“Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” is the latest big budget effort to shoot in 3D, and both Burton and Bekmambetov agreed early in the process that this would be a creative decision, the best possible way for them to realize their shared vision. "From the moment we read this book, we understood it would be a 3D movie because it's a unique journey to be there,” Bekmambetov says. Though Bekmambetov was also using history itself as a motivation to employ the format.
"Timur showed me some pictures from the Civil War that actually were in 3D,” claims Burton. “It was almost the first use of 3D photography.” Bekmambetov confirms, “Three years after the photography was invented, they created the Second Eye and produced 3D photos. And all the famous photos [of the war] are in 3D.”
Beyond the technology, the actors remained focused on living up to their real-life inspirations, a process that was fraught with emotional demands. Walker, who credits the book "Lincoln’s Melancholy" as a key bit of research, says of Lincoln, “You can see the effect the Civil War even had on his frame. He had a miserable life, consumed with death and disease and fraught with conflict.”
But this was a process that placed a level of importance on the many facets of Lincoln as a younger and older man. His approach was to avoid being worshipful, as he says with that approach, “you potentially rob him of his complexity and his humanity, you make him larger than life, more than human. And you remove what truly made him heroic, which was that he was human, and he was complicated and conflicted about his decisions. And when people treat him as something sacred, that's when they really start messing with him.” He states that 'Vampire Hunter' is a film that gets the man right, with or without embellishments. “What we're doing is taking a fresh look, being as thorough with the history as we possibly can, and being respectful of the man. I think Lincoln would get a kick out of our movie.”