Friday, July 02, 2010

Transformers 3 Shooting in Real 3D?

ARRI Alexa cameraIt seems that Transformers 3 went from a movie that wouldn't be in 3D to a movie that would be converted to 3D to shooting in native (real) 3D, at least according to The MarketSaw blog. The news that Transformers 3 is making use of the 3D cameras comes from Vince Pace, the director of photography on Avatar, who told the website "Transformers has ...signed on to shoot 3D throughout the film."

The idea isn't that far-fetched as Transformers 3 Director Michael Bay said back in March, “I shoot complicated stuff, I put real elements into action scenes and honestly, I am not sold right now on the conversion process. 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. ...This conversion process is always going to be inferior to shooting in real 3D."

Recent experiences watching Clash of the Titans and The Last Airbender show the 3D conversion process has a long way to go before it can come close to replacing the native use of 3D cameras during film production. Right now the studios have the impression that a film will not do as well at the box office without using the 3D gimmick on practically every release. Even Final Destination 5 will be in 3D.

So we know that Michael Bay is not happy with the conversion process, but what about shooting a film with 3D cameras? Back in February he talked about that too, "The way I shoot is too aggressive for 3D cameras. It’s a time consuming thing. Who knows… It might be a fad. I’m kinda old school. I’m old school because I like to shoot on film. I like anamorphic lenses, and that is old school."

The film is going to be released in 3D. I doubt Michael Bay could have stopped that. If this information is true, I guess he figured if the movie was going to be in 3D, should at least do it right. I also suspect something changed his mind other then studio pressure. A plus of the sudden popularity of a format is that often the supporting tech gets an infusion of funds which leads to leaps in innovation.

Pace mentioned that "We took delivery of the first Alexa cameras for Hugo and have 23 more on the way." This refers to a new camera developed by ARRI that Vince Pace's company PACE is using as the foundation to create "...the new age of stereo cinematography. Our commitment to the industry is centered around the fact that the new trend in 3D has to be built on a strong 2D legacy. ARRI has done just that, delivering a camera with both technical and creative performance that raises the bar for digital cinematography. For a DP, the camera delivers on increased dynamic range and sensitivity to help make the transition to 3D seamless." Below is a video example of a 3D rig with the Alexa that was developed by PACE for Martin Scorsese's 3D film "The Invention of Hugo Cabret."

What does all of this mean if true? That Transformers 3 in 3D might actually be worth the extra money to watch.

(MarketSaw link via Bleeding Cool)


  1. Martinus Prime7/02/2010 10:51 AM

    Lose the 3D already, most people are fed up with it. I'm sad Bay caved for 3D. It's a hideous gimmick!!! And it's not impressive at all!!!

    I am definitly NOT going to watch it in 3D, just the normal 2D, the way it is meant to be!!!

  2. @Martin,

    I am pretty sure most people are not fed up with it. In fact, it is gaining in popularity. Another reason why 3D is going to stay: 3D without 3D glasses.

  3. Martinus Prime7/02/2010 5:00 PM

    No way man, every major movie newssite you read people on the forums are really getting fed up with 3D, cause is doesn't add anything. Here in The Netherlands(and I'm guessing all over the world)some theatres are pushing 3D by not showing a normal 2D version, so people don't have a choise anymore.
    3D without glasses is far, far away, why didn't they start to develop and brought that to the world in the First place??!! Cause it's too expensive? 3D with glasses is already too expensive. Philips already made one without glasses years ago! The 3D with the glasses is only a waste of money and technology!
    3D will never replace 2D, why didn't it do that years ago? 3D is an old gimmick.
    High Defenition isn't even a standard yet!

  4. I'm not a fan of 3d, but only because it has been horribly abused since Avatar; that said, I'd be down with a Transformers that's actually shot in 3d, not converted. It gives me another incentive to actually go to the theater to watch it, because otherwise blu-ray beats out my normal theater experiences.
    At home, I won't be delving into 3d until I can get a good one that doesn't use glasses because it's just not that worth it in-home.
    Now the new Nintendo 3DS coming out...sold.

  5. At least bay has the heart to care for his work. Better that it is real 3d than conversion right after all it would have been 3d either way

  6. Great. Its good to know that there's actually a movie out there that will be filmed in real 3D. I'm getting sick of seeing the movies being converted. Glad to hear that it's going to be Transformers 3 so cant wait!

  7. I don't think, i will be watching the 3D version.


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