Star Trek 2 is the latest victim of the 3D epidemic

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JJ Abrams has a new TV show out, Alcatraz, which he is currently promoting. During one of these promotions, the Lost creator took some time out to discuss Star Trek 2, the upcoming sequel to his smash hit 2009 Star Trek reboot.
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Abrams revealed that the plan is to shoot the movie in 2D and then have it post converted to 3D, but added an interesting caveat:

“I did not fight for the 3-D. It was something the studio wanted to do. I didn’t want to do it.”

This of course echoes his earlier sentiments at a 2010 Comic-Con panel.

“The thing that drives me crazy about 3-D is that when you put on the glasses, everything seems dim. I’m not totally on board yet.”

This is unfortunately a very common occurrence in Hollywood now, with only a select few directors like Christopher Nolan and Ridley Scott having the industry clout to stand up to the studios’ strong-arm tactics. The studios are obviously pushing 3D just to drive up ticket prices, which – according to them – gives them a better chance of making their money back. You would be deluding yourself if you thought that it was for creative reasons.
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But even despite the often up to 40% increase in prices, making your money back is no longer a certainty as cinemagoers’ feelings towards films of the 3rd dimension have slowly been shifting from a rubber-necking fascination to general apathy and is now teetering on the edge of vitriol. And it was murky and almost unwatchable post-converted movies like Clash of the Titans that was got us to this negative state of mind. Nobody likes paying more for an inferior product. It boggles my mind that studio execs have not yet made this realization.

Now I’ll admit that when 3D is done properly (see the usual suspect, and King of the 3D jungle, Avatar) by filming it with proper 3D camera rigs, it can heighten the experience considerably. But unfortunately, these examples are about as rare as a Charlie Sheen sober thought.

The only hint of redemption with post-converted movies though, is that the 3D effects do not inform the film making process. Because it’s filmed with traditional methods, there are no scenes where the shot composition suddenly stops making sense the moment that it’s viewed in 2D, which is how most of us still watch movies at home.

If the local cinema-chains actually give us the option (please do not get me started on that), then you can definitely count on me seeing this in plain ol’ 2D, just the way nature intended.

Star Trek 2 begins filming this Thursday and is scheduled for a 13 May 2013 US release.

Last Updated: January 9, 2012

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions - but very little sleep - I've been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

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