Saturday, September 22, 2012

PACIFIC RIM 3D Conversion Silver Lining - And What A Silver Lining!

You guys know me by now, if you're going to release a movie that's been converted to 3D you have to plan the production around that. So I mean, have a stereographer working side by side with the director to ensure the shots that are being set up and shot will work very well in three dimensions. That probably means a depth script even though it's not being shot in 3D. It also means consideration to how the movie is lit as well.

But then there's Guillermo del Toro. Obviously he was cleared to shoot PACIFIC RIM in 2D and no one is going to blame him for his reasons for doing so. He's the creative force. I may have a different opinion but would I have gone to see it in 2D? Absol-freakin-lutely.

Here's the thing though. Guillermo is one smart director. Legendary is calling the shots as far as money is concerned and wants it converted. So how can del Toro turn this into something wonderful? He's already in a compromised position due to the fact that he is now going to have a 3D movie that was shot for 2D. So how does he pull this off?

With suitable del Toro gusto. I love this guy! Guillermo is well versed in what makes great 3D and here's the proof - in his own words - on how he approached the executives (Warner Bros and Legendary):

"What happened was, in the weeks and months following Comic-Con, what I asked from the studio was to agree to four points that I wanted to do," he says. "The more the ILM shots arrived, the more I realized that there were only a few shots that would miniaturize. I asked the studio, number one, that we would not hyper-stereo-lize the thing. That we would not force 3D on the beauty shots. That we would keep the giant dimensions. They agreed. Number two, they agreed to something very unusual. Normally a conversion takes a few weeks. I asked to start it immediately so we could take the full 40 weeks to do the conversion. As an example, 'Titanic' took about 50 weeks to convert. The final thing that I asked that they agreed to, which was amazing, was that I asked them to give me an extra budget, which is considerable, to actually have ILM composite the shots that are CG native 3D. We're not giving elements. ILM is giving the composite in 3D from the get-go. That's a huge, huge element. Now I'm going to be involved in supervising it. What can I tell you? I changed my mind. I'm not running for office. I can do a Romney."

So to be clear, here's his list:
1. Don't exaggerate the 3D during some of the massive robot shots - his 'beauty shots'.
This makes sense. Some shots simply will not hold water if you force 3D upon them. Further, audiences need time to relax their eyes in between full immersive 3D. A 3D movie does not need to be, nor should it, always be forcing 3D - unlike some movie blog sites out there that claim they should be by how they rate the genre.

2. He got Legendary to agree to a 40 week conversion!
This is massive. Of course there is more to getting this job done than time, but time is one of the key components of any great conversion. You need time, money, appropriate content and resources. With 40 weeks, you can strike that component concern off the map. Love it!

3. Asked for and received more money - then throwing this at ILM for native 3D visual effects scenes!
The most intricate conversions would have been the action and impact scenes. In one fell swoop, Guillermo negotiated for and won the right to pay Industrial Light and Magic to not only fulfill his visual effects needs, but to render them in native 3D from the beginning. No need to convert these scenes and we'll end up with awesome 3D.

Don't fool yourself. Guillermo del Toro knows what he is doing in 3D. He hasn't shot in native 3D yet, but given his past awareness of the format (he spoke about myself and 3D right here), his clear knowledge of the format in what he negotiated for and won from Legendary for PACIFIC RIM, and of course his close friendship with James Cameron (they were going to do AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS together) - shows his affinity for what we know and love here at MarketSaw.

Best of luck with the conversion Guillermo! You truly have my support in this. You've addressed your needs to make a great 3D conversion and I for one, believe you can do this thing. You've rightly said that TITANIC took 50 weeks and it was a stunning conversion. Can't wait to see this thing on as large a 3D screen as I can find! Bring it on GDT...

PACIFIC RIM opens in 3D on July 12, 2013.

Source: STYD
Thanks: David S. Cohen

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