Hello everyone and welcome to PROJECTOR! Have you ever thought that sometimes when you go to a movie theater you are forced to spent extra money for a 3D version that usually doesn’t add too much to the movie you want to watch? Well this week’s PROJECTOR was made for you. This is my look on 3D Post Conversions.

After watching “300: Rise of an Empire” I was curious whether it was shot in 2D and then converted or just shot in 3D. The visual effects were amazing and the flaws of the 3D were almost unnoticeable which made me think that probably the movie wasn’t shot in 2D but I was wrong. The impressive 3D combine with a festival of blood and battles was not native and I have to congratulate those who were uncharged with the post conversion. It’s a fact that the version I saw was an IMAX DMR copy and therefore the quality of the 3D is slightly better but I was still impressed.

Before the summer of 2013 here in Portugal it was only possible to watch 3D movies in Real3D and XPAND format. The Real3D format is good but the fact is that most of the times I was paying extra money for an experience that ended up being a bit disappointing. It’s true that the 3D doesn’t affect the movie’s quality but sometimes it’s clear that the only thing that it’s shown in 3D is the title and the production company logo. I paid more 2 euros to watch “Clash of the Titans” in 3D because the trailer looked really awesome and when it was over I felt like my wallet was stabbed every single minute.

I know that most of the times the decision of releasing the movie in 3D is to make more money but with so many disappointments it’s time to invest in better conversions or just simply shot the movies in 3D. But since that it’s too expensive, only a few movies get that privilege. When James Cameron released “Avatar” to the theaters worldwide, everyone was amazed with the way that the 3D worked in the movie. It was the first time I felt that it was worth it to pay the extra money for a better experience. The visual effects were clearly meant to be shown in 3D and the production of the movie took a lot of time to be completed. After the release of Cameron’s movie, the only movies that in my opinion had a 3D also quite good were the animated ones, “Hugo” and  “The Great Gatsby” (these were my favorites but there are also other movies that deserve to enter in this list).

Until the moment I walked in an IMAX theater I thought that the process of 3D conversion was doomed but after watching the re-release of Spielberg’s “Jurassic Park” in IMAX 3D I felt like I was part of the movie and that it was amazing to watch this classic I saw in my 11-12 years in this format. I don’t know very well how the process works but I know that the process of converting a 2D movie to IMAX 3D/2D is made by specialists from the Canadian company that work really hard to make a blockbuster looking like a real IMAX movie. Nowadays it’s rare the blockbuster that reaches the theaters without deserving a spot in the IMAX theaters and that is the result of a better sound, a better image and a lot better 3D. Watch a movie in one of the IMAX’s huge screen is an expensive experience but trust me that most of the times your money will be well spent.

The problem with 3D post conversion is that sometimes I want to watch a movie and I am only allowed to do it so in 3D when I am perfectly clear that it’s not necessary to do so. Animation movies, huge adventure and action features and sometimes horror movies benefit a lot with the great things that this technology offers but after watching so many movies in this format I am sad that most of the times I left more disappointed than happy with the final result. I am not saying that you shouldn’t watch a movie in 3D that was not natively shot in that format because as I said earlier I saw “300: Rise of an Empire” and I enjoyed a lot the 3D effects.

Since I am not here just to give you a lecture on 3D post converted movies I will give you a very useful tip regarding this topic. Before deciding whether to watch a specific movie in 3D or not check Cinema Blend’s feature “To 3D or Not To 3D” (click here) where you can check out their collaborator’s opinions regarding the 3D quality of the movie you want to watch. Most of the times their scores is sufficient to help me decide whether I should watch the movie on 3D (basically a movie with a score less than 25 won’t deserve your extra money).

The 3D technology it’s not a new thing and there’s not much left to explore. The effects and the quality are a lot harder to improve and the only way to create something innovative is to invest in different technologies such as the one Peter Jackson used while he was shooting “The Hobbit”. Technologies like the 4DX (owned by a South Korean company) that allows a movie to be presented with environmental effects such as scents, mist and wind, are now under the eyes of Hollywood’s big production companies and since several blockbusters were introduced in this format we don’t have to wait much  longer for greater developments regarding this technology. With an uncertain future for the 3D movies, innovation is the key that surrounds Hollywood these days.


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