[From The Guardian’s
3D technology has even sceptical directors embracing another dimension
From Herzog to Coppola, big names are filming stereoscopically – and the technique’s full potential is still to be revealed
Posted by Ben Walters Thursday 17 March 2011 guardian.co.uk
Six years ago, 3D cinema seemed about as likely a candidate for a revival as Odorama. Today it owns the multiplex. After swiftly dominating CG animated features, it gained toe-holds in horror, action and concert films, achieving inarguable momentum even before the success of Avatar.
Now – objectionable as it might be to refuseniks such as Walter Murch, Roger Ebert or Mark Kermode – it is the default form for major studio franchises. From Transformers 3 to Pirates 4, Green Lantern to Thor, the Harry Potter climax to the Spider-Man reboot, almost any picture aiming to dominate the box office is now filmed stereoscopically.
Big deal, you might think. Popcorn fodder will always latch on to sensational fads. But something else is going on, too. Whether through passion or contingency, increasing numbers of serious directors with critical credibility are embracing 3D for their own ends.
Take Werner Herzog, not exactly a film-maker renowned for jumping on bandwagons or following the path of least resistance. “I’ve said in public that I’m a sceptic about 3D,” he recently told me. “It will not take over everything. That’s an illusion. Not every film in 20 years’ time is going to be in 3D.” But for certain projects, he now thinks, it’s the only choice.
Next week sees the release of Cave of Forgotten Dreams, his documentary about the extraordinary paleolithic paintings at Chauvet in the south of France. 3D, Herzog felt, was the only technology able to convey the dramatic play between the images and the fluctuating surfaces on which they were painted. (It’s also great for capturing claustrophobic spaces.) He followed this instinct to deploy an unfamiliar, work-intensive technology despite having very limited access to caves with little light or room to manoeuvre. The results are spectacular. Read more on 3D technology has even sceptical directors embracing another dimension…