Riviera Building, Cannes, Monday, 10:30am
Free breakfast this morning courtesy of the Mandarin Hotel Group. Benefits to me: pain au chocolat, bread, cheese, fruit, yoghurt, OJ, coffee. Benefits to Mandarin Hotel Group: Er… well, they got mentioned on this blog.
The UK Pavillion hosted a talk on 3D. As you all know by now, I hate 3D. Increasingly this opinion is making me feel like a freak and a luddite. When I say I want to shoot a fantasy film on 35mm and in 2D, they look at me like I want to throw out my flush toilet and started crapping in an outhouse.
Anyway, here are some interesting things I learnt from the talk:
1. Because kids’ eyes are closer together than adults, the depth in 3D films appears greater to them, unpleasantly so in some cases.
2. It can take 45 minutes to changes lenses on a 3D shoot.
3. 3D adds 30-35% to your budget.
4. 3D technology that does not require glasses will likely be a reality in cinemas in about 12 months.
5. An associated sea-change in the industry that is just starting to appear is shooting higher frame rates. The Hobbit will be the first film distributed at 48fps, with Avatar 2 following.
One of the speakers argued that if you don’t like 3D, you should wear an eye patch, since real life is in 3D. My response is that interlaced video has more life-like motion than 24P, but very few people would argue that the former looks nicer.
One thing that’s worrying about 3D is how it encourages other traditions to be undermined. Shooting celluloid in stereo is prohibitively expensive, so 3D means shooting digitally. But that’s not the end of it. Take set building. Imagine a scene in a room that has a window. If shot on a set, unless what’s outside the window has to move or is important to the scene, on a 2D film you would typically put a painted backdrop out there. But in 3D you can’t do that, because it would have no depth. The only real choice is to bung up a greenscreen outside the window and put the backdrop in digitally. So now all those fantastically talented scenic artists are out of jobs. This is not cool.
Okay, enough about 3D for today. Gerard told me yesterday that he saw the Soul Searcher poster in the Riviera building, so I went in to have a look and, sure enough, it’s up on York Entertainment’s stand (the US sales agent). Sadly it’s the same crappy artwork as the US DVD release, with a random hooded guy and a disgustingly misleading splatter of blood.
Palais du Festivals, Cannes, 6:15pm
Had lunch with Gerard and co. Mostly we talked about how much 3D sucks.
Had a meeting that involved talking about sets, and the large shopping list thereof. Got shown a photo of a soundstage in Hungary bigger than Pinewood’s 007 stage. That will do nicely.
Wandered around the town for ages looking for shops selling postcards, then at last three came along at once. As I was sitting by a fountain eating a delicious brownie ice-cream I got a text from Carl containing excellent news of a significant person who has just jumped aboard the good ship Dark Side.
Bumped into Richard Cambridge, who was cast as the lead character Joe in Soul Searcher when it was due to be shot in 2002. He’s now running a company hosting indie films online.
Bus station, Cannes, 8:40pm
Went briefly to a low-rent party, then to a much swankier one. Carl unplugged the fridge so I could plug in my laptop and show someone the pilot. Then we went for pizza with Elliot Grove of Raindance, amongst others. Someone (possibly Elliot himself) made a remark about Elliot, then someone else joked I should put it in my blog. But I can’t remember what it was now. This is his seventeenth Cannes. That’s a lot of bullshit and canapes.
It was brought to my attention that there is no Kodak pavillion any more. A sad symbol of the decline of celluloid.