By CHOI Kwang-hee
The technology of 3D is indeed the hottest issue now in film industry as much as the smartphone is the main trend in the mobile industry. Needless to say, increase of the number of 3D-equipped theaters is the result from the magnificent success of Avatar . 3D theatrical system is rapidly being installed in traditional theaters with the expectation of market expansion and this trend can be found not only in theater but also in TV and home theater market.
In fact, I suspect that this 3D trend seems like nothing but an intention for marketing strategy; making announcement of 3D as their business plan makes much easier for enterpriser to get investment rather than focusing on R&D on cultural contents.
Among all expectation and excitement to produce the first Korean 3D film, Natali directed by JOO Kyung-Joong, audience still need to be patient to meet 3D contents regularly in theaters. Theaters being rushed to install 3D projectors are now experiencing the lack of 3D movies to screen. Only available 3D movies at theaters are from Hollywood. For the shortage of 3D movies, 3D theaters are used for other cultural events such as World Cup broadcasting or converted 3D films like Clash of the Titans which was originally filmed in 2D but converted to 3D in post-production in order to draw more audience. But converting to 3D just proved that the quality of post-production conversion does not reach the same level of quality as the films shot with 3D camera system. Therefore, even though Clash of the Titans was not a horrible movie to receive such severe criticism from audience, who can blame audience who criticized Clash of the Titans for cheating in 3D!
It seems like we are missing very important agenda on discussing the 3D trend. Don’t we overlook the essential matter of ‘what to show in the movies’ over ‘how to show in the movies’? KWAK Kyung-taek, who directed the war movie Areumdawn Woori(Original title) at 3D World Forum last March, said that artistic goal should be considered before technical goal. James Cameron, the pioneer and pilgrim of 3D technology also emphasized that the core agenda should be content not technology while he spoke about the future of 3D as standard technology. In other words, we need to develop the imagery grammar as well as technology in 3D era. LEE Chang-dong was also one of many directors who’s concerned about the frenzied excitement in 3D. He states,” Flying scenes seen in Avatar are the right elements to maximize the effect of 3 dimensions. However, who can say all movies should include flying scenes like that?”
As we see in lots of Hollywood animations, which have accomplished through 3D technology, they all have flying scenes in them. For instance, the movie How to Train Your Dragon shows off its 3-dimensional sense and quality just like Avatar . However 3D technology isn’t utilized fully yet, and somehow stays in using CG for the spectacle adventures. And this both potential and limit of 3D technology raises the concern of influence on the type of diverse genres.
Some say that the imagery grammar for 3D era requires not a storytelling but a “visual-telling.” But there is no change in the nature of movie; that should be a narrative function so called “Story-Telling.” People will quickly get used the 3-dimensional sense, and then we have to go back to the basic matter, ‘how to develop the content applied in 3D’. This is why we all are curious how Korean film industry get ready to face the 3D.