Well, I wouldn’t be the gaming and tech geek that I am if I didn’t somehow stumble into a discussion on movie making technology during Sundance. Upon orders from the big man himself – Josh, not the fictional white bearded fellow in the sky – CB Photographer Leanne Cari and me took to the stairs in order to catch a glimpse of U2. The press conference for their newest concert film, U2 3D, was right below our lounging area. Our goal was to get pics of Bono and Edge for your enjoyment, instead the band decided to take in a different film and we were stuck with the technical people involved in their movie.
Not that it was a bad thing, as I am a lover of all things tech. And while I’m not as enthralled with new 3D technology the way James Cameron seems to be, I am mightily intrigued. Even the base standard of this new version, which can be seen in amusement parks, is an impressive sight to behold. But is it really going to make a difference, or will the landfills overflow with cheap red and blue glasses again?
According to U2 3D executive producer Sandy Climan, “We think this is going to usher in an era of filmmaking, using stereoscopic digital 3D technology. To have a paradigm shift not that much different than silent films to talkies, or black and white to color. We think this will be the way movies, not just music and events, but narrative films will begin to be seen much more frequently.”
That’s a hell of a claim, but it could be true. The problem is that audiences want convenience, and the general trend is to watch movies at home. Hey, I enjoy going outside my hovel to mingle with the sweaty apes that inhabit my neighborhood. But the majority of people are happy to sit at on their couch. U2 3D is not meant for home consumption. Producer John Modell said, ”This film will only be seen in 3D, and it will only be seen in theaters.”
Perhaps the move to a new technology that is not readily available for home use can revitalize the movie theater business. But are fancy tricks enough? Is 3D the true next coming? No one can say, because we’re in the middle of the transition. The whole forest for the trees issue, and what have you. We at Cinema Blend still can’t decide on the issue, but we do enjoy debating it.
If this fanciful 3D thing is going to become a part of our every day movie watching routine, it’ll more likely follow the audio model. Where audio moved from a mono sound to fully featured surround sound stereo, that’s where visuals could be heading. And that is exciting. Steve Skhlair, 3D and digital image producer, said, “It is a more immersive experience. If you look at what’s happened with visuals, it really follows what happened with audio as audio went from a mono to stereo to more immersive environment. Picture can do the same thing.”
We can take a deeper look at the technology of 3D film making in another time and place. The only concern left is whether anyone is going to care. If fan reaction to U2 3D is any indication, the drooling middle-aged fans of Bono are ready to jump on the bandwagon.