29 April 2008

I have seen the future and it screens in 3D

NZBlogPhoto67-2008-04-29-08-14.jpeg A few weeks ago my friend and editor Leonardo Guerchmann was an extra on James Cameron's new movie Avatar being shot in Miramar. He pointed me to an interview about Cameron's style of shooting with the new 3D camera system, the new way of set design and blocking used to make the most out of the new technology. I was doubtful, having once endured the dubious pleasures of one of those black and white 3D movies that constantly has things sticking out or rushing towards the audience, plus the cardboard glasses are really uncomfortable. But last week I read Cameron's fantastically informative and engaging interview in Variety so when Leo asked me if I wanted to go to U2-3D, a sort of test run for the Reading cinema's new digital 3D projector, I reluctantly agreed. I kind of like U2 - they are my generation after all - so all would not be lost if the technology turned out disappointing. How wrong I was: turns out Bono I'd even more of a dick than I thought, but the concert looked AMAZING. Everything was super-sharp and there was so much going on in the picture that I felt my visual cortex had been scrambled. There were beautiful layers of graphics overlaying the action, crowds stretching into space and shafts of stage lighting like solid pillars of smoke. Even the title sequence was eye-popping. Suddenly a simple text scroll becomes filled with possibilities. I can't wait to make films like this. It's how stories should play out on screen, making 35mm flat and boring like a tired watercolour. The possibility for drama, from audience immersion to intense intimacy are mind-boggling. See more about the camera system Cameron used in Avatar here:

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