Bad 3D Will Be the Death of 3DS

Variety recently talked to Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of DreamWorks Animation, about the state of 3D film making. Katzenberg promptly released the Kraken on Clash of the Titans. Here's why he thinks it could spell the end of 3D.

As Katzenberg reminds us, "all 3D is not created equal." The post-production 3D in Clash of the Titans, he explains, is the worst of the worst, and he thinks it won't be long before audiences get hip to the scam and start pushing back. Katzenberg:

We've seen the highest end of (3D) in "Avatar" and you have now witnessed the lowest end of it (in "Titans") You cannot do anything that is of a lower grade and a lower quality [3D] than what has just been done on "Clash of the Titans." It literally is "OK, congratulations! You just snookered the movie audience."

The act of doing it was disingenuous. We may get away with it a few times but in the long run, (moviegoers) will wake up. And the day they wake up is the day they walk away from us and we blew it.

...There are dozens of decisions literally that are about to be made or have just been made in the last 30 or 60 days and in the next 30 or 60 days, the sum of which will determine what happens to 3D...if we as an industry choose this 2D to 3D post-production conversion, it's the end. As quickly as it got here, that's how fast it will go away.

Geez Jeff. Tell us how you really feel.

We've previously looked at how 2D movies are converted to 3D, and as Katzenberg makes clear, the quality of post-production 3D work varies greatly. Jesus thought 3D was unnecessary in Alice in Wonderland, but Katzenberg explains that as far as post-production 3D goes, it was a noble effort:

[Burton] said "Look, I'm not gonna shoot it in 3D but I will very specifically design shots and sequences in this film" which then in the post production process can be amplified and, through special effects, actually deliver a pretty high-end 3D experience.

But to Katzenberg, at least, it's clear that when it comes to 3D, not every director is a Tim Burton (and certainly not a James Cameron). And I think most moviegoers would agree: if the 3D theater experience is sufficiently diluted in this early, tentative stage, audiences will just start giving up on the format altogether.

You can read the entirety of Katzenberg's highly quotable interview at Variety.