spite of (and without) the 3D.
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12:53PM on 09/28/2013

D:

Still not going to the 3D version. It's a tired gimmick that I still don't feel is perfected.
Still not going to the 3D version. It's a tired gimmick that I still don't feel is perfected.
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11:57PM on 09/27/2013
For me, HUGO was the best example of making 3-D work in a film context: it was an integral part of the story and just made the world come alive. I think film studios are pushing 3-D because it's harder to pirate and so they'll protect their investment that much better. Yet another situation where commerce trumps art.
For me, HUGO was the best example of making 3-D work in a film context: it was an integral part of the story and just made the world come alive. I think film studios are pushing 3-D because it's harder to pirate and so they'll protect their investment that much better. Yet another situation where commerce trumps art.
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9:53PM on 09/27/2013

Dead on

for my money the only film ive enjoyed in 3d was Avatar, and Thor really sticks out in my mind as sucking in 3d, unless the film is actually shot in 3d then I will go find it in 2d somewhere
for my money the only film ive enjoyed in 3d was Avatar, and Thor really sticks out in my mind as sucking in 3d, unless the film is actually shot in 3d then I will go find it in 2d somewhere
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9:43PM on 09/27/2013

Well, the other problem with 3-D....

.....is that a lot of us don't want to wear big clunky glasses (often over other glasses), and most of us don't want to spend an additional 10%-20% per ticket to pay for 3-D when all we want is to see a good 2-D movie. Many theaters by me (including IMAX), only offer the big action releases in 3-D for their big screens, so you can either watch The Avengers in a closet, or you can pay the extra money for 3-D that you don't want in the first place.
.....is that a lot of us don't want to wear big clunky glasses (often over other glasses), and most of us don't want to spend an additional 10%-20% per ticket to pay for 3-D when all we want is to see a good 2-D movie. Many theaters by me (including IMAX), only offer the big action releases in 3-D for their big screens, so you can either watch The Avengers in a closet, or you can pay the extra money for 3-D that you don't want in the first place.
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9:39PM on 09/27/2013

He is right

The technology is used as a marketing tool for studios to make more money.

Avatar, Dredd 3D, Life of Pi, Jackass 3D, and Hugo. Hugo was one the most memorable experiences I have ever had in a theater. The 3D was used to enhance the story.

Worst 3D movie I saw: Alice in Wonderland...on top of beinga shitty movie the 3D was disgusting.

I have faith that next weekend Cauron will transport me to space and I will add Gravity the the positive list above.
The technology is used as a marketing tool for studios to make more money.

Avatar, Dredd 3D, Life of Pi, Jackass 3D, and Hugo. Hugo was one the most memorable experiences I have ever had in a theater. The 3D was used to enhance the story.

Worst 3D movie I saw: Alice in Wonderland...on top of beinga shitty movie the 3D was disgusting.

I have faith that next weekend Cauron will transport me to space and I will add Gravity the the positive list above.
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8:35PM on 09/27/2013
"but lasted took more than stour years"
What?

Anyway, Cuaron has not made a bad film yet and Gravity doesn't exactly seem like it'll be breaking the trend. As for 3D, I admire that he's trying to put a new spin on what I believe is inherently a gimmick, and I'll definitely go see it in IMAX 3D if he says it's the best way to view it, but i just don't see 3D being around for much longer.

As most of you know, 3D pops it's head out every 30 years or so as a revolutionary new technology
"but lasted took more than stour years"
What?

Anyway, Cuaron has not made a bad film yet and Gravity doesn't exactly seem like it'll be breaking the trend. As for 3D, I admire that he's trying to put a new spin on what I believe is inherently a gimmick, and I'll definitely go see it in IMAX 3D if he says it's the best way to view it, but i just don't see 3D being around for much longer.

As most of you know, 3D pops it's head out every 30 years or so as a revolutionary new technology and then disappears again. It happened in the 50's, with Creature from the Black Lagoon and even Hitchcock's Dial M for Murder releasing in 3D. Then again in the 80's (Anyone remember the yo-yo scene in that one Friday the 13th movie?). It's had it's run again and although that doesn't mean 3d CAN'T be used to enhance a film, I personally don't feel the technology is even close to being good enough to provide a proper experience at the moment. It's either completely pointless 3d or shots of things being thrown at the screen all of which do the opposite of immersing me into the world of the film. Yes, I even saw Avatar in theaters (twice actually) and was not remotely impressed.

Not to fret though. Go back to the drawing board and improve the technology. Fix the darkness and "cardboard" effects and come back in 30 years. Who knows, maybe the technology will actually be decent then. Remember the red and blue glasses? At least we've moved on from that.

All that said, I don't hate 3D. It doesn't enhance any experience at the movies that I've ever had but clearly there are people out there who absolutely love it and good for them. Maybe this is a situation like the use of digital cameras versus film where I'm clearly on the old fashioned and losing side but the recent drop in 3D profits seems to suggest that I'm right about 3D and it's lasting effects.

That got unnecessarily long, but anyway, Gravity looks great.
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8:32PM on 09/27/2013
At the Comic Con Visionaries panel, he said that in 3D "the blacks and the whites, they suck" and he also half-joked that Gravity is in 3D because he started work on it 4 years ago, "when 3D was still cool". The 3D in Gravity is very effective in immersing the audience in the environment and I'd definitely recommend it. I'm a sucker for gimmicks, but it's got to be gimmicks that work. I love DBox (it isn't available in theatres where I come from), but not every film needs to be enhanced that
At the Comic Con Visionaries panel, he said that in 3D "the blacks and the whites, they suck" and he also half-joked that Gravity is in 3D because he started work on it 4 years ago, "when 3D was still cool". The 3D in Gravity is very effective in immersing the audience in the environment and I'd definitely recommend it. I'm a sucker for gimmicks, but it's got to be gimmicks that work. I love DBox (it isn't available in theatres where I come from), but not every film needs to be enhanced that way. Stuff like World War Z, why's that in 3D apart from being a cash grab?
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8:05PM on 09/27/2013
I didn't even read the article but he's right. 3D has become a lazy gimmic in desperate attempts to try to rise box office totals. 90% of 3D is shit these days if it's been converted in post, well... converted = cash grab.

Side-note: Cuaron in my little movie buff opinion is the greatest director to emerge in the last decade. Just sharing that, and yes I include Nolan in his list of competition.
I didn't even read the article but he's right. 3D has become a lazy gimmic in desperate attempts to try to rise box office totals. 90% of 3D is shit these days if it's been converted in post, well... converted = cash grab.

Side-note: Cuaron in my little movie buff opinion is the greatest director to emerge in the last decade. Just sharing that, and yes I include Nolan in his list of competition.
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8:04PM on 09/27/2013
Damn. He said once that he went to James Cameron for advise on how to tackle the effects of Gravity. Now he is out promoting 3D. DAMN YOU CAMERON! WHAT DID YOU DO TO CUARON!
Damn. He said once that he went to James Cameron for advise on how to tackle the effects of Gravity. Now he is out promoting 3D. DAMN YOU CAMERON! WHAT DID YOU DO TO CUARON!
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