Earlier this month, we told you that 3D movies aren’t going anywhere just yet. Our reasoning then, and remains now, based on our conversation with one of the minds behind one of the most recent films to be made in 3D—the revival of “Texas Chainsaw Massacre.”
We spoke with the film’s producer Carl Mazzocone extensively on the debate over the future of 3D.
Business Insider: When does 3D work and when doesn’t it?
Carl: A lot of producers have exploited 3D unnecessarily to capture that extra little [sur]charge at the box office. Certain movies clearly should not be 3D. There’s no true benefit of, I think, having a conventional love story in 3D. But, in a horror movie where there’s action and you’re trying to make it as frightening as possible, and of course you’re wielding a three foot chainsaw, you have a situation where you can actually enhance the situation by making a 3D movie.
Technically, when you have an animated movie that’s one of the best 3D [films] you can get because of the control they have in absolutely every aspect. The whole movie is made on the computer.
3D is not going to turn a bad movie into a good movie, when it comes to story you need a great script and you need somebody who understands the script and is making a great script, so ultimately you can’t say 3D’s going to make your movie great, its only an enhancement.
BI: Why was “Texas Chainsaw” filmed in 3D?
Carl: I wanted to make the movie thrilling. I thought if used correctly, it would enhance the movie. There’s parts of the movie that have enormous realism. Theres a scene where Leatherface [villain] is chasing Heather, a character played by Alexandra Daddario, and that’s a really fabulous scenario for 3D because because you have all these objects in the foreground mid ground and in the distance, well lit and as you’re chasing somebody there’s a real realistic feeling of actually being in the crowd, of being in the point of view of leatherface with the crowd coming by you and its some of the coolest 3D in the movie.
BI: When is it appropriate to use 3D versus 2D?
Carl: From a business point of view 3D is expensive. It does cost more to make a 3D movie [than] a 2D movie and when you crunch the numbers it’s a lot better 3D if you shoot native 3D [than] if you converted. The reason for that is you know you’re making a 3D movie and you know that you’re going to put these 3D glasses on that are like wearing sunglasses so you can light appropriately for 3D. You can set and stage your action appropriate for 3D and then really most importantly is as you’re recording in 3d you’re sitting in video village watching a very expensive high def 3D monitor wearing 3D glasses and at that point in time you actually get to see that 3D that you recorded and that’s profoundly efficient and valuable.
BI: And what are your thoughts on 2D to 3D conversion?
“As the audience get wiser and it gets used to certain things, they won’t lean toward 3D unless it serves its purpose.”
Carl: Of course it wasn’t shot to be in 3D so you’re limited by the decision making of the filmmaker at the time not realising it was someday going to be a 3D movie. And, then there’s the enormous expense. 3D conversion cost $50,000 a minute. So, that’s very cost prohibitive when you’re making a lower budget movie to do that. I’ve learned a lot about 3D. I’ve made one and I did my best to shoot native 3D on absolutely everything, but because of the size of the camera, there are times that you just have to shoot 2D and convert to 3D. And, of course, you want to keep it down to a minimum because of the expense.
You know, obviously if you’re converting an older movie like “Jurassic Park” you have no choice, you have to convert that one. But yeah, I definitely believe that native 3D has a better quality. There are times where I think that if an average movie could do 90 per cent native and 10 per cent conversion then that’s just the nature of the beast.
BI: Where do you see the future of 3D in film going?
Carl: I don’t think it’s over, but I do think its future is going to be decided by the technological advances that are going to be made in the future. One of the problems is wearing the glasses. At some point in time when they can either eliminate the glasses or improve the glasses, it will improve the experience. It’s all about the experience. So, I’m hopeful that 3D will evolve technologically and will enhance the cinematic experience.
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