Eli Roth Discusses the 3-D Technology of Piranha 3D, Plus a New TV Spot
08.05.10 by Ryan
Avatar introduced audiences to the transformative nature of 3-D technology and set off a wave of 3-D conversions for most major action and horror movies. While some movies have seen a huge box office boost from the 3-D conversion (Clash of the Titans), others have not (The Last Airbender). Writer/director Eli Roth, who appears in Piranha 3-D as a wet t-shirt emcee, told Bloody-Disgusting that the 3-D conversion was far from an afterthought.
With Piranha 3D, the very title of the film is Piranha 3D. It was written that way and photographed to be converted. This means that when you're setting up a shot, next to the camera is a technical adviser from the 3D company who tells you exactly what light won't work for the 3D, how far the subject has to be from the lens if you want it to look good when it pops out of the camera, etc. The film is not completed until it's converted, and [director] Alex Aja began that process back in November, and it still isn't finished 100%. The 3D looks spectacular, and when you take off your glasses you see no difference in the lighting and color.
Roth claims that "quickie afterthought conversions like Last Airbender are ruining the name of 3D conversion" because the movie "was never shot that way, so as a result many of the scenes look dark and unwatchable." Roth feels that comparing "rush job" conversions to Piranha 3D, which took 8 months to convert to 3-D, is "not fair."
It's an amazing technology, but only works when the film has been shot that way. And if you're going to retrofit a film, like Star Wars, then you have to spend a long time getting it right. It's not easy and it's not instant and when it's a last minute rushed decision we can see it immediately.
Roth says Piranha 3D "looks beautiful," and while none of the 3-D conversion is evident in the latest TV spot, it does show a brief glimpse of Roth in character. Check it out below.
Piranha 3D opens August 20 and stars Elisabeth Shue as a sheriff who defends the holiday beach-goers of her lakeside town from bloodthirsty, prehistoric piranha. Richard Dreyfuss, Ving Rhames and Christopher Lloyd also star.