I got into a pretty heated IM argument with longtime Scene-Stealers sitegoer Phil Fava from Vineland, NJ this morning on the future of 3D. We covered a lot of serious ground and it echoed sentiment I’ve heard before, so I reprinted it here with his permission (language and all). What do you think about 3D? Chime in below!
(10:38:30 AM) Phil: Saw “Up” in 3-D last night
(10:38:44 AM) Eric: cool
(10:39:14 AM) Phil: This was my mini Facebook status review: “Up” was fucking incredible. It had an aesthetic rivaling “The Wizard of Oz” and “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” and literally one of the most moving stories I’ve seen put to film. Also, it was really funny.
(10:39:30 AM) Phil: And now I will tell you about the 3-D experience
(10:39:38 AM) Eric: 3D obviously didnt ruin it for ya
(10:40:28 AM) Phil: Yeah, but it didn’t improve it
(10:40:36 AM) Eric: hmm
(10:40:43 AM) Phil: And it detracted from it enough to the point that I wish I’d seen it regularly
(10:40:52 AM) Eric: wow
(10:41:14 AM) Phil: 3-D IS a gimmick, and “Up” clearly is not the film that needs such a gimmick to be watchable
(10:41:31 AM) Eric: but it wasn’t a gimmick in Coraline
(10:41:55 AM) Phil: What did it add to the film other than ticket sales?
(10:42:09 AM) Phil: Did the film really benefit from things poking out at you?
(10:42:19 AM) Eric: it increased the surreal atmosphere of the “other” world scenes
(10:42:26 AM) Eric: absolutely
(10:42:33 AM) Phil: Did you see it without 3-D?
(10:42:36 AM) Phil: And compare?
(10:42:39 AM) Eric: nope
(10:42:43 AM) Phil: Aha
(10:42:46 AM) Phil: See?
(10:42:52 AM) Eric: but they designed scenes specifically for that purpose
(10:42:58 AM) Eric: Up didnt
(10:43:01 AM) Phil: I know
(10:43:03 AM) Eric: Up was processed later
(10:43:08 AM) Phil: That’s where I’m going with this
(10:43:22 AM) Eric: then you cant call it a distraction all the time
(10:43:27 AM) Phil: Certain shots weren’t in 3-D at all
(10:43:38 AM) Eric: it all depends on the movie and the artist’s intent
(10:43:39 AM) Phil: And when I would take off the glasses
(10:43:48 AM) Phil: The non-fuzzy shots looked better than they did with the glasses on
(10:44:02 AM) Phil: And the 3-D stuff didn’t really do anything
(10:44:32 AM) Phil: 3-D really is a ticket selling gimmick
(10:44:36 AM) Phil: For shitty movies like Beowulf
(10:44:41 AM) Phil: And for good ones like this and Coraline
(10:46:35 AM) Phil: In watching this movie, I can safely say that the only way 3-D is even noticeable or effective is when things protrude from the screen, and that’s really lame, so
(10:46:37 AM) Phil: In summation
(10:46:38 AM) Phil: Fuck 3-D
(10:46:59 AM) Eric: for “Up,” you mean
(10:47:13 AM) Phil: See, you didn’t see Coraline regularly
(10:47:16 AM) Phil: And I think if you had
(10:47:28 AM) Eric: i LOVED it in 3D
(10:47:31 AM) Phil: You’d notice that the atmosphere would’ve been fine
(10:47:38 AM) Phil: I think you just loved it, period
(10:47:42 AM) Eric: but 3D was better than fine in that movie
(10:47:47 AM) Phil: No
(10:47:51 AM) Phil: The movie was better than fine
(10:47:57 AM) Phil: The art direction itself was better than fine
(10:48:31 AM) Eric: no i watched the director talk about how they used 3D and i agree that Coraline used 3D well
(10:48:38 AM) Phil: Hahahaha
(10:48:56 AM) Eric: 3D is a tool
(10:49:03 AM) Phil: Yes
(10:49:10 AM) Phil: To make money
(10:49:10 AM) Eric: that tool can be used in a gimmicky way
(10:49:19 AM) Eric: or to enhance storytelling
(10:49:28 AM) Phil: Enhance storytelling?!
