Doing the Time Warp for Men in Black 3
"It's a total ride in 3-D but I relied on stereographer Corey Turner. He's very much aware of not bouncing where you have to focus and eases you into foreground and background separation. And I asked Imageworks about having the Chrysler Building be shadowed by another building so that the background goes dark and the floating doesn't distract."
"There are these Vertigo moments of severe depth and even changing the feeling of the depth during the middle of a shot," Redd adds. "You don't want to knock people over the head with it but you want to give them a woozy feeling of being high up. It's got to feed the action and the pacing, and so we played with it constantly. It went from the actual 80 stories to 200 stories. What happens when you travel through time in hundreds of years in 80 frames? You're seeing prehistoric era, you're seeing buildings being built, you're seeing the light change, you're seeing time lapse."
Even Brolin was impressed with the 3-D. "I loved it," he says, "because it was a new 3-D I had never seen. 3-D at least in my experience is very evasive…. You know, scratch and sniff. And I felt it enhanced the movie and made it more beautiful."
On the other hand, Smith's first concern with 3-D was his small ears. Once they didn't look like satellite dishes, he was fine with it. "The latest [VFX] revealed that there are no limitations. It's funny because it's the same thing that happened with the music business when it went digital. As soon as it exploded, it had a weird, opposite effect where it gets worse for a while, which is strange. As soon as you get the tool to do anything, all of a sudden now the movies aren't as good. How the hell did that happen? I think we're about to turn that corner, particularly with the Men in Black in 3-D that Barry did. He found the balance of not throwing things at the audience: he went for depth, which is more pleasing to the eye."
Bill Desowitz is former senior editor of AWN and VFXWorld. He's the owner of the Immersed in Movies blog (www.billdesowitz.com), a regular contributor to Thompson on Hollywood at Indiewire and author of James Bond Unmasked (www.jamesbondunmasked.com), which chronicles the 50-year evolution of 007 on screen and features interviews with all six actors.