Get ready for the geek crowd to whip out their knives. J.J. Abrams has been consistently inconsistent about his stance on 3D, starting off the year by saying he was pretty cool on the format, to announcing the highly anticipated "Star Trek 2: It's Not About Khan, No Really, It Isn't" would be arriving in the format. Well, he's throwing fans yet another curveball.
Catching up with MTV (via Collider) recently, the director dropped a little nugget that will make James Cameron cringe. “We’re shooting on film, 2D, and then we’ll do a good high-end conversion like the Harry Potter movie and all that. Luckily, with our release date now we have the months needed to do it right, because if you rush it, it never looks good…We were talking about [shooting in IMAX] and I would love to do it. IMAX is my favorite format; I’m a huge fan,” he said.
On the one hand, yes, if given enough time the post-conversion 3D can look great. However, as Martin Scorsese proved this year with "Hugo" (perhaps for the first time, sorry "Avatar"), the format can be used to actually immerse an audience in the world of the film if conceived that way and thought through. With Abrams also talking about IMAX, calling it his "favorite format" it leaves the 3D feeling like an afterthought, and frankly, a studio-mandated cash grab. If he was really game for the three dimensions, he'd shoot in the format, but the post-conversion job feels like a studio concession for an extra couple bucks from ticket prices.
But also? Whatever. At least knowing this now, we can plan to buy our 2D/IMAX tickets instead, which seems to be (if you read between lines) Abrams' preferred approach. Though, yeah, we'll probably hear for the next eighteen months about how far conversion has come and how much he thought about 3D blah blah blah. We suppose this will continue the argument about conversion versus shooting in actual 3D, but if you can do the latter (much more affordably now), why would you bother with the former?
Anyway, "Star Trek 2" and its many lens flares (IN IMAX) arrives on May 17, 2013.