You read that right – it was Sony showcasing Pixar’s latest, not Disney/Pixar themselves, or even Apple (the event also had a Dreamworks moment, but that’s nothing to do with this).
The exclusive Up trailer – embedded below – showed some brilliant new material from the one film I hope we’re all looking forward to this Summer (okay – I also hope we’re all looking forward to Inglourious Basterds and The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, but I don’t want to appear overly optimistic, even about release dates let alone widespread anticipation). Every new image, every new scene, every new tidbit of plot or spoiler information just makes me want this film more.
The Sony connection is a simple one. This will be the first Pixar film to be released in 3D, and in most cases this will be done via Sony’s SXRD projectors. The possibilities for cross promotion were obvious. Sony welcomed any number of guests to the stage during their CES Keynote, one of whom was John Lasseter. He talked up Up, as it were, and unveiled this clip – which was sneakily filmed from the audience.
I’m a staunch supporter of the new wave of 3D films. Indeed, I hope they never stop coming and even engulf 2D films (almost) entirely. I see it this way – the early, silent films, in their boxy aspect ratios and flickering all the while, were the first barely evolved generation; later, we developed sound, then stereo sound, then surround sound; we developed colour systems, then more advanced, flexible colour systems; movies began in 2D, early experiments pioneered stereo vision, then more advanced systems came along, such as the Real-D technology that has put a big cleave in the front of my skull.
What do I think film is evolving towards? Well, it’s shedding its aesthetic barriers. It is becoming less obviously “at a remove” from us. Our cinematic input is, in ways I consider important and relevent, now coming closer to the every-day experience our brain mines from our senses’ data (that is, after our brain “steadies it all out” and turns it into our “experience”). Some argue that this kind of “reality” is just one style of cinema, just one goal for the medium; in that case I’d counter that it would be the most productive.
In the future, making a film in 2D could seem as conceited as making a film in black and white, or maybe even completely silently, would seem today. Not to say great statements and creative gains can’t be made by making your film black and white, for example, just that it is a conceit to do so. And, no, I’m not saying that such conceits are evil and no film should dare to employ them… just that it is, ultimately, always an aesthetic compromise when you do so.
I’ll bet you: when my as-yet unborn children grown up, either we’ll all be living in Mad Max or 3D cinema will be the norm, even 3D TV.