Post Magazine

December 2010

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OUTLOOK TIME & Despite — or because of — the ongoing grim economic picture, 2010 was a pretty good year for Hollywood. Audiences, happy to forget the recession and their financial woes for a couple of hours, headed to the theatres in healthy numbers, especially to see anything light and escapist. Here, four top directors , who also often write their films — Jim Cameron, Chris Nolan,Terry Gilliam and Joe Carnahan — tackle Post’s SWOT questions and air their views about the year ahead. JAMES CAMERON Director Avatar,Titanic,Terminator 1& 2, Aliens,The Abyss,True Lies STRENGTHS: “To me post is all additive. On the set, it all detractive… you’ve got an idea of what the shot should be but then you run into problems and you go from a state of greater organization — how you imagined it — to a state of lesser organization… the way it actu- ally gets shot, at 4am when everyone’s tired. Post now, especially in sound but also picture with all the digital techniques, is just constantly making it better.” WEAKNESSES: “The big weak link is exhibition. There’s a bright, shiny moment when the film is per- fect, then you put it out there and it all falls apart.They crop it, they don’t get it in frame, the audio’s horrible — and you sort of have to pull that into your post process and know it’s never going to be as good again as the way you’re seeing and hearing it. So you have to compensate for it.” OPPORTUNITIES: “It’s the last draft.When I write a script, I get the opportunity to rage as a writer, then it becomes the actors’ material and it comes to life but it changes, then in post I get another opportunity to rewrite the film.” THREATS: “Time. It’s always time, and I’ve seen mis- James Cameron’s Avatar broke all box office records, pushed post production to its limits and gave 3D stereo the jumpstart it needed. takes made in the past. On The Abyss we made mistakes under pres- sure. But sometimes lack of time makes you way smarter, and an idea pops into your head that would never have occurred otherwise.” OUTLOOK ON 2011: “I think 3D will keep expanding.That par- ticular toothpaste can’t be put back in the tube now. It’s more, what level of acceptance will it reach? In the next few years, will most movies be in 3D, or just the big tent poles? And does it follow 22 Post • December 2010 even an aesthetic choice now — we need to do it to stay competi- tive! Nothing would make me happier because the problem with 3D, when you’ve got fast action, is that it raises to the surface of your consciousness — the strobing artifacts of 24-frame projection — far more than flat projection does. So 3D is showing us the weakness in the system that’s been there for over 100 years. It’s time to change!” Opportunity sound, where the transition was very fast, or color, where it took 30 years for all movies to be in color? That happened because of color TV, and I think it’ll be the same here. Consumer electronics compa- nies are already saying 3D’s the next big killer app. It’ll drive Blu-ray DVD sales, because only a Blue-ray can play 3D content, and large flat panel screens, as you need a bigger screen for 3D, so they’re jumping on the bandwagon even though the content doesn’t exist. “People will be watching sports in 3D at home before this indus- try wakes up and realizes that it’s got to go 3D. So I’m forming a company to supply cameras and production services to sports — and I don’t care about sports — because I believe in 3D as the new way to see.The next big thing that movies need to consider is that sports broadcasts have already decided that 24fps or 30fps is stupid — and they’ve gone to 60fps.We need to go to 60! We can’t have better displays at home than in movie theatres, or why would peo- ple ever go to movies? We need to switch to 60 frames.And it’s not DIRECTORS By Iain Blair

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