|Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter and Ralph Fiennes as Voldemort|
(photo from DanielRadcliffe.com)
The first, not leaked, official movie trailer for Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows was released Tuesday with much celebration of and anticipation for the film to be released on November 19, 2010. But one issue that would have been overlooked, takes on new importance in the wake of Avatar Director James Cameron's attack on Warner Bros. Clash of The Titans use of 3D in a movie shot as 2D: will Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows have the same problem?
Earlier this year, just after the release of the epic remake of Clash of The Titans , Cameron went on an attack on Clash that could only be called damaging. Cameron said that making 2D films and then reforming them as 3D movies "cheapens" the 3D brand, and called for a board or commission to be formed that would monitor how and when 3D is used.
The one problem from this perspective is there are two kinds of 3D movies: before Avatar and after Avatar. Before Avatar, many movies were made with 2D cameras, then converted to 3D and in a process so common now, you can do it with your movie videos at home. Sure, there were a few stereoscopic films, but the common process was conversion.
Avatar takes advantage of new 3D processes created from Real D 3D, Dolby 3D, XpanD 3D, MasterImage 3D, and IMAX 3D, and was made from the start as a stereoscopic 3D movie.
The unfortunate reality is many movies were created from a one-camera perspective, and not an in-tandem 2 camera view system that mimics the eye and offers a more exact 3D perspective.
The whole point is to create the illusion of depth perception: the idea that something is in front of or behind another object on screen. But that written, movie makers who are converting 2D to 3D argue that the elements of a 3D movie - where a distant object is desaturated and hazy relative to a closer one - are already in 2D movies and thus continue to advocate 2D to 3D conversion.
Avatar distorts the truth
The problem Avatar causes for movie-makers on a budget is it used special equipment and techniques that were extremely expensive, then the movie goes on to be the largest money-maker in film history. So, because of Avatar, we have blogs like Screenrant claiming James Cameron has successfully ushered in the official “era of 3D cinema" because of its success. But it's not that movies haven't been made using stereoscopic film methods, they just weren't all that successful until Avatar. Now, every movie's judged by Avatar and what James Cameron says about that film versus Avatar.
Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows is not an "Avatar 3D" movie
From the James Cameron perspective, Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows is not an authentic 3D movie. In other words, it was created with a one-camera-lens perspective and has been converted to 3D, much as The Clash of The Titans was, and at a cost estimated at $10 million or "$5 million for movie conversion and $5 million for the glasses" according to Heat Vision Blog.
My take: Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows is just fine as 2D
If you want to see what Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows will look like in 2D, just look at the movie trailer above, if you'e not done so. It's a beautiful presentation, with all of the visual depth and character drama you expect from another epic installment in the Harry Potter series. Adding 3D is an excuse to charge higher ticket prices and with the popularity of the Harry Potter brand, assure ticket sales. It's a marketing trick on the heels of Avatar, but an unnecessary one.
Avatar made my eyes strain and I had a tightness from trying to watch it with the glasses. I saw Avatar just once for that reason. Maybe my contact lenses were dirty and that reacted with the 3D glasses, but really, watching real 3D is an adjustment.
If Warner Bros was really serious about making Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows in 3D, they'd have insisted on it in the production process, and even in the making of the videos that go on YouTube.
At a YouTube party I attended and will post today, YouTube engineers presented their experiments with 3D and the new online capability of being able to present 3D videos. It was effective, but takes some adjusting to. Will I use it? Considering they gave me a 3D web cam with which to make 3D videos, yes I will. The only thing stopping me is the camera doesn't work on a Mac; it's for a PC!
I've not yet seen a movie studio make a 3D movie that includes a 3D YouTube video version. It's a good idea for a studio to do, and gives movie goers a more authentic view of what the 3D movie will look like when it's released. That written, I'm looking forward to Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows in whatever "D" it's presented in.