Michael Bay Says 3-D Conversion "Kind of Sucks"; James Cameron More Harsh
03.25.10 by BJSprecher
"3-D Conversion." To many studio executives, that phrase conjures images of dollar signs in the form of higher ticket prices. But to director Michael Bay the phrase implies gimmicky, "fake 3-D" unsuitable for the "complicated stuff" he puts on film.
Back in February, when Bay was just starting to scout locations for Transformers 3, he dismissed rumors that he might be shooting the movie in 3-D, saying that his style of shooting is "too aggressive for 3-D cameras" and that he preferred "anamorphic lenses" over digital cameras. Despite his disinterest in shooting in 3-D, Bay admitted a month later that he was testing 3-D conversion on "some Transformers scenes."
Apparently, things are not going too well with the conversion process. Bay, as quoted by Deadline, recently had a few choice words to say about the conversion process, seemingly aimed at the Paramount and DreamWorks executives who are presumably pressuring him for a Transformers 3-D.
I'm used to having the A-team working on my films, and I'm going to hand it over to the D-team, have it shipped to India and hope for the best? This conversion process is always going to be inferior to shooting in real 3-D. Studios might be willing to sacrifice the look and use the gimmick to make $3 more a ticket, but I'm not. Avatar took four years. You can't just sh*t out a D movie. I'm saying, the jury is still out.
It's unclear whether Bay truly believes that 3-D conversion might eventually work on Transformers 3 or if he's simply trying to appease the studios, but he said that he hasn't completely abandoned conversion as an option.
I am trying to be sold [on conversion], and some companies are still working on the shots I gave them. Right now, it looks like fake 3-D, 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.
While Bay either can't or won't flat-out tell the studios what he thinks about 3-D, Avatar director and champion of 3-D technology James Cameron has no problem speaking his mind about it. Cameron used the Spider-Man reboot as a prime example of the wrong way of going about making a movie in 3-D.
This is another example of Hollywood getting it wrong. 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, motherf*cker!" That's not how it should be.