As powerful as we like to think filmmakers are, they can’t compete with the studios. When a studio puts their foot down on and issue and threatens to not make the movie, even the most successful filmmakers are forced to say “okay.” That seems to be what happened with J.J. Abrams and Star Trek Into Darkness.

Before filming began on the sequel to the 2009 hit Star Trek, we posted multiple articles showing Abrams’ aversion to 3D. He said he had nothing against it but it never really sold him and suggested he didn’t want to make Into Darkness in 3D. Soon after, it was revealed the film would be shot in 2D and post-converted, which gave fans a lot to worry about. The question became, “what happened?”

Abrams now admits Paramount wouldn’t make the movie unless he agreed to release it in 3D. But before jumping to any conclusions, Abrams explained his opposing viewpoint on the medium actually helped in making the conversion more effective. Read his quotes and discuss these opposing viewpoints after the jump.

To read a bit about the saga of J.J. Abrams, Star Trek Into Darkness and 3D these four articles – One, Two, Three, Four – will give you an idea of how Paramount asked about the format, Abrams’ thoughts on it and the eventual agreement. Here’s one quote in particular from June 2011:

I’m not yet considering [3D], but you know, I haven’t gotten any phone call from people in suits. I know what’s good for me.

Apparently he does. In a new interview with SFX (via Digital Spy) Abrams admits that phone did ring and there was an ultimatum on the other line:

The studio said, ‘You have to make it in 3D if you’re going to make it, for economic reasons.’ But my feeling was I didn’t like 3D. So the idea of doing Star Trek in 3D was ridiculous. But that was very helpful in some ways, because it let us work with stereographers and the 3D crew in a way that didn’t assume we just loved 3D.

He calls his approach to the conversion “very cynical” but said working closely with the team, it eventually won him over:

I have trouble with 3D sometimes. I can’t see it right; I get a headache; it annoys me; I hate the glasses; I hate the fact that things get so dim….I approached it very cynically. And the fact is that we’ve been using techniques that haven’t been used before in 3D. They’ve figured out things. They’ve made enough movies now with this new process that they can understand ways to eliminate some of these problems. Things like breaking shots into zones, 3D zones, using multiple virtual cameras. A lot of this has made me a believer, whereas before I was really against it… There’s this myth that if you don’t shoot the movie in 3D it doesn’t look good. Actually, the opposite can be true. The key for me is I got to make my 2D movie that I wanted to make, just the way I wanted to; and it gets to be augmented in 3D but that doesn’t detract from the 2D.

The wonderful thing about 3D these days is that fans are still given a choice. You can see Star Trek Into Darkness in 2D if you like. However, since the film was also shot in full IMAX, that’ll only be released in 3D, and will probably be the preferred way to see it come May 17. I tend to trust Abrams and his post-conversion team, especially after seeing the way 3D was used in the first nine minutes of the movie.

Are you surprised Paramount forced 3D on Star Trek Into Darkness? How will you see the film?

 

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