Okay if you were hoping to get anything on screenwriting or story structure, come back later.
I’m going to whinge about today’s experience with How To Train Your D-D-Dragon.
(And why I now officially hate 3D)
Let me first say that I adored the movie. And so did my (5yr-old) son Baxter who saw it for the second time. He had seen it in 2D before and loved it. I wanted to see it because some friends and clients had raved about it – and I really wanted to see it for its story.
So really, I couldn’t care less about 2, 3, any D.
Flashed my Writers Guild card in front of the teen taking the orders (you get your tickets at the candy bar these days) but she was not impressed.
“Not valid for special events.”
But I just want to see a movie.
“It’s in 3D, that’s a Special Event.”
Just two tickets for the 2D version, then.
“We don’t play that any longer.”
Deep sigh. My son was getting impatient.
She couldn’t help it. So I bite my tongue and plan on writing a blog article and sinking the share value of Hoyts Cinemas in Australia.
“Do you still want the tickets?”
My son had me in his power for another 5 hours before he would peacefully go to sleep, so I was not going to ruin my life.
“That’s $35.50 plus $2 for the glasses.”
I couldn’t choke on my popcorn because I hadn’t bought any yet. Nor would I any time soon.
Later I realised that if my son had been somewhat older, I would have had to fork out $42 just for tickets & glasses – without extras from the candy bar.
When I go see a movie for work, I usually pay around $10-$11.
And you know what? When I pay triple that, I get kinda critical.
The sound was lousy. It was pretty much all centered somewhere within the screen. (With the invention of 3D, they clearly had to trade in Stereo.)
The 3D had artefacts. Annoying halo-effects around the characters’ heads.
Special Event? My ass.
“Papa, can I have your glasses? These ones hurt.”
My son has just pictured the destiny of 3D as we know it.
I have a good friend who has been working on a live-action 3D movie which he wrote, directs and produces.
I sure hope he’ll make it worth our while (or sells his tickets cheap).
When people pay this sort of money, it may have an impact on the word of mouth…
I forgot to mention:
We were the only two souls in a big mother of a cinema.
Great way of killing an industry: first you create a ‘Special Event’, then you put up the price, you make everything ‘Special’ (hey, I’ve heard that one before: “and when everybody’s special…”), then wait until the cinema bleeds to death.
I enjoyed Avatar in 3D but can’t think of a single other movie that made me feel I got the value for the extra money. Perhaps Toy Story 3 will achieve this again.
Although How To Train My Dragon was surely the best kids movie I’d seen since UP, I would have been perfectly happy with 2D even if 3D were at the same cost. Happier, because I wouldn’t have had the discomfort of the glasses and the ugly artefacts.
DVD, BluRay, Quickflix, Netflix, iTunes … bring it on. (others – many many others – might add BitTorrent to that list)
Because I don’t like to complain in front of my 5yr old, back home we did a focus group and I asked him blankly which version he preferred, 2D or 3D.
(Here’s a 5yr old who knows what is cool. He has 3D colouring books!)
Karel Segers wrote his first produced screenplay at age 17. Today he is a story analyst with experience in acquisition, development and production. He has trained students worldwide, and worked with half a dozen Academy Award nominees. Karel speaks more European languages than you have fingers on your left hand, which he is still trying to find a use for in his hometown of Sydney, Australia. The languages, not the fingers.