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James Cameron says that producers should swallow the high costs of filming in 3D if they want to stay competitive.  (Source: Sassy Wire)

Mr. Cameron's Avatar was the most expensive movie in history to produce -- costing an estimated $300M USD. However, it also made far more money than any film in history, pulling in $2.73B USD internationally.  (Source: 20th Century Fox)
Costs are high, but shooting in 3D can bring in big revenue, says Cameron

To some, 3D is just a gimmick – to others, it's the future of TV. Regardless of where you stand, you have to acknowledge that the movement is picking up steam.  Hot of the incredible success of Avatar which grossed $2.73B USD internationally, James Cameron is stating that the success is owed largely to its 3D filming and is urging other producers to embrace the medium.

Mr. Cameron was the king of 2D cinematography producing the sprawling drama 
Titanic which drew in $1.8B USD, setting the all time international box office record that would stand until Avatar came along.  Now Mr. Cameron says that rather than shoot in 2D and edit the content for 3D sets, producers should jump straight to 3D.

He states, "There's not going to be the time or the money to convert that. It's going to have to be shot live. We're going to learn how to do live shooting. The cost will come down on live 3D production."

When it comes to number of 3D capable television sets in the U.S., they seem to lend credibility to Mr. Cameron's statement.  South Korean manufacturers Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics released 3D sets early this year and Japan's Sony Corp will deliver 3D models this summer.  Japan's Panasonic has also launched several 3D sets.

While analysts estimate only 1.2 million units to sell this year, they predict that by 2013 that number will rise to 15.6 million units.  And by 2018 sales of 64 million units and a total revenue of $17B USD is predicted.

Mr. Cameron remarks, "[Big entertainment companies] can't be afraid to shoot in 3D because tens of thousands of people all over the world are shooting in 3D every day.  We're going to have 3D TVs all around us ... and we're going to need thousands of hours of sports, comedy and music and all kinds of entertainment."

One factor that Mr. Cameron ignores, though, that producers may not be able to is cost.  Filming in 3D is much more expensive and requires special training for the film crew.  The use of 3D was a major reason why 
Avatar's production budget reportedly ballooned to an epic $300M USD, perhaps the most of any movie in history. 

Not everyone can afford those kinds of production costs, and thus it would be unsurprising if some producers reacted to Mr. Cameron's statement much like constructions workers would react if Donald Trump paid them a visit and urged them to work harder.

And not even all privileged directors agree with his assessment.  Oscar-winning director Francis Ford Coppola recently came out against 3D filming, saying that it is a "juvenile abomination" and "a waste of a perfectly good dimension".  He says he would much prefer large format big scene shots.



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There's a time and place for everything...
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 5/14/2010 10:03:38 AM , Rating: 5
While I agree that 3D is the future, I don't think we should just go full-blown, hardcore 3D right away. Films like Avatar and Toy Story lend themselves well to 3D...

But who wants to watch a comedy or sappy drama in 3D?




RE: There's a time and place for everything...
By DEVGRU on 5/14/2010 10:45:26 AM , Rating: 5
Easy. Until 3D technology matures 100-fold, its a distraction, plain and simple. It offers nothing to the story, acting, plot, character relationships, etc. The only reason 3D is relevent to today's cinema are due to 50-ft tall IMAX screens. Port the current tech to ones living room and it becomes a burden, not a boon. I don't care if there are 3D TVs and players comming to the market, until I have a 50ft tall screen in my living room that requires no gimmicks to use (i.e. retardo-glasses), 3D is dead in a home because it wont and cant compare to the IMAX experience. Thats not even mentioning the fact that 3D only lends itself to the action, sci-fi, or fantasy genre(s). 3D technology isn't like HD wherein HD lends itself to all genres and themes equally and easily without detracting from the STORY, nevermind the physical impact of current 3D that needs specialized glasses, viewing angles, screens, players, or projectors.


By dwalton on 5/14/2010 11:55:50 AM , Rating: 4
Do you really expect maturation through innovation with no to little adoption of the initial technology? If the current tech is expensive what do you think it will cost for a 100 fold increase in performance when # of films using 3d technology remains quite small?

Nobody going to invest improving 3D technology if there little to no acceptance of the current tech. Businesses are only going to pour millions into new 3d tech if they see an avenue of recouping such investment in a timely manner. 2-3 3D movies a year is not likely to encourage that investment.

