3D Movies: Three Specific Issues

Yesterday I saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 in 3D, and while I didn't think the third dimension added anything to the movie, it wasn't particularly distracting, either (except for one scene, which I'll discuss below). I did have a couple of issues with two of the trailers (for Glee and John Carter). I cannot say with certainty the degree to which these issues can be attributed to the fact that I sat much closer to the screen than usual, but if the viewer's location in the theater is a factor in the technology's watchability, then the technology still requires improvement.

I'll start with Glee 3D. The sequences on stage were difficult to watch, possibly because there was too much action and too much camera movement at the same time, or possibly because there were too many pieces of confetti. There were a couple of moments I had to cover my eyes. If there is a reason to shoot what amounts to a concert film in 3D, I don't know what it is. If concert films are supposed to be about the music, then please make sure that the sound is outstanding. Everything else should be a bonus, but the makers of this film seem to want the 3D to be the star of the show.

The trailer for John Carter works perfectly well in 2D. It has a couple of moments that don't work so well in 3D. At least once and probably twice, the trailer dissolves between clips. Dissolves are perfectly effective transitions in 2D, but I found them weird and distracting in 3D.

Early in HP7:pt2, there is a scene in which Harry talks with Ollivander. Harry is close to the camera and Hermione and Ron are in the background. The scene is shot with a narrow field of focus: Harry is sharp and clear, while Hermione and Ron are blurry. In 2D, this implies depth of field while forcing the audience to focus on Harry. In 3D, this narrow field of focus makes Hermione and Ron look like they're under some horrible spell that obliterates every feature of their faces. I can't speak for anyone else in the audience, but I had to force myself to look at Harry. Narrow field of focus may be one of the 2D camera effects that doesn't translate to 3D.

There were a few special effects that I thought didn't work quite as well as they ought (mostly clouds and smoke), but at the rate CGI technology advances, I expect it won't be long before those issues are worked out.

This post was written by LR Simon.

This is the first in a series of posts about 3D movie technology. Watch this blog for more discussion.



The Three o'Clock: More Photos

Howard Allen (Director), Cynthia Jeffrey (Actor), Jake Sutton (Sound),
Jim Scott (Cinematographer), and Mike Yarema (Actor)

Photo by LR Simon

Steve Bayless (Sound, Editor), Megan Guthrie (Producer, Actor), Howard Allen (Director), Jim Scott (Cinematographer), Lara Erman (Assistant Director), and Nathan Shelton (Line Producer)
Photo by Kathleen Gradillas

William F. Hubbard (Actor), Mike Yarema (Actor), Betsy Kruse Craig (Actor)
Photo by Kathleen Gradillas

Michael Grady (Writer)
Photo by LR Simon

(Photos Copyright 2011 by CoyoteMoon Films and the photographers. All applicable rights reserved. Use by permission.)


Postproduction: The Three o'Clock

Howard Allen; photo by Kathleen Gradillas

Production is complete on CoyoteMoon Films' second short, The Three o'Clock, directed by Howard Allen and written by Michael Grady. Here are a few photographs from the set.

Lara Erman, Assistant Director
Photo by LR Simon

Megan Guthrie, Producer, Actor
Photo by LR Simon

Howard Allen, Nathan Shelton (Line Producer), and Michael Grady
Photo by LR Simon

(Photos Copyright 2011 by CoyoteMoon Films and the photographers. All applicable rights reserved. Use by permission.)