Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Bay Not Sold On 3D

While it was assumed that Transformers 3 in 3D was a forgone conclusion thanks to Avatar, that may no longer the case. In an article from Deadline New York, both James Cameron and Michael Bay have both indicated they are not fans of the post-production conversion process that the studios have been using lately to turn 2D films into 3D such as Clash of the Titans, and Alice in Wonderland with more in the pipeline. Below are choice quotes, the full article is here. Thanks to David and NHLfan for the link.
Avatar’s James Cameron told [Deadline] recently. "Now, you’ve got people quickly converting movies from 2D to 3D, which is not what we did. They’re expecting the same result, when in fact they will probably work against the adoption of 3D because they’ll be putting out an inferior product.”

“I shoot complicated stuff, I put real elements into action scenes and honestly, I am not sold right now on the conversion process,” says Michael Bay. Paramount and DreamWorks are pressuring him to allow Transformers 3 to be dimensional-ized after the fact, because there simply isn’t enough time to shoot with 3D camera and post the film between now and its July 1, 2011 release date.

Bay investigated shooting at least some Transformers 3 footage with 3D cameras, but found them too heavy and cumbersome for the fast pace action scenes he shoots. Bay feels the process of sending out 2D film for 3D conversion is more problematic and pricey than studios are admitting. Too often, companies selling 3D retrofitting services arrive with a sharp demo reel, but leave with a deer-in-the-headlights look when Bay gives them his own footage to convert, on a tight deadline.

“I am trying to be sold, and some companies are still working on the shots I gave them,” Bay said. “Right now, it looks like fake 3D, with layers that are very apparent. You go to the screening room, you are hoping to be thrilled, and you’re thinking, huh, this kind of sucks. People can say whatever they want about my movies, but they are technically precise, and if this isn’t going to be excellent, I don’t want to do it. And it is my choice.”

Said Bay: “I’m used to having the A-team working on my films, and I’m going to hand it over to the D-team, have it shipped to India and hope for the best? This conversion process is always going to be inferior to shooting in real 3D. Studios might be willing to sacrifice the look and use the gimmick to make $3 more a ticket, but I’m not. Avatar took four years. You can’t just shit out a 3D movie. I’m saying, the jury is still out.”

“This is another example of Hollywood getting it wrong,” Cameron said. “Sony says, we’re doing Spider-Man in 3D.’ The director doesn’t say, `Hey, I want to make the movie in 3D.’ The studio says, `You want to direct this movie? You’re doing it in 3D, motherfucker!' That’s not how it should be. I’ve tried for the last seven years to get filmmakers excited, and they all hung back while Pixar and DreamWorks did animation and me and a couple others did live action. We prove the point, and now filmmakers are being told to make their movies in 3D.”
According to the article, the cost of the conversion is not minor with an average cost of $100,000 per minute. Assuming TF3 is around 140 minutes (like previous films) that means an additional $14 million at least. With the 3D format on the cusp of going mainstream with 3D TVs, 3D Blu-ray and even portable video games (just announced Nintendo 3DS) it seems the studios are determined to use it to eke out every dollar possible.

Avatar does prove that if a film plans on it, a CGI heavy action film can be made but Transformers 3 simply doesn't have that kind of time with 15 months to get a completed product out. My understanding is the conversion process takes about 3 months. That means that Bay, ILM and Digital Domain would have to have a completed film by March of next year to meet the July 1st, 2011 release date. Considering that both TF1 and 2 were being tweaked quite literally past the world premiere, I don't think it is feasible in the time frame provided. Of course if you throw enough money at a problem, time becomes less of an issue, but is Paramount willing to make that kind of commitment for box office results that currently only have two data sets (Avatar and Alice), one of which was an unlikely to be repeated phenomenon?


  1. "Considering that both TF1 and 2 were being tweaked quite literally past the world premiere"

    Tweaked, maybe. But Bay brought the film with him to BotCon last year (for those who were willing to get the big package for the event) and we got to see it. I really didn't notice a difference between that version and the one I saw in theatres a month and a half later. I think Bay just wants us to think he's a hard worker when it comes to his films.
    In the end, he's a business man, and business men often lie in order to get their client (us) to buy their product.

  2. wow, i really respect mr bay more now, because he got the balls to say "if youre making me do this movie in 3d, i will simply not do it". we heard a lot of really stupid bullshit things about great franchises, because the studios want it to be their way. spiderman 4? screw sam raimi, lets do a child director make the reboot and foyus on parkers school time. yeah, great idea. ghostbusters 3? we will make it, but not when the core team is directing. they are so stupid, and bay and cameron are standing against this. KUDOS TO BOTH OF THEM!!!!!

  3. so.. what now? do we have a final decision from bay and the Paramount/Dreamworks about making Transformers 3 in 3d or 2d..?? i like it to be in 2d anyways..

  4. Thank you Bay. I really hope Paramount listens to what he had to said, because it is completely true.

  5. thank god. No need to waste time for that crap.

