There's a lot of news coming out about Star Trek 2 lately, but the one thing that has some people concerned is confirmation that it wil not be shot in 3D, though it will likely be converted to the format in post-production. Here's what J.J. Abrams told MTV News this week [as transcribed by Collider]:
"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."
At first I was concerned for those who also love IMAX, because if the film is released in a 3D option I figured most IMAX theaters would be presenting in IMAX 3D. I guess Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 was offered in four different ways, including just plain "IMAX Experience." Still, in 2013 how many struggling cinemas will be interested in any low-price 2D version when they can rake in more money with the conversion? For 2D you'll have to find a more rundown theater that still doesn't have 3D capability, if they're still around.
Clearly the 3D idea is on Paramount's end, and they have done quite well with the format this year. Of course, most of their exceptional 3D releases (Hugo, Kung Fu Panda 2, Justin Bieber: Never Say Never) were shot that way. But why would Abrams have to compromise when his latest Mission: Impossible production wasn't shot or converted? I guess I don't understand all the details or the logic and shall just wait until the movie is out and I can judge what I see on the screen for however it's put in front of me.
In the meantime, the rest of the Internet can debate the issue...
What are people saying about Star Trek 2 being post-converted to 3D? Here's The Conversation heard around the Internet:
J.J. Abrams revealed that his next film's lens flares will fly off the screen and probably making you go blind through the magic of 3D. Though he isn't planning to shoot in 3D, he'll be using the process that's sometimes terrible, sometimes acceptable, and always unnecessary: post-production 3D conversion, which Abrams promises will be "good" and "high-end" if still one dimension behind Star Trek: The Experience's Borg Invasion 4-D. - Mark, I Watch Stuff
You know what would be a better plan, Mr. Abrams? Saying "Fuck you" to 3D and just going the IMAX route like Brad Bird and Christopher Nolan. - Eric Eisenberg, Cinema Blend
Why release in 3D at all, then? If you’re not that interested? - Brendon Connelly, Bleeding Cool
Boo-urns, I say. Boo-urns. I’m not a fan of 3D at all but if you’re going to have your movie in 3D, just film it in 3D, it looks so much better. - Jill Pontozzi, The Mary Sue
This 3D thing might be a slight rift in your usual good judgment, Abrams, but I think we're all still pretty pumped for the Star Trek sequel. - Michael Arbeiter, Hollywood.com
Personally, I think the IMAX format is the new wave while 3D gets put on the backburner and would love to see Abrams join guys like Brad Bird and Chris Nolan in shooting big sequences using the IMAX cameras and leaving the 3D on the side. - Mike Sampson, JoBlo.com
it might yet prove to be an astute move. Prior success or not, Abrams is as susceptible as anyone to studio pressure and may have therefore negotiated a deal to post-convert, hoping that either 3D will have fallen out of favour by then and he won’t need to, or that the technology will have improved, leaving the results more impressive. Either way, that is a massive leap of speculation on my part and in no way grounded in any sort of information or insight. - Dave Roper, Hey U Guys
A conversion isn't the best decision, but I imagine that with all the time for post-production, it could very well turn out all right. But what's really thrilling is having another major blockbuster looking to shoot in IMAX. Abrams doesn't specifically say whether they're planning on shooting the whole film in IMAX or just certain sequences like The Dark Knight or Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, but any IMAX for a deep space adventure is good news. - Ethan Anderton, First Showing
The IMAX angle was the first thing I thought about when reading that he wants to shoot on film; some Mission: Impossible-style action scenes shot in IMAX would be a great bonus in the new Trek. I’m less wild about the idea of post-converted 3D, however; if the film is going to be released in that format I’d much rather see it shot natively in 3D. - Russ Fischer, /Film
Trailers for Titanic 3D and The Phantom Menace 3D leave me with the mindset that, given the time and resources, one could do a post-conversion well — but those projects have been worked on for quite some time. Though the people performing here will undoubtedly be highly trained and talented, several months doesn’t compare much to more than two years. I sure hope I’m wrong. - Nick Newman, The Film Stage
It'll be in 2D and post converted to 3D (which, frankly means it can be skipped in 3D. Down with post-conversions). - Devin Faraci, Badass Digest
While it’s a bit disappointing that Abrams won’t be shooting in 3D, an intense post-conversion is the next best thing. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 looked gorgeous because of the painstaking detail with which it was post-converted, and I see no reason why the Star Trek sequel can’t follow suit. - Adam Chitwood, Collider
There is some truth to what Abrams is saying – post-conversion 3D is not always a deal-breaker for a movie. Films like Piranha 3D and the aforementioned Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 were planned for 3D format, shot in 2D, and then put through a very careful and quality-focused 3D conversion. The end results were up to par, at the very least. On the other hand, even the most carefully planned and constructed post-converted 3D flicks haven’t been able to hold a flame to films shot in the format – such as this summer’s box office smash, Transformers 3, and Martin Scorsese’s Golden Globe-nominated film, Hugo - both of which were gorgeous uses of the format that made other attempts look like child’s play. - Kofi Outlaw, Screen Rant
Can't say I was that impressed with the Harry Potter 3D retrofit, but I do appreciate that I'm not necessarily in the majority there. - Simon Brew, Den of Geek
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? - Kevin Jagernauth, The Playlist
@EDouglasWW: I think it'll be fine and like Thor, will have enough CG that's gonna be 3D already anyway.
@PeterSHall: I think films that are planned from the ground up to be post-converted are okay and I trust Abrams in this regard.
@BrianLynch: STAR TREK 2 is gonna be post-converted to 3D? Listen, Abrams, I want those lens flares to fly right through my head.
@CoriSeaSinger: As long as I have an option to watch it in 2D, I don't care.
@evildonkey: The awkward moment when I thought they were talking about converting Star Trek II : The Wrath of Khan into 3D
Follow Christopher Campbell on Twitter (@thefilmcynic) to join The Conversation.