Futhermore, 3D lending itself only to action, sci-fi and fantasy is due to the lack of imagination and immaturity of the tech. If 3d production was cheap and more mature, I can see 3d lending itself to slap stick comedy and other genres. Certain comedic scenes involving certain acts of enlightment (if you know what I mean) could use 3D to great effect. When we get to point of not needing 3d glasses, 3D can be used more like CGI for films. Intermediately for scenes where it makes sense.



By jimbojimbo on 5/14/2010 4:44:23 PM , Rating: 1
Color is a gimmick too. Who the hell wants color? Let's go completely black and white for everything!!

I'm being sarcastic here of course.


By JediJeb on 5/17/2010 5:10:59 PM , Rating: 2
I agree somewhat also. And when they make a 3D set so I can buy a nice big model for about $300 then I will be interested, and it better last me 15+ years like my CRT set has or I will be upset.

Honestly I view TV and Movies as cheap entertainment, if I want to spend big money on entertainment I will spend it on a nice vacation somewhere exotic. It is hard enough for me to still justify $55 a month for DirecTV. I have given up renting movies because of cost and have never bought more than a dozen CDs in the past 20 years. If they film everything in 3D they had better also convert down to compatible with 2D or I will never see it.


RE: There's a time and place for everything...
By imaheadcase on 5/14/2010 10:24:58 AM , Rating: 1
Exactly.

Same goes for other formats. Who wants to watch a romantic comedy on blu-ray?

Certain movies just look better in certain formats than others.


RE: There's a time and place for everything...
By BadAcid on 5/14/2010 11:46:47 AM , Rating: 5
Who wants to watch a romantic comedy at all?


RE: There's a time and place for everything...
By Darkefire on 5/14/2010 1:35:38 PM , Rating: 5
Anyone who's learned that saying "Yes, dear" is more beneficial to your health and sanity than trying to sell her on the merits of a sci-fi/horror flick for the umpteenth time at the video store.


RE: There's a time and place for everything...
By jeff834 on 5/14/2010 2:02:43 PM , Rating: 5
What's a video store?


RE: There's a time and place for everything...
By jeff834 on 5/14/10, Rating: 0
By ClownPuncher on 5/14/2010 3:03:33 PM , Rating: 4
Get off the stage!


RE: There's a time and place for everything...
By Spacy on 5/14/2010 10:34:10 AM , Rating: 3
I would love to watch movies in 3D but without two eyes the movie looks horrible even with the glasses on. With current tech in 3D I would be unable to watch movies again, seeing as I own over 400 movies on Blue-ray/DVD, eliminating me from the market would be upsetting.


RE: There's a time and place for everything...
By garrun on 5/14/2010 11:05:50 AM , Rating: 2
I also only have one eye and am a bit worried about the rush to 3D. I've never seen statistics though on how many people can't watch 3D content. I don't think we have to worry too much as long as the tech requires special glasses, though. Does anyone know how the "glasses-less" 3D works for people who only have vision in one eye?


By lightfoot on 5/14/2010 12:08:54 PM , Rating: 2
I've seen the statistics:
Between 4 and 10% of people can not view 3D content. It is a huge issue. I count myself lucky not to be included in that statistic, but it can not be ignored.

http://www.cnn.com/2010/TECH/01/15/3d.tv.opinion/i...


RE: There's a time and place for everything...
By zephyrxero on 5/14/2010 12:43:36 PM , Rating: 1
This is a ridiculous argument...that's like saying that just because there are deaf people in the world we should just not have soundtracks anymore. Perfect example, my wife only has one ear drum so she can only hear in mono, but that doesn't mean that I don't want to hear things in surround sound, even if she can't.


RE: There's a time and place for everything...
By mcnabney on 5/14/2010 1:09:34 PM , Rating: 3
Under current technology a film presented in 3D is unwatchable. It is blurry and the colors all messed up without the special glasses.

Sorry, but requiring the viewer to put glasses on for anything besides 'event viewing' like Avatar is a non-starter. Get back to me when 3D is available without glasses or an extremely expensive TV.


By JediJeb on 5/17/2010 5:14:51 PM , Rating: 2
But she can at least still hear the sound even if not enjoy it fully. Some people would not even be able to see the movie if filmed in 3D.


By jimbojimbo on 5/14/2010 4:48:00 PM , Rating: 2
Are all of you stupid? The 3D Blurays will have two streams of video and I'm sure a single click can have it show just one stream. Duh. 3D will be an option, NOT SOMETHING THEY FORCE down your throat.

Besides, much like how they still sell DVDs they'll sell regular 2D BluRays forever.


