Tim Wilson says, "I'm always going to place my bets on the people trying to get it right, rather than the people who say it shouldn't be done at all." Creative COW Magazine's editor extraordinaire relates his musings on the latest technology and our reasons for always forging ahead into new innovations.
Listen up. Good post is good post. Bad post is bad post. I mention this as a reminder to everyone saying that the only way to make a 3D movie is in the camera, that the "problem" with some 3D movies is that the 3D was added in post. It shouldn't take a single second for you to remember that post, in itself, is not the problem. Quite the contrary. We can all name a dozen examples off the top of our heads where post was the only possible solution to a problem, or the only possible way to create a scene, or simply the best way to bring a creative vision to fruition. It adds flexibility. You can fix things there.
I've been stopping strangers on the street, grabbing their lapels and yelling this in their face to little avail. But I digress.
This particular rant was motivated by comments I heard regarding "Piranha 3D." I confess that I missed it in theaters, so the only comment I have to make about it is that I eagerly await the Director's Cut on Blu-ray. But there has been this idea that the after-the-factness of the 3D for this and other recent pictures, is too artificial to ever overcome. You know it's a movie, right? It's all artificial. There were no real piranhas, either â but that kind of thing somehow never comes up.
No, as you start to read between the lines, you see why: the problem isn't 3D in post. It has simply become de rigeur, certainly among people who regularly say "de rigeur," to be aggressively negative about 3D at all.
There's considerable furrowing of the brow among such folks that 3D is distracting, if not painful to watch, and that it will never be appropriate for mainstream movies, because that kind of artificiality gets in the way of the artificiality we approve of. For such scowlers, I have two pieces of advice. First, cut it out. Your face is going to stick that way. Second, consider the history of color in movies, which has taken a remarkably similar path.
Early color cinematography required an expensive beam-splitting camera -- stop me if you've heard this one before -- and complicated projection schemes that failed more often than they succeeded. Technicolor founder H.T. Kalmus ironically lamented of the early days, "It was a terrible headache."
Douglas Fairbanks famously recounted the "overwhelming objections" to his strong support of color cinema: "The argument has been that it would tire and distract the eye, take attention from acting, and facial expression, blur and confuse the action. In short it has been felt that it would militate against the simplicity and directness which motion pictures derive from the unobtrusive black and white."
Ringing any bells? These things take time. Ten years after it was common in movie production, only 40% of American theaters could actually play sound. Even though it wouldn't be pervasive for another dozen years, the first color telecast was the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (how could it have been anything else?) in 1954. That same year, barely over 50% of films were shot in color.
I don't have any particular moral to draw from this, except to recall that today's vigorous objection invariably becomes tomorrow's "Whatever, dude." I'm always going to place my bets on the people trying to get it right, rather than the people saying it shouldn't be done at all.
What does that have to do with asset management and distribution, you ask? Nothing. I just needed to get this off my chest. I can now invite you to read another remarkable set of stories from creative pros at the top of their game with a lighter heart, far less likely to accost random strangers in the street.