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James Cameron Says 'Man Of Steel' & 'Iron Man 3' Probably Didn't Have To Be In 3D

by Kevin Jagernauth
July 5, 2013 2:28 PM
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James Cameron

There is probably no bigger cheerleader on the planet for 3D than James Cameron, but he's also been the loudest voice when it comes to half-hearted, unartistic use of the format. And he recently had a lot to say about 3D and moviemaking in general, sitting down with Alfonso Cuarón for a conversation at Mexico City’s technology forum TagDF on Wednesday. Why were they paired up? Well, it turns out Cameron lent Cuarón some technology assistance on his upcoming 3D space adventure "Gravity," a movie will undoubtedly meets his approval, 3D-wise. But as for some of the other blockbusters this summer? Not so much.

"I do not think Hollywood is using the 3D properly," he said at the conference, with Laverdad (via The Film Stage) recapping the higlights. "The reason I say that Hollywood is not doing well is because it is automatic. For example, 'The Man of Steel,' 'Iron Man' and all those movies should not necessarily be in 3D. If you spend 150 million on visual effects, the film is already going to be spectacular, perfect." You would think that the same logic would apply to Cameron's already expensive "Avatar," but it was shot in 3D, whereas the superhero flicks were conversion jobs, and that's where the difference lies.

"One thing is shooting in 3D and another to convert to 3D. After 'Avatar' changed everything, good and bad movies, everything has to be in 3D since 'Avatar.' The problem I see now is that instead of it being a filmmaker issue is a matter of the studios to make money and are pushing 3D to directors who are not comfortable or do not like 3D," Cameron elaborated. 

But hypocrisy and ego or not, Cameron isn't wrong -- both "Man Of Steel" and "Iron Man 3" weren't particularly made better by 3D. But the big question is what is Cameron going to do with the format and special effects in the developing "Avatar" sequels to push the envelope again? Well, he isn't aiming to top himself in that department exactly. "...we are not going to invent a new 3D or (new system of) CG. We're going to go a little more to strive for creativity," he said.

And what's after those "Avatar" movies? Well, Cameron is still going on about making "Battle Angel," which he says will start moving in earnest in 2017, and will be about "trans-humans" or something. We think 2017 is an optimistic time frame, but sure, we'll go along with that for now. Anyway, check out an excerpt from the Cameron/Cuarón chat below. 

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  • JM | July 8, 2013 4:42 PMReply

    So the guy that co-owns a company that makes and sells 3D filming equipment is saying that maybe people should be filming natively instead of converting? Big surprise. My argument would be that no film necessarily needs to be in 3D but then again I don't have a product I'm trying to force down movie theatres' and the industries throats.

    The major reason behind the conversions currently (beyond it being cheaper and giving the filmmakers more of an ability to shoot the film they want to shoot): Those films couldn't get into China without being in 3D.

  • JB | July 7, 2013 1:38 PMReply

    Wow. Talk about a big ego. I like his movies but he is far from being the top film maker out there.

  • Voice of Reason | July 6, 2013 2:44 PMReply

    "Well, he isn't aiming to top himself in that department exactly. "...we are not going to invent a new 3D or (new system of) CG. We're going to go a little more to strive for creativity," he said."

    I'm tired of the implications that Cameron invented these technologies in the first place. CG, motion capture and 3D stereo were around long before he dipped his toe in the pool. Just sayin'!

  • Voice of reason | July 7, 2013 4:24 PM

    Dear Enzo and Steve, this is how history is rewritten.

    "It's not who invents the wheel, rather the one who tells the world about the wheel that get the credit."

  • Enzo the Baker | July 6, 2013 11:01 PM

    ^ Yeah, I'm pretty sure holding the patent on a technology (i.e. the Fusion Camera System) that you created = inventing that technology.

  • Steve KP | July 6, 2013 4:22 PM

    Well he didn't invent CG, motion capture, or 3D, but he did invent the tools and processes (with his team) that revolutionized all them. The processes that almost everyone in Hollywood uses now. Technically, he did invent the technologies. Just not the concepts.

  • a guy named joe | July 6, 2013 10:28 AMReply

    Some of you guys really need to separate your apparent hatred of Cameron and the wisdom of his comments. He is 100% correct--the vast majority of 3D in Hollywood is "unnecessary" and is purely to boost grosses. 3D post conversion is a scourge.

  • Baslsasdf | July 6, 2013 10:06 AMReply

    Sure Cameron is right that 3D is too much but just because he made a movie with a shitty story and inovative 3D doesn't give him "3D King" status.....Avatar is overrated trash.

  • Yourlinksdontwork | July 6, 2013 8:32 AMReply

    Um, no, Avatar was the first ever movie to use 3D properly and to make common use of it. No, it was not converted.

  • Logan | July 5, 2013 11:34 PMReply

    I agree with him partially,there're too much 3d films these days which aren't necessarily made in 3d.

  • Alan B | July 5, 2013 8:22 PMReply

    Cameron is a hypocrite because he has argued that 3D films should be a filmmakers' choice and should be an organic part of the visual language? Yeah, because Fox forced 3D on 'Avatar' and he didn't design the film as 3d. Wasn't it a last minute post-conversion?

  • Alan B | July 6, 2013 9:13 PM

    How am I wrong?

  • Brad | July 6, 2013 11:29 AM

    I really hope you are being facetious.

  • Ted | July 5, 2013 3:36 PMReply

    I just want Cuaron to go back to making movies like Y Tu Mama Tambien and Solo con tu pareja.

  • Mark | July 5, 2013 3:01 PMReply

    3d is a awful gimick that has gotten out of hand. Lets focus on plot and storytelling instead.

  • rodie | July 5, 2013 2:48 PMReply

    This dude needs to STFU about 3D.

  • Ur mom | July 5, 2013 3:38 PM

    He does have a point though. The 3D treatment is getting out of hand.

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