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David Poland

By David Poland

Bay. Cameron. 3D.

So Paramount had a theater full of people tonight to see the 3D trailer for Transformers: Dark of the Moon and a clip package.

Looked a lot like a trailer and a clip package. Feelings reserved.

The highlight of the event was a chat with Jim Cameron and Michael Bay, who was against doing this film in 3D and then ended up doing it anyway, with a hand from Cameron and his 3D crew that had worked on Avatar. So this was the coming out party… Bay is convinced…

Not so much.

There was a lot of jargon and some laughs, but what I kept hearing was Jim talking about how things are moving forward and Bay talking about how big a pain in the ass shooting in 3D was. Over and over again. At one point, Bay mocked a problem with a shutter and I think Jim actually said, “Don’t talk about that”… one step from “Shut up already, Mike!”

The most impressive 3D visual we saw was the least technical… base jumpers leaping off of buildings in Chicago. Depth and fear of death make a good combination.

But is Michael Bay a convert? Well, it sounds like as the next generation of cameras come together when he shoots another movie in a year or so, his needs will be met. Until then, didn’t seem that way.

Meanwhile, an e-mail from Paramount landed a little while ago with an embargo until 5am pst/8am est that turned out to be the only real news that should have come out of the event… along with some footage. Look for the embargo to be broken and called EXCLUSIVE by Nikki Finke any minute now. It’ll be on the front page of MCN at 5am.

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16 Responses to “Bay. Cameron. 3D.”

  1. It’s my belief that Bay secretly hates having to work in 3D or having to work within someone else’s imposed creative constraints (because let’s face it, not every movie needs to be done in the format). Contracts being what they are however, he probably has to keep Paramount and it’s affiliates happy by supporting what the company does. 🙂 The more he supports them, the more they’ll support him. That’s just my viewpoint.

  2. David Poland says:

    One thing that did come up was that he is a location shooting guy and that the 3D equipment is still not rugged enough for his needs.

  3. leahnz says:

    fwiw, 3D rigs/systems and cameras are not one in the same, there is no ‘3D camera’ or next generation of camera, the cameras are the cameras and the rigs configure the cameras. different directors choose different rigs and cameras to suit the particular needs of the production – in general the side-by-side setup is used for wider shots and beam-splitters for close quarters stuff (tho i heard not long ago that the ‘spider-man’ redo was using the new 3ality mini beam splitters with epics for the entire production because of their size and mobility comparable to hand-helds, so if that’s indeed the case that’s a bit of a first for a big 3D production, perhaps a taste of things to come)

    a camera having a shutter problem isn’t exactly newsworthy, maybe cameron thought bay whining about that was stupid, and not some conspiracy of silence.

  4. David Poland says:

    You know much more about it than I do, Leah.

    But while I am not suggesting any conspiracy, Bay was slapping down almost every positive thing Cameron was offering. It was like an annoying kid brother trying to irritate his sibling, though he is clearly sincere about his gripes. He even mentioned Spider-man having problems with their 3D equipment.

    Cameron also said, btw, that he felt there was almost no reason to ever use parallel cameras for 3D anymore… but then mumbled some more technical info as to why.

    The point of this piece was the tone, not the details of their positives and negatives.

  5. It really was an intriguing banter. I’ve never seen Cameron be the reserved chest-beater. He played that role tonight.

  6. R. says:

    leahnz I presume the shutter problem is strobing during motion that breaks the 3d illusion and causes headaches. This is the issue solved by higher frame rates. If that’s what he means, then Bay is fully, entirely, and completely correct about it, whether you like his movies or not. Remember, Cameron is the one that tried to convince the world that the first gen Sony f900 was better than film, and closer to IMAX resolution. Ha ha ha.

    Next gen 3d camera is shorthand for improved 3d rigs on next gen cameras. It’s not complexicated.


  7. leahnz says:

    “It was like an annoying kid brother trying to irritate his sibling”

    ah, i see. charming.

    interesting comment about the side-by-side fusion rigs, they’re still widely used as part of the pace fusion system as well as the other elite platforms like 3ality and technica, but perhaps the advances in beam-splitters will supersede side-by-sides altogether, i know beam-splitters have unique optical challenges to overcome but with the tech advancing so quickly it’s a brave new world, big learning curve, really fascinating.


    yes, i know about strobing, don’t know if that’s what bay meant or not. nor do you, unless you were there and heard what he said. and this:

    “Next gen 3d camera is shorthand for improved 3d rigs on next gen cameras. It’s not complexicated.”

    actually, ‘next generation 3D camera’ is what people say who don’t know what they’re talking about (and DP has just said he’s not whiz bang at the 3D crap so no offense intended to him), it’s not shorthand for anything. no need for condescension. i’m no expert but i’m fairly well versed on 3D systems and how they work, seeing as i’m in the middle of a production and i see the tech in action on a regular basis.

  8. leahnz says:

    “after a good long water torture from Cameron and Jeffery Katzenburg – I decided to shoot Transformers 3 in 3D. I was so enlightened by the process and how you really feel scale and weight from the robots. How they magically enter your personal space makes it a wonderful fun tool to use in storytelling. It was a process I loved.”

    m. bay (fibby mcfibberson?)

    “To direct a picture in 3D you must also design and shoot it in 3D. There is simply no substitute for having the ability to view every scene and every setup with the added emotional dimension of depth…I couldn’t imagine directing “The Invention Of Hugo Cabret” without it.”

    m. scorsese

  9. LexG says:

    Shocker of shockers, Leah is 100% Team Cameron and acts like Bay is O.J. Simpson.

    3D needs to go. Forever.

  10. RedTeaBurns says:

    O.J wasn’t all bad, he did win a heisman.

  11. LexG says:

    I read that puff-piece book on Cameron, and the two greatest things ever are 1) When he shows up for some meeting wearing an HMFIC mesh baseball cap, which is AWESOME beyond belief, but more importantly 2) that chapter on ALIENS where he gets there to shoot it and all the British crew assholes keep stopping work to go have TEATIME, and he’s all WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS? So they have some blowout where he tells them it’s my way or the highway, and they basically kowtow grudgingly for the rest of the shoot, then on the last day he tells them all to kiss his ass and he’s never coming back. THAT GUY rules. If he could meld that kind of stuff with a little BAY in his step, he’d be the most awesome director ever.

  12. Jason says:

    Transformers looks epic. And I will happily see it in 2D. 3D in someone’s hands who does not clearly want it, makes me nervous. Avatar is clearly where the bar is set, and until other movies can approach that 3D, they can look gimicky and crappy.

  13. Martin S says:

    IIRC, THR report awhile back that Cameron was supposed to come out against the new Premie theatrical-at-home service. Did that ever happen?

  14. R. says:

    leahnz thank you for pointing out that I couldn’t be certain of the issue, after I pointed out I wasn’t certain of the issue.

    After you speculated on what James Cameron THOUGHT.

    Ha ha ha.


  15. leahnz says:

    you’re welcome, dillweed



  16. For what it’s worth, Transformers 3 is the one big movie I actually want to see in 3D this year. It will be worth it for the IMAX, and I cannot imagine Michael Bay doing half-hearted 3D work. It may be unwilling, but Bay is a technical perfectionist, and I have to believe that a Michael Bay 3D film, especially one with tons of CG-animation won’t look spectacular.

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