We all know James Cameron loves 3D. As shown in Avatar, he feels the device is a filmmaking tool that can enhance storytelling and spectacle. However, that's not to say he thinks every movie should get the 3D treatment - even if they are big budget action-adventures. LaVerdad (via The Film Stage) has brought to light a video of Cameron conversing with fellow filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón to discuss 3D and other things, and the former was pretty frank when it came to movies he feels have been 3D fails. As he says in the video above:
"I do not think Hollywood is using the 3D properly. The reason I say that Hollywood is not doing well is because it is automatic. For example, The Man of Steel, Iron Man and all those movies should not necessarily be in 3D. If you spend 150 million on visual effects, the film is already going to be spectacular, perfect."
That’s not to say these film's action sequences or stories weren't worthy of 3D. Really, Cameron's criticism comes down to whether a film is shot in 3D or post-converted, the latter of which both Man of Steel and Iron Man 3 were. For him, that's not only a major misstep, but also a sign of the 3D's true intention. It's not about what it brings to the filmmaking there, he suggests, it's about the larger amount of money the gimmick pulls in. Cameron understands the push for 3D in these instances may not be coming from the filmmaker, but from the studio, eager to make extra money with higher-ticketed 3D screenings. He offers:
"One thing is shooting in 3D and another to convert to 3D. After Avatar changed everything, good and bad movies, everything has to be in 3D since Avatar. The problem I see now is that instead of it being a filmmaker issue is a matter of the studios to make money and are pushing 3D to directors who are not comfortable or do not like 3D."
At this point, when a big budget action feature is headed to theaters it's almost a given it will be in 3D - though there have been filmmakers who have rejected the format, or tried to. Back in 2010, we here at Cinema Blend began our To 3D or Not To 3D column to discuss the Clash of the Titans remake, and it scored a 6 out of a possible 35. Turns out the film's director Louis Leterrier actually agreed with the assessment, complaining the post-conversion was rushed and the results were "absolutely horrible." Christopher Nolan famously rejected pressure to make The Dark Knight Rises 3D, which didn't stop the film from becoming of the biggest blockbusters of 2012. But few directors have that kind of pull where they can just say no to 3D. So expect more disappointing 3D for years to come.
On the bright side, Cuarón will be bringing forth some 3D spectacle Cameron should approve of later this year with Gravity. The 3D master lent a hand in the film's production, so ratchet up your expectations by a few more notches.