Studios love 3D because they can charge more for it, but with the exception of a few who truly love it (James Cameron, Peter Jackson, Martin Scorsese of late), most filmmakers seem like they just sort of go along with it as a compromise. “Eh, sure, go ahead and convert it to 3D if you must, just leave me alone.” Chris Nolan, on the other hand, has earned the right (read: the money) to tell the studio to suck his jeans if he wants to. And that’s why The Dark Knight Rises, the most anticipated movie of the year and probably the easiest to get people to pay a premium for, won’t be in 3D.
“The question of 3-D is a very straightforward one,” Nolan said in a recent interview. “I never meet anybody who actually likes the format, and it’s always a source of great concern to me when you’re charging a higher price for something that nobody seems to really say they have any great love for.
“It’s up to the audience to tell us how they want to watch the movies. More people go see these films in 2-D, and so it’s difficult data to interpret. And I certainly don’t want to shoot in a format just to charge people a higher ticket price.”
For some filmmakers, you could ascribe not wanting to shoot in 3D to simple laziness, since the 3D rigs are more complicated and less maneuverable (The Avengers was post-converted for similar reasons). But not in Nolan’s case.
Nolan shot nearly half of his Batman finale using bulky IMAX cameras, whose 70mm frame is about 10 times the size of standard movie film. He also insisted that distributor Warner Bros. release The Dark Knight Rises in at least 100 IMAX cinemas that can project it on film rather than in the digital format that has been gradually replacing celluloid. [Salon]
Basically, Chris Nolan cares, and that’s why people like him. He’s like a British Ryan Gosling in that way.
I won’t be surprised if filmmakers like Peter Jackson and James Cameron and especially Martin Scorsese eventually find worthwhile, creative uses for 3D, but in the vast majority of cases, it’s kind of just a pain in the ass. Your eyes are already doing a perfectly adequate job interpreting a 2D image to give the illusion of three dimensionality, adding another layer is only more realistic in the sense that a pop-up book is more realistic than a regular book. And even if it is infinitesimally more “immersive,” you still have to contend with a couple pretty huge drawbacks – having to wear dumb glasses for an entire movie, and a screen that’s 20 percent dimmer. I don’t want to wear glasses. What am I, a nerd? I’m a grown man who wants to spend his Saturday nights watching superhero movies, not some kind of nerd.