Wally Pfister on Batman 3 and its Place in the 3D Revolution

Wally Pfister

In a world where Hollywood’s new default setting for how films should be seen is the more financially juicy world of 3D, there are still a few filmmakers out there with a choice. Filmmakers like Christopher Nolan and his long-time director of photographer Wally Pfister still have a choice. Having made The Dark Knight, one of the most visually stunning films of the past decade, these two guys seem to be in a unique position. They can shoot their film any way that they want. And when it comes to the next Batman movie, everyone wants to know one thing ‐ how many dimensions are right for the Caped Crusader?

Over the weekend, Wally Pfister sat down with Cinematical’s Todd Gilchrist at the Dallas International Film Festival, where Pfister received a coveted Star Award for achievement in the world of cinematography from the Dallas Film Society. And as is expected, the conversation eventually turned toward Batman 3 and the fad of 3D. “What Chris and I have talked about is doing something cool and something interesting,” Pfister told Cinematical. “[Director] Brad Bird was [saying] ‘you’ve got to shoot the whole thing in IMAX!’ I was like, yeah, I’ve talked to Chris about that.”

Pfister went on to talk about testing a bit of The Dark Knight in 3D before he and Nolan eventually decided on shooting a few scenes in IMAX. And I must admit, the prospect of seeing him shoot the next Batman flick completely in IMAX is more appealing than say, shooting it properly in 3D. Knowing Christopher Nolan, there’s little chance that he would opt for post-production 3D. He’s a visual purist ‐ a reason why Pfister spent large chunks of time on The Dark Knight figuring out how to create a Steadicam rig for the cumbersome IMAX cameras. One can only assume that if they decided to do the interesting thing and go 3D for the next film, they would do it right.

But as even Pfister understands, this whole 3D fad might be long gone by the time a new Batman movie is in the can, saying “Lord knows that the 3-D fad might pass by the time that summer comes around.” The Lord also knows that many of us can’t wait for that summer, 3D or not.

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