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3D Summit - Jeffrey Katzenberg Blasts 2D to 3D Movie Conversion

Note: Jeffrey Katzenberg Blasts 2D to 3D Movie Conversion at 3D Summit - This is 13:11 of a 14 minute speech. This video blogger elected to upload all of what I has, rather than edit it. At first, The plan wasn't to record all of his speech, but when it seemed that, just 30 seconds into the speech, Jeff was going to throw and land a haymaker, plans changed. To be candid, the final two minutes have micro-jumps only because of the editing system used vs the computer's random access memory (RAM) that was consumed to take such a large file all at once - need more RAM.  But I wanted you to see what I had, rather than lop it off.  



Universal City, Ca - On Wednesday, DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg was the keynote speaker at the 3D Entertainment Summit at the Hilton Universal City. At first, this blogger expected a standard "State of 3D" speech, but Katzenberg had other ideas. He got up with a plan to throw and land a haymaker.

Katzenberg took direct aim at 2D to 3D film conversion and set the tone for the summit - just what a good keynote speech is supposed to do. He didn't call out Clash Of The Titans by name, but everyone knew what he was talking about. But for good measure, Jeff added Piranha 3D.

(As an aside someone at the 3D Summit, when asked about Piranha 3D's budget later in the day, said "It's about $30 million to $40 million. We'll get their in terms of revenue, but we're waiting for DVD sales." But then the man shrugged and said, "Whatever, I'm not there any more," meaning he not with Dimension Films, who made the moviue.)

Clash Of The Titans was the epic 2010 remake of the man-god v. man fantasy that was made in 1981. First planned as a 2D film, Clash was rushed into 3D conversion after the success of Avatar in 2009. The results were terrible, as noted before.

Clash's conversion was so bad that Avatar Producer / Director James Cameron called it out by name and said that Hollywood should not use 3D just to use it. This is what Jeff is echoing in his speech above but with a step - he's panning 2D to 3D conversion, period.

Jeff said "When it comes to 3D conversion, here's the bottom line: over the years the film industry comes up with new ways to make a bad movie worse. Conversion of 2D to 3D is just the newest." Katzenberg says a bad 3D movie is painful to watch (really, it can give you a headache) and to add insult to injury Hollywood asks the customer to pay for it.

Some of the people responsible for the 2D to 3D conversion were sitting right there in the audience at the 3D Summit, including a man next to me who knew Jeff and admitted to me that he worked on Clash Of The Titans.

That guy was squirming in his chair during the speech. Seriously.

As a closing note, Katzenberg notes that six of the top 10 movies were 3D, and says there's a scarcity of 3D movie screens hampering revenue box office, even though it was healthy for 3D. He also says pricing is not an issue - the public is willing to pay a premium price, as long as it gets a premium experience.  Customers, Katzenberg says, can tell the difference "between Pandora and Piranha."  

This is part one: part two is the question and answer session, which was entertaining in as well. Stay tuned.