Why oh why do the promoters of 3D say that it isn't a gimmick and still only talks about the technology and that there has to be "things flying out of the screen" for a proper 3D experience?
What is wrong with all this?
Surround sound is a standard in todays cinema but it is also not used in it's full potential. Many films I've been watching doesn't really have anything in the other speakers, except the occational helicopter or bullet flyby's.
So when reading Walter Murch and Roger Ebert's comments on 3D, that it isn't necessary for the storytelling or experience of watching a movie I started to agree with them. But then...
I started thinking, why is it so? Shouldn't both of these enhance story and atmosphere? Isn't that the purpose? No, that is not the goal for the surroundsound/3D-geeks. The surround sound/3D-fest is for the cool rollercoaster effect, it's for the joyride of illusion mindthrills.
And that is what all the focus is aimed at, both for the critics of 3D and for the geeks of it.
My word... bullshit.
Not alot of thoughts have been put into the use of 3D, the use of surround as an enhancement of story and atmosphere. Everyone is talking abut the technological aspects, the new gadgets, the new standards etc. But the most important aspect for all filmmakers is left behind.
How can we enhance the experience beyond the shallow rollercoaster joyride? How can we enhance the story with 3D?
Good examples of this is Tron Legacy. Even though not nearly a perfect movie, it still used 3D to enhance the depth of the story. They choosed to let the movie be in 2D for our world and "the grid" in 3D, the opposite of how we view computers. We see them as flat, singlethreaded, not nearly as complex as the real world. In Tron Legacy, they flipped it, creating our world as the flat singleminded, singlethreaded place and "The Grid" as the place for possibilites. It's directly enhancing the idea of the Isomorphic Algorithms as being more complex then what we can grasp, just as Flynn tried to grasp when creating the grid in form of perfection.
Just an example of the story enhancement of 3D. As a reply to both Walter Murch and Roger Ebert there were a comment adressing the increased emotion with 3D. Having a character reaching out to the audience in despair creates an emotion that is greatly increased with 3D.
So is it a gimmick? Is it a rollercoaster ride? Yes, it is a gimmick for those who use it as a gimmick, it is a rollercoaster ride for those who want it to be, but it is much more then that. Sad thing is that the discussion always stops at those two words, gimmick and rollercoaster... both for geeks and critics.
What I mean is that both the critics of 3D and the 3D-geeks are wrong.
We decide how to make use of 3D as a storytelling method, we decide how to increase emotion and sense of atmosphere, we decide how 3D can be used to increase the artform of films... not the geeks, not the critics, Ebert, Murch or any other. We, the ones who are creative and make art. Use the tools that helps you make your art, don't overuse for the sake of it and don't criticise for the sake of it... simple enough?
How hard must it be? And why is this stirring up debates like this? It's a tool, just like FCP and Avid always being in a fight among the users, they are still tools. In 200 years no one will care about these things, why put energy into the debate and not into the improvement of our tools instead? Why not into our work and how we can achieve the best possible things at our disposal?
We cheer our achievments in technology, but we seem to put more energy in whining or blindly following, not to be a part of it. Why do so many need to focus on things that in the end doesn't matter? Isn't that underlining a lack of an open mind?