  6. jes, jes, jes, thx bay :)

    I hate 3D movies.

  7. I really hope that Paramount CEO won't force Michael Bay to either have the movie converted to 3D or he would get fired just like the insane Sony managers and CEO did to Sam Raimi with Spiderman4 which is no more and replaced him with an unknown comedy director that has no clue how to properly shoot an action movie just to have him shoot in 3D, a movie that surely will flop badly and will kill the franchise for a very long time and hurt Sony Columbia Pictures forever.
    Paramount CEO is the one that forced the adoption of the HD-DVD Microsoft/Toshiba dead format against Blu-Ray just a couple years ago... now forcing Michael Bay to do the movie in 3D or the worst to replace him with anyone else it could kill the franchise and hurt Hasbro business more than anyone else.

  8. I think some of you guys hit the nail on the head, like Bay or not if he doesn't want to do Transformers 3 in 3D and Paramount replaces him with some no name director that is willing to shoot in 3D because he has a chance to do a major motion picture and the movie flops or their is a bunch of backlash this movie franchise will not see a 4th!!!

  9. 3D is nice but I'm just not totally convinced about having to wear glasses over my glasses. :( It's kinda hard to do that; keeps falling off and making it kind of distracting.

    Remember those times when cinemas used to offer smell-o-vision? You could scratch a card and smell what was cooking in a certain scene (I think this was a big thing back in the 60's). Yeah, that died out real quick.

    I'd rather enjoy a movie the good 2D way, no gimmicks, no extra things attached to my face.

  10. I have no issue if Transformers 3 is filmed in 3-D or not. I simply hope and pray for a good movie with a compelling story, great characters, typical humor, wow factor and etc.... I really enjoyed the other 2 films and considering they were not filmed in 3-D I still enjoyed them. The whole 3-D effect is just cosmetics and not really the core.

    Once they have the core in place, story, characters so on and so forth...then they should concentrate on other fancy bells and whistles.

    I think Transformers 1 and 2 were very interactive with it's fan base. I would like to see the same formula for Transformers 3. And what I mean by formula is the humor, dramatic sequences, fans caring for characters like Optimas Prime...stuff like this is what movies are so special. And of course the sound track, Licken Park and sound effects.

    I think what they had in Transformers 2 was perfect, they just need to use the same resources and tweak it a bit.

  11. Mike from Hialeah, FL

    As a true Transformers fan of the 80's, all I have to say is, Michael Bay your the man. I loved both movies, and I cannot picture the third film being done in 3D. Especially how I've seen how you shoot your movies. The 3D cams couldn't handle it. Besides, the movie will make twice as more than the previous ones, just like the sequel did from the first.

    I respect your work and style and have nothing negative to say about you. In the end I know you won't let us (the true fans) down.

  12. Bay is tha man!!! Hope Paramount is listening to Bay, he already said over a year ago that his way of filming is way to aggressive to shoot in 3D. And why is Dreamworks pushing him for 3D? I thought Spielberg was behind him all the way.

    Reading blogs/forums, seems no true Transformers fan wants to watch it in 3D. And there just isn't enough time. And I think this word of mouth travels real fast and I hope it get's through the thick skull of Paramount.

    I hope Bay sticks with his point en doesn't tries "to be sold". If it looks like fake 3D(what it does anyway) at this point, they can never get it right in time.

    Michael, we have haith in you.

  13. i dont care which one he chooses but really for the record. the 3D in the theaters in so cheap and doesn't really change the movie experience. i am not all that impressed by 3D. it is sooooo lame.

  14. Who ever is financing Transformers 3 is pretty much in charge. SO if they want it in 3-D it will get done in 3-D.

    That's the nature of the business.

  15. Woah I wasn't expecting this but I'm glad Bay is sticking to his opinion. I can sense he also doesn't wanna screw the 3rd movie up cause' I think he cares a bit for us(TF fans). And I get used to 3D films after watching it lots of times,it appears 2D after a while.

  16. I agree Pablo, 3D is very lame. Fuck Paramount they want to ruin the movie! We dont need a FAKE 3D MOVIE! If it took 4 years to make Avatar in 3D,then how long will it take for TF3? We want a movie that focus on STORY not 3D! I hope Bay dont listen to those morons!

  17. 3D films are shit. I have enough trouble just going to see regular ones (I have really bad motion sickness).

  18. Martinus Prime3/25/2010 5:17 PM

    Same here Pablo and anon 11.30AM!!
    It's a stupid gimmick and a waste of time and money!!

  19. Megatrons Deception nailed it - it all comes down to finance these days. The producers try to get e few extra bucks per ticket - this is not always bad, as long as they don't sacrifice film quality.
    Btw, do you really think John Malkovich would fit in T3...?

  20. Martinus Prime3/27/2010 1:23 PM

    @canvas art:
    Malkovich? Maybe. On the 3D, a few extra bucks? Did you read how much 3D costs?
    Paramount for sure is sacrificing the film quality! And that's bad!


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