RE: There's a time and place for everything...
By Targon on 5/14/2010 10:54:10 AM , Rating: 3
This is a fairly simple thing to answer, it is all about how things evolve. We have seen the move from black and white without sound to adding sound, to color, to stereo sound, then to surround sound(which is still evolving slowly). The move to 3D really is more about depth of field than objects popping off the screen.

The whole idea of select objects popping off the screen is the sort of thing that has given 3D a bad name since it is just selected objects, but the rest of the film is flat. When you move to full 3D, there is a depth of field that just makes the movie experience better.

We all know that you can watch TV or a movie without even stereo sound, but can you deny that surround sound DOES add to the effect of a movie? Hearing people walk in a door from behind the audience, or bullets or other effects that come from all sides just make things better. They may not be ESSENTIAL, but they do add to the enjoyment of a movie.

The need to film for a full 720 degree to be able to watch from any angle may be going overboard though. THAT is the sort of thing that isn't needed, and would add more to the cost of production than just using 3D technology to enhance the overall experience of a movie.


RE: There's a time and place for everything...
By zephyrxero on 5/14/2010 12:46:00 PM , Rating: 1
Agreed. I don't give 2 sh*ts about stuff flying off the screen at me...I want to see the depth of a scene. When I see a mountain range far behind the characters, I want it to actually feel like it truely has that depth.


By mcnabney on 5/14/2010 1:21:04 PM , Rating: 5
You can't see that now. Humans don't perceive depth for anything with a distance of about half a mile or further. Your eyes aren't far enough apart and your lenses can't adjust focus beyond 'infinity' which starts at about the same distance.
Now nearby depth of field, like people and objects in a room, are already handled through cinemaphotography. The camera can be set to a shallow depth of field so that only what the director wants the audience to follow is in focus.
Besides, even the 3D that Cameron is talking about is just a gimmick. These are not holographic images on the screen. You can't move your head or change your seat and see something that is behind the actor. That is why current 3D only works for people in the center of the theater. If you don't get a good seat at the movie you are going to have a poor experience.

Also, Cameron is just saying all this stuff because he owns the current technology and his trying to compell other producers TO BUY HIS STUFF.


By amanojaku on 5/14/2010 11:20:29 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
While I agree that 3D is the future, I don't think we should just go full-blown, hardcore 3D right away.
I disagree. If we're going 3D it SHOULD be full-blown hardcore. *wink wink*


By dwalton on 5/14/2010 12:03:33 PM , Rating: 3
Pineapple Express 2, Half Baked 2, Cheech and Chong 2011, Harold and Kumar 3, Friday Three Weeks from Now: The Return of Smokey, all in 3D. The possiblities are endless.


RE: There's a time and place for everything...
By dflynchimp on 5/14/2010 12:33:49 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
But who wants to watch a comedy or sappy drama in 3D?


2 words.

3D Boobs


By adiposity on 5/14/2010 12:50:49 PM , Rating: 5
That's three words.


RE: There's a time and place for everything...
By zephyrxero on 5/14/10, Rating: 0
By ClownPuncher on 5/14/2010 12:47:48 PM , Rating: 2
Why not further technology for holograms and *actual* 3D mediums instead of waste time and resources on this trend that will be dead (again) in 2 years?


It's a fad
By Spookster on 5/14/2010 10:11:01 AM , Rating: 5
It's a fad that has came and went how many times now? It will come and go again.




RE: It's a fad
By Spivonious on 5/14/2010 10:11:54 AM , Rating: 3
<grammar nazi>
has come and gone

OR

came and went

Apologies if English is not your first language.


Why is it expensive?
By Spivonious on 5/14/2010 10:11:11 AM , Rating: 2
Don't you just need two cameras attached to each other at a fixed distance? The rest is all post-processing.




RE: Why is it expensive?
By SublimeSimplicity on 5/14/2010 10:27:03 AM , Rating: 3
But it's that post-processing thats the trouble / expense. Imagine you need to add a steam or smoke effect to a scene.

In 2D any randomly generated smoke pattern will convince your mind that it's smoke. With 3D, what your left eye sees, must jive with what your right eye sees, at the depths it expects it to be or your mind will reject it.


RE: Why is it expensive?
By Connoisseur on 5/14/2010 10:34:52 AM , Rating: 2
not sure it's that easy. There probably has to be some knowledge on shooting at the right angle, lighting conditions etc to take full advantage of 3d effects. If your movie is all side or straight on shots, the 3d probably won't be all that impressive.


