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Bay and Cameron Talk 3-D

Michael Bay may have been a stereoscopic skeptic, but after shooting TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON in 3-D, he's much more of a convert.

Michael Bay may have been a stereoscopic skeptic, but after shooting TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON in 3-D, he's much more of a convert. At least that's what he admitted Wednesday night in a conversation with James Cameron at Paramount, where Bay screened several minutes of impressive footage. As Cameron suggested, the results show "depth and aggressive use of 3-D."

The two powerhouse directors disagreed about film vs. digital (Bay is still old school anamorphic) and the technical limitations of 3-D (Cameron is far more forgiving). However, Bay conceded that while it cost an extra $30 million to shoot in 3-D, it was appropriate for TRANSFORMERS (opening July 1 from Paramount and DreamWorks). He said it allows you to feel the robots and that there's one intimate shot of Bumblebee that he particularly likes. Yet Bay insists on shooting fast and 3-D showed him down and is still not robust enough for complex sequences, even though it served him well going 150 mph through the canyons of Chicago.

For his part, Cameron admitted that brightness is still the biggest problem, but suggested that can be fixed with better projection (laser is two years away). Cameron said "sometimes the effects have to be louder than the music," but overall it's "another tool to get an emotional experience." It's a matter of learning how to dial it up and down.

And while the two directors quibbled about rigs, color and conversion (Cameron prefers to have it baked in so he can see how it's going to look), Bay said the aesthetics are often beautiful, such as the opening Moon landing, even though he lost the first day's shoot because of a hard drive snafu.