James Cameron takes film studios to task over 3-D

Wed Mar 24, 2010 9:01pm EDT
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By Alex Dobuzinskis

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "Avatar" director James Cameron sees misguided thriftiness in Hollywood studios' latest craze to convert big movie projects from 2-D to 3-D, but the pace of such conversions shows no signs of letting up.

Cameron believes studios are rushing to take advantage of the public's appetite for 3-D films. But using computers to convert standard 2-D movies to 3-D, instead of filming in 3-D, gives audiences a cheaper-looking film and could do more harm than good if audiences get turned off.

He ought to know. Shot in 3-D, "Avatar" is the top-grossing movie of all-time with $2.7 billion at box offices.

And Cameron is not the only filmmaker questioning studios' headlong rush to convert films to 3-D, in a brewing battle that pitches major directors against the studios that employ them. "Transformers" maker Michael Bay has questioned the move, too.

"The problem is these decisions should be made by filmmakers, they shouldn't be made by studios, because if it was up to studios they're going to sacrifice quality for lower cost," Cameron said, in an event to promote the April 22 release of the DVD for "Avatar."

Studios are rapidly converting now that Walt Disney Co has seen its 3-D conversion "Alice in Wonderland" sell more than $570 million in tickets since its March 5 debut.

On April 2, Warner Bros, a division of Time Warner Inc, will release its action movie "Clash of the Titans" as another 2-D to 3-D conversion.

3-D FOR TENTPOLES   Continued...