I don't know
By neogrin on 5/14/2010 11:51:21 AM , Rating: 5
I was around for the last 2 times that 3D was the "new big thing". I wasn't impressed then and I haven't seen anything now that would change my opinion.

Until, I can watch 3D content without glasses (on my full wall TV), I'll take a pass.

Now, get off my lawn!




RE: I don't know
By jimbojimbo on 5/14/2010 4:52:46 PM , Rating: 2
I won't be happy until they can connect directly to my brain and pump 3D images straight into my head.


he is right
By smackababy on 5/14/2010 10:05:08 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
James Cameron is stating that the success is owed largely to its 3D filming
Of course he is stating that. He knows he can't base Avatars success its amazing story...




I say...
By CptTripps on 5/14/2010 12:12:00 PM , Rating: 5
Write a unique and interesting plot or go home. Then I won't fall asleep during your movie.




I prefer 2D
By BernardP on 5/14/2010 10:22:17 AM , Rating: 2
I saw Avatar in 3D and don't think it adds anything to the experience. I found myself peeking often above the glasses to see how much brighter the picture would be in 2D.

I'd rather watch a movie in 2D than in 3D with sunglasses on, which is the impression 3D gives me.




RE: I prefer 2D
By Connoisseur on 5/14/2010 10:41:18 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed. I commented on another article that I feel 3d doesn't bring anything NEW to the table the way HD did. At least with HD there was a tangible improvement in level of detail which lent itself well especially to action/epic movies. In addition, HD (in my opinion) was really the herald of the digital TV age which brought with it so many new options as far as live tv viewing.

With 3d, you're not REALLY getting any more information. They're just tricking your brain into thinking something is three dimensional when you're still getting only two dimensions of detail. There's no real depth. I think the true 3d revolution will come when you physically add that third dimension of depth and allow viewers to alternate their viewing angles at will and actually get to see the picture as if you moved to another perspective. Also, current 3d sets hurt my eyes a lot.


High Horse?
By LedHed on 5/15/2010 5:17:27 PM , Rating: 2
James Cameron needs to get off his high horse. Avatar had less plot than Hannah Montana: The Movie.

I'm sure Cameron owning patent rights to some of the 3D Camera Technology used in Avatar has NOTHING to do with him pushing it so hard to other producers.

I for one would rather see a new/original movie and not a rehash of 30yr old film with updated picture/audio/actors. Movies are falling to the same curse as video games; when you can't figure anything new out just remake the same game with a few new bells.

Also Coraline is a better 3D experience than Avatar.




RE: High Horse?
By JediJeb on 5/17/2010 5:27:47 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed! Are there actually any new movies that are not remakes of old movies or adaptations of comics to screen?


3D not for all films
By DFranch on 5/14/2010 10:20:39 AM , Rating: 2
While 3D is cool, and it totally works in Avatar, it does not work for all films. Lets take his second biggest movie Titanic. Would 3D have made Titanic a better movie? No, probably much worse.




Super Bowl Halftime Show 3D
By roggrat on 5/14/2010 10:59:38 AM , Rating: 2
While 3D may be the way of the future, I don't think the industry is being genuine on the issue of 3D TV's. A couple of year back in 2007 the halftime show was broad-casted in 3D and all we had to do is pick up the 3D glasses from Target for free. Now back then I still had the curved CRT screen without HD and yet I was still able to see the show just fine with my glasses on. So to me the whole 3D marketing ploy being peddled is disingenuous at best.




Eye problems
By UsernameX on 5/14/2010 11:01:02 AM , Rating: 2
I have an eye disease which makes it difficult for me to watch 3D movies. Infact I enjoy the movie less in 3D because of this disease. At least being required to wear glasses. Maybe when they invent then technology to see 3D without glasses, it might be a different story.




More money for cameron...
By tintii on 5/14/2010 12:16:37 PM , Rating: 2
As far as i know... cameron is one of the first people to commercialize (so to speak) the 3d camera... so i see his comments as a way to get richer...

Also, Id rather watch a great film in 2d than a crappy one in 3d.




3D not that big a deal.
By Director on 5/14/2010 4:38:27 PM , Rating: 2
We got Avatar on blu ray a week back and I have to say that you don't miss much by not having 3D. In fact I think I preferred the BR more.




3D
By titanmiller on 5/14/2010 5:46:44 PM , Rating: 2
I think that 3d will be more useful for user interfaces than for movies.




James Cameron...
By superflex on 5/14/10, Rating: 0
"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA














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