Over Wednesday 12th till Thursday 13th March the BFI South bank in London hosted the 3D Creative Summit. 'As 3D's future takes shape, this is a true opportunity to be a part of the global discussion' - Adam May and Carrier Wootten (3DCS Producers 2014). Described as 'a unique opportunity to gather in one place to explore' 3D's development in the twenty-first century. 'Just like 3D itself the summit should inspire you and open your mind to a new way to view there world.' Filled with many creative content makers, over the two days many talks from producers, directors and various influential crew members occurred to their audience. There were many talks from the two days, but it is important to feedback on the highlights.
Josh Hollander began to celebrate Pixar's triumph with 3D, particularly with the work of 'Up' (2009) and 'Toy Story 3' (2010). The family fun-filled adventure company have been developing their 3D experience to become a storytelling tool and not just another way to fill cinema seats and sell tickets. One discussion point of 'Up' was how 3D is used to create emotion and further characterisation, as subtle as it may be. The elderly protagonist of 'Up', Carl Fredirchsen (voiced by Edward Asner), was shaped with his square head to suggest his boxed in lifestyle once his wife dies. The 3D depth was used to make the action sink back into the screen putting Carl back into his box once he is all alone. This emotional point of 3D was enforced by the example of 'Brave' (2012) with the scene in Mor'du's cave where Merida is attempting her escape. The 3D is used to create fear and scare the audience by making the action stand out and reach into the audience to create the sense of terror and danger. Pixar's Hollander also discussed how different films have two slightly different versions. 2D and 3D films are not a simple adaptation some aspects have to be changed, from the tiniest point such as in 'Finding Nemo' (2003) the different particles of water and removed in the 3D version as it looked better on screen. A small easter egg for Pixar fans!
A major discussion point over the two days was the award-winning 'Gravity' (2013), a revolutionary piece in 3D cinema, even it's marketing scheme advertised the film as 'Gravity 3D' rather than 'Available in 3D'. Chris Parks (Vision3), hosted by Jason Solomons, held the talk about the film that achieved universal praise for it's brilliant 3D. Meetal Gokul and Gilbert Lake (Park Road Post) ran the talk on 3D and Sound Design in 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug'. They discussed how the film uses its picture and sound to emphasis key moments. The spider's in 3D along with the epic soundtrack created the fear in the audience that caused many members to jump in shock, showing the powerful nature of the cinema technique. Up and coming 3D films for 2014 are Gareth Edwards' 'Godzilla' and we will see Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) facing 'his greatest battle' in 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2'.
3D is also creating an almost new genre, with the help of creative minds, especially in the documentary field with work such as BBC Hidden Kingdoms; David Attenborough's 3D Journey and Pandas 3D. All three work, all very unique, are creating watchable content with 3D that makes the animal kingdom come to life on screen in a new way. In Pandas 3D (Caroline Hawkins and Richard Mills talk) the crew were dressed as pandas to help the animals in captivity feel they were in the wild helping them be released later on. Close-up action in BBC Hidden Kingdoms gave the animals a character as they came to life on screen living their everyday life through close camera observation, it allowed more detailed to be captured and enjoyed in a dramatic way by all age audiences.
So we 3D Cinema, are we there yet? Phil Clapp (Chief Executive of the Cinema Exhibitors Association) led a talk about 3D cinema today and has the format finally reached a level of global acceptance with audiences. 3D cinema is heavily content dependant, a film is not worth putting in 3D if it doesn't need to be or can't be used to enhance the story. Films that are unsuccessful with 3D tend to arguably be the stories than use 3D unnecessarily and purely for show. Charlotte Jones presented some facts and figures on the 3D community and showed that animation films are not so high in grossing due to family appeal that costs too much for the generic family of four, however Pixar seems to be proving successful. So how are cinemas getting their audience in? Well Odeon for example are currently developing a new scheme of Odeon Recommends, which will be a sticker to show that odeon recommends this particular film in 3D and since its been approvers and suggested it will hopefully draw the audience in. We are already moving towards glasses-free 3D. The audience deserve good quality and 3D is pushing to that incredible standard.
To see a video I filmed at the event to give you a taster of 3D Creative Summit 2014: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jIsDp_Flwls