(10:49:30 AM) Phil: You’re insane
(10:49:33 AM) Eric: i’m not
(10:49:41 AM) Eric: you’re just wrong
(10:49:43 AM) Eric: admit it
(10:49:52 AM) Eric: in “Up,” it was an afterthought
(10:49:56 AM) Phil: Directors and actors have to talk about how great their shitty movies are all the time
(10:50:02 AM) Phil: Why would it be different for 3-D?
(10:50:08 AM) Eric: Coraline used it WHILE designing it
(10:50:13 AM) Phil: Yeah
(10:50:22 AM) Eric: AND Coraline used stop-motion puppets
(10:50:34 AM) Eric: do seeing actual 3D objects in 3D was amazing
(10:50:42 AM) Eric: “so, not “do”
(10:51:00 AM) Phil: You do see objects in movies in 3-D
(10:51:14 AM) Phil: Here’s how it is
(10:51:23 AM) Eric: http://www.scene-stealers.com/blogs/sxsw-2009-selick-rodriguez-imdb-observe-and-report/
(10:51:34 AM) Phil: 3-D is only noticeable when shit pokes out at you
(10:51:36 AM) Phil: And that’s lame
(10:51:38 AM) Phil: So who cares?
(10:51:47 AM) Phil: It has NO other purpose
(10:51:50 AM) Eric: Selick explained how “Coraline” did more than make objects jump out of the screen at its audience, using the technology to “transform space” in his stop-motion world, arranging some perspectives of Coraline’s nightmare world for maximum uncomfortability.The goal was to envelop the audience, not merely trick them.
(10:52:09 AM) Eric: are you done yet?
(10:52:11 AM) Eric: lol
(10:52:35 AM) Phil: Am I done?!
(10:52:40 AM) Phil: You’re quoting yourself!
(10:53:24 AM) Phil: And I don’t care how it well it’s used or to what end
(10:53:26 AM) Phil: It’s a gimmick
(10:54:05 AM) Eric: was sound a gimmick?
(10:54:16 AM) Eric: i think u better back up there, hombre
(10:54:33 AM) Phil: I think you better watch that tone
(10:54:42 AM) Eric: anything that accompanies film CAN be used as a gimmick, but it doesn’t have to be
(10:54:53 AM) Phil: Here’s the thing with sound:
(10:55:07 AM) Phil: Came about in, what, 1930 or ’31
(10:55:08 AM) Phil: Yeah?
(10:55:09 AM) Phil: Yeah
(10:55:14 AM) Eric: 27
(10:55:25 AM) Phil: Fuck
(10:55:40 AM) Phil: I had this shit memorized when I was real into Nosferatu
(10:55:50 AM) Eric: jazz singer
(10:56:02 AM) Phil: Oh wow you’re so smart
(10:56:03 AM) Phil: Fuck you
(10:56:12 AM) Eric: defensive?
(10:56:21 AM) Phil: Pretentious?
(10:56:33 AM) Eric: nope, just correct.
(10:56:38 AM) Phil: And pretentious
(10:56:39 AM) Phil: Moving on
(10:57:02 AM) Phil: Even fucking Chaplin (despite his best wishes) adopted sound eventually
(10:57:05 AM) Eric: just because you dont see 3D’s potential doesn’t mean people can’t use it to enhance story
(10:57:05 AM) Phil: Within a decade or so
(10:57:12 AM) Phil: 3-D’s been around for a long time
(10:57:14 AM) Phil: And it sucks shit
(10:57:17 AM) Phil: It doesn’t add realism
(10:57:22 AM) Eric: it HAS sucked shit
(10:57:31 AM) Eric: because it wasn’t developed enough yet
(10:57:48 AM) Eric: you don’t need realism for a movie to be good!
