Why Iron Man 2 ignores Hollywood 3D mania
Iron Man 2 was already in production when 3D Avatar made history. And though 3D is now a mainstream tool, it's not always appropriate, say filmmakers.
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Filmmaking may be a business, but the most important element of any film is still the story, says filmmaker Hezekiah Lewis, who teaches at Villanova University. “If the story is compelling, the film will be a success despite how it was shot,” he says in an email. “The story dictates the visual style. Filmmaking is a visual medium, and not all stories call for a 3D format. Sometimes less is more. Are there stories out there that call for the 3D style? Yes, but I do not believe every film should be retrofitted into that format because it minimizes visual and artistic choices that the filmmaker set out to create.”Skip to next paragraph
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Despite reservations about its impact on the artistic side of filmmaking, the wave of audience interest – and willingness to pay higher ticket prices – has sped the long-languishing digital conversion of movie theaters, points out industry analyst Scott Hettrick. “Up until this revenue source gave theater owners a good reason to convert, the technology in most movie houses [was] ancient, essentially the same light-passing-through-celluloid we’ve had for 100 years,” he says.
There are plenty of technical issues to iron out, not the least of which remains the niggling discomfort of even the most sophisticated glasses current 3D equipment requires. But, Mr. Hettrick adds, other countries such as Japan have moved in front of the US. Television stations are already broadcasting in 3D, and cell phones with 3D technology not requiring glasses already exist.
But these days, the DVD after-life of films is as important, if not more, than its theatrical run. Home theater demands for 3D shows may speed the transition to more 3D content. ESPN, DirectTV and Discovery all expect to roll out 3D channels in the near future, with the sports channel already on deck to broadcast the 2010 World Cup Soccer match between South Africa and Mexico in 3D this summer. And, according to iSuppli, Global 3D television shipments will rise to 78 million units by 2015, rising at a compound annual growth rate of 80 percent – from 4.2 million in 2010.
• Iron Man 2 accounted for 90 percent of ticket sales at MovieTickets.com on Thursday.
• At least 842 showings of Iron Man 2 are sold out, including 255 midnight showtimes.