Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Nolan's DP Wally Pfister Puts His Foot In His Mouth. In 3D No Less.

Wally Pfister, director of photography for Christopher Nolan on THE DARK KNIGHT and INCEPTION, obviously he knows what he is doing, right? Well yes, in 2D anyway. A genius even in 2D.

When Pfister compares modern 3D to a viewmaster and to IMAX, either he is being extremely ignorant of just what modern stereoscopic 3D is or he is just being abrasive? Perhaps he is getting hot under the collar because he has to answer so many questions to do with the subject. Who knows for sure?

Obviously a viewmaster is a VERY layered device.
To throw all of modern 3D into that small box is indeed quite ignorant. Films shot in native 3D like AVATAR and TRON: LEGACY are far from looking through a viewmaster and are revolutionary movies that should be revered as trailblazers, not a child's toy. Perhaps he was speaking to solely 3d conversions and in that case he may have a slight semblance of a point. Pfister does not specify what brand of 3D,- so naturally the lay reader will throw them all together into just 3D. Shameful. This coming from a professional cinematographer no less.

3D vs. IMAX? Again an ignorant statement.
They are not competing formats whatsoever! In fact quite often IMAX movies are shown in 3D and the two are very much intertwined. Pfister says: "I must say I'm a huge IMAX fan. I like IMAX more than I like 3-D." Is he actually trying to get consumers to think that if they like IMAX they shouldn't like 3D? Shameful.

BATMAN 3 will be a 3D movie guys. I don't know this for sure of course, but quite frankly I like how James Cameron words it (paraphrasing): It is in reverse somewhat now. It should be that filmmakers are approaching the studios with their reasons for making a movie in 3D, but in many cases today the studios are demanding 3D. In other words, DPs and directors have been sitting on the fence and not taking action to pick up 3D preemptively. Now they are suffering the consequences and are fighting the tide. Too late.

So it will be with Warner Bros. vs. Wally Pfister. Who do you think will emerge the victor? Consider that Warner Bros. is betting the bank on 3D and that all future tentpoles will be made in stereo. Who pays for the whole shot? Not Pfister. Consumers want 3D - they have spoken through an open marketplace.

If I were Wally Pfister, I would start embracing 3D as a valid medium. I would be careful what I say in public. When he said "Are you really getting more out of the story with 3-D? When you separate those different planes and you’re creating artificial depth, it looks phony to me.", do you think he knows what he is talking about? Is he talking about conversions (bad ones at that) or native 3D? Why is he not clearly defining the difference for the lay person? He must not have seen AVATAR as there was nothing phony about how Cameron was able to draw us into the movie through 3D.

If I were Wally Pfister, I would go get some 3D schooling no matter how embarrassing it would be with his experience.
3D is here, it is staying and will continue to dominate. Get over it. At least Christopher Nolan is much more diplomatic about it and sees what the end game really is: He will be creating a 3D movie at some point in the future.

I find it shameful that posts like this need to be written at all.
When movie professionals stop spewing fear, uncertainty and doubt to the general public, I guess I can relent then. I count Pfister right up there with Roger Ebert. Congratulations on that Wally.

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