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James Cameron talks about why 3D sucks

03.23.2010

If AVATAR hadn't blown out the box office with its multi-billion haul, would 3D have come into its sudden omnipresence? Probably not nearly as rapidly, but it doesn't matter now anyway. As my granddad used to say, you can't put the shit back in the goose. 3D is here to stay for the foreseeable future.

But the guy who ostensibly launched the format from novelty to mainstream has a few criticisms of the craze. As king of numerous worlds James Cameron tells Deadline about Hollywood's official obsession: "After TOY STORY, there were 10 really bad CG movies because everybody thought the success of that film was CG and not great characters that were beautifully designed and heartwarming. Now, you’ve got people quickly converting movies from 2D to 3D, which is not what we did. They’re expecting the same result, when in fact they will probably work against the adoption of 3D because they’ll be putting out an inferior product."

Cameron, who has reportedly volunteered himself as "a 3D crisis counselor to any director who asks", is also defending the filmmakers in these cases. "This is another example of Hollywood getting it wrong," he reprimands. "Sony says, we’re doing Spider-Man in 3D.’ The director doesn’t say, `Hey, I want to make the movie in 3D.’ The studio says, `You want to direct this movie? You’re doing it in 3D, motherfucker!' That’s not how it should be. I’ve tried for the last seven years to get filmmakers excited, and they all hung back while Pixar and DreamWorks did animation and me and a couple others did live action. We prove the point, and now filmmakers are being told to make their movies in 3D."

Also vocal about the format is professional robo-wrecker Michael Bay, who still isn't entierly sold on the idea of giving Autobots more dimension, and isn't satisfied with the pricey post-production conversion process: "Right now, it looks like fake 3D, with layers that are very apparent. You go to the screening room, you are hoping to be thrilled, and you’re thinking, huh, this kind of sucks. People can say whatever they want about my movies, but they are technically precise, and if this isn’t going to be excellent, I don’t want to do it. And it is my choice."

Extra Tidbit: The cost of 3D conversion is apparently around $100k per minute of screentime, although TRANSFORMERS 3 would end up adding $30 million to the final price tag.

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