I am not James Cameron. I am not him in many ways – the most obvious one possibly being that I am actually a woman – but how the statement applies in this article is simply the following: I am not an avid advocate for the endless possibilities of using 3D effects in ones films.
Now, Mr. Cameron did it beautifully in Avatar. The 3D lent depth and scope to his vision for the planet Pandora and did it utterly convincingly, but mostly I find 3D to be a device used to convince a possibly hesitant audience to pay the asked-for buck and come see the movie at the cinema, instead of downloading or streaming it at home for no buck at all. Fair enough, the audience may need convincing, but I – as one of those bitten cinema goers who keep choosing the regular 2D showings – remain unconvinced that 3D should be applied to the latest dance-off movie or whatever re-release they have planned next (Titanic 3D, Mr. Cameron – really?)
I feel that the use of anything simply as a gimmick shouldn’t be embraced when the thing could easily be taken out of the process and not hurt the movie one iota. The addition of 3D to a bad script will not make the end result any better. Possibly, with luck, it will make the experience of watching the movie a little bit more entertaining, but at the end of the day, unless the characters are relatable and speak dialogue that’s believable, the audience will leave the theatre disappointed.
One movie last year did use 3D solely for its own gain and that movie was, of course, Gravity. Since it was so hyped for its astounding technical savvy I went and saw it in 3D and the film delivered in every respect, weaving the effects in to enhance the character journey and underline the emotional core of each scene, all the while putting s.p.a.c.e. into the night sky above us like it has never been experienced before. Quietly unsettling and remarkable in many ways, I do feel regret I only went and saw it once.
If they start using 3D that way, integrating it into the very core of the story itself, then I can only see the film medium gaining from it and I feel very excited to see where we’re headed. But if 3D is simply there to add life to the CGI plastered on yet another twenty minute long fight-kill-destroy sequence, then I will spare myself the pain of it and choose a regular 2D showing instead.