Paramount Pictures and Dreamworks are urging Michael Bay to reevaluate his stance on 3D for the upcoming third film in the Transformers franchise. If you are surprised by this, please smack yourself in the face. I’ll wait.
As expected, the success of James Cameron’s Avatar has accelerated the 3D revolution, and seemingly every major franchise is looking to get in on the action. Earlier today, Warner Bros. announced that it would be converting Louis Leterrier’s epic remake of Clash of the Titans to the three-dimensional format, using Hollywood’s Prime Focus for the transfer.
Also this week, Korean shop Stereo Pictures’ president Sung Young-seok told Variety that his company was in talks with Paramount and Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) for the next Transformers film. “The big stumbling block,” explains Variety. “Is the extra time required to do production and visual effects in 3D, as the movie’s release date is already set. Having the pic post-converted could alleviate that problem.”
This is where it all starts to go wrong. In the case of Avatar, every ounce of the production was built around 3D. The environments were created for 3D. The characters were designed for 3D. Everything that was shot, was shot so that it could be transferred into a 3D environment. 3D was a part of the process from the very beginning, as Cameron himself has explained.
The other projects that are currently in talks for 3D are taking a shortcut. They would essentially produce the film — as is the case with Clash of the Titans — and then go back through and convert it to 3D. The technology is ever-improving, but it is difficult to be sold on this concept when everything is happening in post. That said, I wouldn’t mind seeing Transformers 3 — the tighter, leaner version that we’ve been promised — done correctly in 3D. There’s no denying that while Bay has had bumps in the road with story and character, he does make movies that look pretty.