Peter Jackson Protege Neill Blomkamp Doesn’t Care For 48 fps, Christopher Nolan Doesn’t Know Anyone Who Likes 3D
Posted on Wednesday, July 18th, 2012 by Angie Han
As Hollywood pushes for 3D, 4D, 48 fps, 60 fps, and Lord knows whatever comes next, a couple of high-profile directors have declared their allegiance to the old ways. Peter Jackson protégé and District 9 director Neill Blomkamp has stated his preference for good old-fashioned 2D over 3D and 24 fps over Jackson’s controversial use of 48 fps for The Hobbit. Meanwhile, Christopher Nolan has gone one step further by declaring that, in fact, he’s never met anybody who actually likes 3D. Read their comments after the jump.
Blomkamp got into the topic during a press conference for his upcoming sci-fi feature Elysium, which promises to feature plenty of special effects — just not ones involving a third dimension or a higher frame rate. While he conceded that the 48 fps could just take some getting used to, he seems pretty clear on his own bias toward the more usual 24 fps:
If you were to show a child who’s six months now a 48fps movie, when they’re sixty, it’ll be as familiar to them as 24fps are for us now. But there may be an alien quality from 48fps; it has kind of a hyper-realism that takes away the cinema of it. I don’t actually like 48fps. I prefer 24fps.
Jackson himself has insisted that moviegoers will come around to 48 fps eventually, and that they just need to get used to it first. And indeed, it’s possible that once we’ve seen more than 10 minutes of 48 fps The Hobbit footage, we’ll get behind Jackson’s push for the higher frame rate. But Blomkamp’s presumably seen more of the film — or at least more of 48 fps footage in general — than most of the CinemaCon crowd has, and he still doesn’t seem convinced of its charms.
Or maybe Blomkamp just prefers a classic look. In the same conversation, he also asserted, “I definitely prefer 2D to 3D.” While there are some gifted artists — among them James Cameron, Martin Scorsese, and, yes, Jackson — who might disagree with him, there’s at least one who stands by him in that respects. The Dark Knight Rises helmer Nolan says that not only does he not care for 2D, he doesn’t actually know anyone who does. Salon (via Film Drunk) has the quote:
“The question of 3-D is a very straightforward one,” Nolan said in a recent interview. “I never meet anybody who actually likes the format, and it’s always a source of great concern to me when you’re charging a higher price for something that nobody seems to really say they have any great love for.
“It’s up to the audience to tell us how they want to watch the movies. More people go see these films in 2-D, and so it’s difficult data to interpret. And I certainly don’t want to shoot in a format just to charge people a higher ticket price.”
Those inflated prices, of course, are exactly why studios love 3D, as well as why audiences tend to get cranky about them. 3D can be a wonderful tool in the right hands, as we’ve seen in Avatar and Hugo. But more often, half-assed, post-converted 3D either fails to make an impression or even detracts from the film, and viewers tolerate uncomfortable glasses, squint at dimmed screens for nothing, and pay premiums for nothing.
If Nolan can’t or doesn’t want to play with 3D, better he give us a 2D The Dark Knight Rises (as he’s doing) than an costlier, less satisfying 3D version. Besides, we’ll already get the chance to shell out extra for his work this weekend, when that film hits in IMAX — some of it real, native IMAX, shot with actual IMAX cameras. Now that’s how you incorporate cutting-edge technology.