James Cameron and Michael Bay have spoken out about the future of 3D at a special event in Hollywood.
The pair hosted '3D: A Transforming Visual Art' at the Paramount Theater, where they spoke about the future of multi-dimensional film-making (as well as presenting some clips from Bay's Transformers: Dark of the Moon ).
Here's what they had to say:
"I first met James Cameron on the set of Titanic, and he invited me on the set of Avatar. At first I thought 3D was harder than you could imagine, and really not me. Really not me. I'm old school, I like 35mm film where you can touch it, you can feel it. 3D is just all ones and zeros. When I got on set James said he wanted to show me some cool algorithms, and I was like 'What?'"
"James explained it to me like 3D is just a new toy to play with."
"All films benefit from 3D to varying degrees, but I thought Michael had to do 3D. The marriage of his very technical filmmaking and 3D was something I wanted to see."
"I like to shoot very fast and the 3D cameras can be really big and cumbersome. James, at that time, told me that they were all just handheld, but actually only a third of the cameras he used on Avatar were handheld."
"I took the Avatar crew on for Transformers as they're the best for 3D that there is."
"The goal is to make a the 3D cameras light and easy to use. There is a 5 pound 3D camera coming out later this year, so that's happening already."
"The first day shooting Transformers in 3D was wonderful. It was like sculpting with space. But then we lost all the work we did on that first day, the hard drive crashed, so that was a disappointment. But I ended up loving it. I got really great big shots, and also a lot of great intimate shots."
"3D is like music, it's like working with audio. You can dial it up, and then dial it down. If super-fast kinetic cutting is what you need (like Michael does) then you dial it down."
"We sent a guy with a camera spinning around the top of Chicago skyscrapers at 150 miles per hour. So you can do 3D fast, but it's hard, very hard."
"I've seen the whole of Transformers, but not all in 3D. I like the depth the 3D brings to this movie. I like that Michael has used it aggressively (but when does he not do things aggressively?)."
"For the scene you saw of the guys jumping from Osprey aircraft, we used base jumpers wearing 3D helmets. I saw these French base jumpers and wanted them in my movie. The helmet makes the 3D so close, it kind of messes with your head. That's a technical 3D term there, 'messes with your head.'"
"There's an art to messing with your head with 3D."
"3D is very expensive in comparison. The camera equipment, the labor, there's a third more work for visual effects artists to do on each shot. And it's not easy, it's not technically perfect. My style of shooting is fast, I like to leap frog shots, and with 3D I was slowed down a lot. Plus, I'm still not that into digital, I think there's nothing more beautiful than film. And bottom line, for 3D this movie took 30 million more dollars to make."
"Every filmmaker is going to use 3D differently. Avatar was at the time just a science experiment."
"Shooting in 3D doesn't necessarily mean you'll make more money from the movie. 3D movies are doing badly too. The audience is being turned off by 3D because it's bullshit 3D."
"We're all trying to get people back into cinemas for that cinema experience, but we're also abusing that experience. A lot of film makers are adding 3D by conversion in post-production like it's just a sound mix, and it's not a sound mix."
"Not everything is right for 3D but it works for this picture. It's a lot of work, but it's good when it's right for the experience."
"3D now is where the automobile was in 1905. We need to make the cameras smaller and more user-friendly."
"The best thing right now about shooting in 3D is being able to take the audience someplace and blow their mind."
"Within the next two to five years we will have have tablets and laptops which can be viewed 3D without glasses. We will have televisions with multiple viewer angles so we don't need glasses there. And we will have 3D cameras for entry-level filmmaking. The issue is we can't make the 3D content fast enough."
"We also need to put pressure on theatres to show 3D movies in optimal conditions. To show them at the brightness they're supposed to be seen, and not try to save money by dimming projector bulbs. We need to have good standards there."