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Good post is good post

CreativeCOW presents Good post is good post -- Business & Marketing Editorial


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Listen up. Good post is good post. Bad post is bad post. I mention this as a reminder to everyone saying that the only way to make a 3D movie is in the camera, that the "problem" with some 3D movies is that the 3D was added in post. It shouldn't take a single second for you to remember that post, in itself, is not the problem. Quite the contrary. We can all name a dozen examples off the top of our heads where post was the only possible solution to a problem, or the only possible way to create a scene, or simply the best way to bring a creative vision to fruition. It adds flexibility. You can fix things there.

I've been stopping strangers on the street, grabbing their lapels and yelling this in their face to little avail. But I digress.

This particular rant was motivated by comments I heard regarding "Piranha 3D." I confess that I missed it in theaters, so the only comment I have to make about it is that I eagerly await the Director's Cut on Blu-ray. But there has been this idea that the after-the-factness of the 3D for this and other recent pictures, is too artificial to ever overcome. You know it's a movie, right? It's all artificial. There were no real piranhas, either — but that kind of thing somehow never comes up.

No, as you start to read between the lines, you see why: the problem isn't 3D in post. It has simply become de rigeur, certainly among people who regularly say "de rigeur," to be aggressively negative about 3D at all.

There's considerable furrowing of the brow among such folks that 3D is distracting, if not painful to watch, and that it will never be appropriate for mainstream movies, because that kind of artificiality gets in the way of the artificiality we approve of. For such scowlers, I have two pieces of advice. First, cut it out. Your face is going to stick that way. Second, consider the history of color in movies, which has taken a remarkably similar path.

Early color cinematography required an expensive beam-splitting camera -- stop me if you've heard this one before -- and complicated projection schemes that failed more often than they succeeded. Technicolor founder H.T. Kalmus ironically lamented of the early days, "It was a terrible headache."

Douglas Fairbanks famously recounted the "overwhelming objections" to his strong support of color cinema: "The argument has been that it would tire and distract the eye, take attention from acting, and facial expression, blur and confuse the action. In short it has been felt that it would militate against the simplicity and directness which motion pictures derive from the unobtrusive black and white."

Ringing any bells? These things take time. Ten years after it was common in movie production, only 40% of American theaters could actually play sound. Even though it wouldn't be pervasive for another dozen years, the first color telecast was the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (how could it have been anything else?) in 1954. That same year, barely over 50% of films were shot in color.

I don't have any particular moral to draw from this, except to recall that today's vigorous objection invariably becomes tomorrow's "Whatever, dude." I'm always going to place my bets on the people trying to get it right, rather than the people saying it shouldn't be done at all.

What does that have to do with asset management and distribution, you ask? Nothing. I just needed to get this off my chest. I can now invite you to read another remarkable set of stories from creative pros at the top of their game with a lighter heart, far less likely to accost random strangers in the street.

###

Comments

Re: Good post is good post
by Zack Clevenger
Agreed Tim. I think the 3D topic only took light because of the current climate. But I'm sure we all feel the same way about how many individuals tend to view our profession. I know I've had to argue my case more times than I should have. But alas, I'll fight for what I love.
Re: Good post is good post
by Tim Wilson
The point of this isn't how you feel about 3D. It's how you feel about post. The first criticism people make about many films is that the 3D is added in post, which, taken to its conclusion, means that authentic filmmaking ends with the camera. Everything in post is fraud, incompetence or both.

We can disagree on the validity and viability of 3D (and we do), but I think it's imperative that we, of all people, not fall into lockstep with the idea that post is the problem. I hear post pros say this all the time, and it saddens me that they have so little respect for their craft that they don't speak out, or at the very least are comfortable falling into line with a pathetic cliche.
Re: Good post is good post
by Zack Clevenger
To a degree I adhere to both sides of the story. In its current form I despise 3D. I find for me personally it induces headaches and (obtrusive 3D) distracts from the main purpose of any film or broadcast, which is to tell the story. However, that being said 3D has been around and will continue to evolve in order to "wow" its audiences. So even though I feel its still too early to gauge whether or not it will follow the way of other "Dodo birds" in our industry or not, the only way it can get better is to keep plugging away at it and continue to strive to improve. It's had many era's and though it goes away for a time it inevitably keeps coming back getting a little better with each resurgence. Maybe next time the glasses will finally disappear.
Re: Good post is good post
by Xavier de Champs
Hehe.
My take is: 3D will end up in the same cemetary as Binaural Recordings, Laser Discs, Virtual Reality and all other 3D attempts.

:)


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