(10:57:56 AM) Eric: Coraline depends on the unreal!
(10:58:00 AM) Phil: I don’t mean realism in that way
(10:58:01 AM) Eric: that’s why 3D worked!
(10:58:05 AM) Phil: I meant in terms of physicality
(10:58:19 AM) Phil: The appearance of places being tangible or whatever
(10:58:22 AM) Phil: Or objects or people
(10:58:25 AM) Phil: It doesn’t do that
(10:58:29 AM) Phil: It’s just distracting
(10:58:48 AM) Phil: You’re arguing something different
(10:58:56 AM) Phil: Tons of my favorite movies aren’t realistic
(10:59:05 AM) Phil: In terms of story or character or setting
(11:00:08 AM) Eric: how can something that is purposefully used by the director to achieve a feeling from the audience “distracting” if it achieves that goal?
(11:00:16 AM) Eric: it’s not
(11:00:22 AM) Eric: it’s effective
(11:00:51 AM) Eric: you may want to see Coraline in 3D and wait for Jamas Cameron’s Avatar before u pass any more judgement
(11:01:19 AM) Phil: You may want to go back in time and NOT see Coraline in 3-D (unless that option was unavailable)
(11:01:36 AM) Eric: not necessary
(11:01:46 AM) Eric: already saw that it worked beautifully
(11:01:54 AM) Eric: nothing more to glean from a 2D version
(11:01:56 AM) Phil: No you didn’t!
(11:01:58 AM) Phil: Hahahaha
(11:02:05 AM) Phil: You saw that the FILM worked beautifully
(11:02:16 AM) Phil: How tall are you?
(11:02:17 AM) Eric: no, the 3D film
(11:02:34 AM) Eric: uh oh…here comes the analogy
(11:02:38 AM) Eric: 6ft.
(11:02:47 AM) Phil: Okay
(11:02:56 AM) Phil: So that means I have a good chance of winning when we fight over this
(11:04:15 AM) Eric: funny
(11:04:29 AM) Eric: the last gasp of a dying argument
(11:04:51 AM) Phil: It was a joke, you dickwad
(11:05:01 AM) Phil: And I will argue this all day
(11:05:15 AM) Phil: Except you ultimately lose because you didn’t see Coraline in 2-D
(11:05:17 AM) Eric: i have a feeling that if I engeged in the same kind of arguments i do with JD
(11:05:21 AM) Phil: So your frame of reference is limited
(11:05:28 AM) Eric: that you would end up punching me in the mouth
(11:05:33 AM) Phil: Hahahahahahahaha
(11:05:39 AM) Phil: It was a joke!
(11:05:46 AM) Eric: true, but still…
(11:05:50 AM) Phil: I was more or less wondering because I watched a review earlier
(11:05:52 AM) Phil: And I was like
(11:05:55 AM) Eric: btw, did u see “Up” in 2d?
(11:06:00 AM) Phil: “Either JD is a midget or Eric is the tallest man ever”
(11:08:20 AM) Phil: Yeah, parts of it I did
(11:08:30 AM) Phil: Because when I would remove the glasses and look at the non-processed shots
(11:08:36 AM) Phil: They looked better than the processed ones
(11:08:43 AM) Phil: Clearer
(11:08:56 AM) Phil: Brighter (partly due to the fact that the 3-D glasses are basically sunglasses)
(11:09:22 AM) Phil: And the ones that were processed were indistinguishable from the regular ones with the glasses on
(11:09:25 AM) Phil: They added nothing
(11:09:30 AM) Phil: And if they HAD added something
(11:09:31 AM) Phil: For me
(11:09:37 AM) Phil: It would’ve detracted and distracted
(11:10:15 AM) Eric: Can I reprint this conversation on the site?
(11:10:22 AM) Phil: Hahahaha
(11:10:25 AM) Eric: it’s actually got a lot of good stuff in it
(11:10:30 AM) Eric: seriously
(11:10:32 AM) Phil: That would be awesome