Friday, September 26, 2008

3D Hoopla

If you have been paying attention to the shifting sands and changing territory that is the exhibition industry you are aware that 3D is returning to the theaters in a big way. I live in West Los Angles and I went on the Real D site to search and see how many 3D theaters there are in my metropolitan area. The answer was 50. I wasn’t exactly surprised by that because it’s a given with digital distribution technologies and Dreamworks has announced that they are all-in on 3D films for 2009.
I then began to read blogs and comments on blogs and industry and a whole bunch of shit on 3D cinema and what it means and how it may revive the film industry. I think it’s all a load of shit and I’m about to tell you why.

Even if 3D is as amazing as they say it is, and no – I’ve yet to see one of the new 3D films (I’ll get to that in a second), even if the image is a captivating as they say it is and even if the writers and directors of the film industry can get up to speed fast enough to help this technology turn filmgoing on its ear (talk about a big “if”) I do not believe it will fundamentally change the industry.
Why do you ask? Because, just as I have underscored with digital distribution, this does not address the ills of exhibition. The industry suffers from an overbuilt supply of screens, a homogenization of narratives and an endless supply of sequels to ancient pre-sold property.

But that’s not what I’m really upset about; what really sets my dick on fire is that thought that an element of filmmaking will change how the film is received. We already know that is now true. Directors like Jerry Bruckheimer and James Cameron and Michael Bay were instrumental in making movies (crashes and explosions) big, badder and louder. Whatever the sequence was…it had to be big. This led us to ridiculously long stunt sequences like “The Transporter” where car chases last several minutes (which is laughable because either you get away or you crash…two cars racing nose-to-tail in rush hour traffic or around shipping containers on a dock for an endless amount of time defies the physics of a 3-dimensional universe. Lest we not forget the visual element component of “The Matrix” that ushered in a slew of films that merely had pretty pictures.

What all of this taught us was that no amount of stunts or explosions or visual elements or CGI vistas and landscapes can take the place of a decent script…and that is why I think this new 3D initiative is laughable.
Does feeling as if you are actually in and part of a bad movie not make it as bad? How many elements can you direct at the screen? How much does it enhance a horrible scene if you feel like you can touch the coffee table? I’m not being a dick…these are legitimate questions that need to be answered.

I guess there are sufficient numbers of people that will line up to see The Hulk IV in 3D…but will the premise be any more believable? This country and the world will soon tire of men in tights flying around and saving the world from evil men in tights who wish to destroy the world. The film industry is so concerned with kids themes that it makes me wonder how much juice if left in the fruit?

In a country that is experiencing the largest financial debacle since the great depression, an endless occupation in Iraq, a the largest deficit in history, mass loss of thousands of pensions and retirements due to all of these corporate failures I would think that there is a growing market for adult (non-PG) entertainment.
But that is not what we are going to be sold. The upcoming release schedule for 3D films is almost all kiddie cinema not to mention the resurrection of extremely old narratives. I just am not willing to believe that there is a significant upside for this. Sure, kids are born every year and kids need something to watch…but not 85% of all filmed entertainment.

But that is not really what burns me up. You are witnessing the degradation of the those who create intellectual property…that means writers, actors and directors…not to mention DP’s (cause you can’t really have a DP trying out new techniques in one of these films…you need to stick to what they know…which is static cameras and a lot of watching people talk).

Can you see how quickly the environment has changed and how the pace is quickening? What’s next?...extended sequences with no dialogue which will resemble embedded misuc videos in a film so that we can really show off the technology? Laugh if you want, but this is where we are headed.

Films are driven by narratives. I’ve never seen a great film that didn’t have a great narrative…it’s just that simple. This is not meant to discount the effect of women with big tits, over-the-top-car-stunts, excess profanity or any other portion of your favorite films that made them your favorite…but what makes you return to films like “Swingers” and “Bad Santa” and “The 40 yr old Version” and “Stripes” and “Harold & Kumar go to white Castle” is the writing.
I can’t fucking wait to see how lame this idea becomes. I mean really people…do you think this is going to fly? Here’s a little Cooprdog analogy for you: You can dress up a porn star in the best clothes and give him all the acting classes you want…if he can’t fuck the living shit out of his female co-star the movie ain’t gonna sell (…uh.. I watch a lot of porno).

..ok, I just fucking can’t take it anymore…I gotta get some weed

COOPRDOG

2 Comments:

Anonymous Price Jaccobi said...

I've followed your blog for a while, glad you're back.

I wrote a post about making movies without stories and how it is not a good idea.

3-D will just become like color and sound, the baseline. Movies can get away with gimmick in the short run but need stories if they want to last.

2:38 PM  
Blogger Alena said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

Alena

www.smallbusinessavenues.com

11:02 PM  

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