By Charlie Schmidlin | The Playlist November 12, 2013 at 11:31AM
You may not find a more agreeable aspect this cinematic year than that of Alfonso Cuaron's masterful use of 3D in “Gravity” alongside DP Emmanuel Lubezki. Even going so far as to briefly reverse the opinion of staunchly anti-3D film critic Mark Kermode, the hit space drama is one of the few to further the format rather than cheapen it. Such acclaim affords a good measure of credibility to the discerning opinions coming from those behind the scenes, and stereo supervisor Chris Park has gone ahead and offered a few choice words on the current 3D film landscape.
Parks, an accomplished VFX expert known previously for his work on “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End” and “Jack The Giant Slayer," recently labeled the majority of 3D usage in film “crap,” but said that—as in “Gravity”, where he was brought on a full year before production started—when its elements are in order it can “enormously enhance the experience.”
"There's only a point to watching a film in 3D if you're going to get more from it than if you watch it in 2D,” he said to The Independent (via NZ Herald), “Because you've got to pay more for the tickets, wear dark glasses and see a less-bright image." He also noted that “Gravity” stood out from the crowd simply because Cuaron recognized the importance of 3D in the storytelling process, and always planned for its application. “There are big, incredibly dynamic scenes of destruction, but there are long, intimate moments where we tried to use the 3D to communicate with audiences and break down a bit of the front wall of the theatre."
With some 80 percent of the Sandra Bullock/George Clooney film's grosses coming from 3D screens—a great deal more than any other 2013 3D release, including “Iron Man 3” or “Man of Steel”, Park's work on “Gravity” allows for an undeniable example to studios of purpose-led craft, and less so of a mindset, as he says, used to “get people into the seats, not caring about what happens to 3D film-making as a whole." The VFX supervisor's next project is the Tom Cruise 3D actioner “Edge of Tomorrow," so if that film features another exemplary showcase of the format, you know where to direct your thanks.