Earlier in the summer I spoke to Billy Zane about the new 3D version of Titanic, and about the process of creating 3D versions of films in general. His comments were certainly refreshing, not to say unexpected.
And while I’m not sure I fully agree with his first points, about the effect 3D has on performance, he’s certainly talking around an interesting area.
So here’s what Billy Zane had to say, followed by some video from a newer interview.
The 3D experience gave Titanic an internal dimension that I didn’t expect to have. With my character, I knew what I was playing on the day, but watching the film in 2D I felt quite removed from myself. I found 3D gave me an easier access to witness and understand the dimensions, facets and complexities of these characters.
It was purely a point of focus in the frame. If the eyes or the face of who was speaking or reacting is where you were guided with this new 3D technology, you would see nuances that might have been lost in 2D. You would get the full spectrum of the performance.
But In general terms, I’m a fan of classic cinema, not 3D. I’m a fan of black and white, square format, back projection, studio lighting. In the right hands, though, I think 3D is an incredibly engaging tool. I’d like to see some classic processed into 3D. It’d be great to see The Third Man in 3D. All those dark shadows, the different planes, the chiarascuro. The contrast would really stand.
Noir in 3D would be fantastic. It would be stunning. There’s already those faces jumping out of the shadows. And the cut pattern is not jarring, it’s not an action movie. These are very methodical compositions and give your chance to enjoy the frame and watch the performance.
Having lived with it for a few months, Zane has given another interview on the subject. Some of the ideas are the same, but he’s got new things to say too. Here he is discussing that, as well as some comments on his villainous role.
Titanic is out on Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D now. The 3D conversion is absolutely top-notch, and looks natural throughout. There are films shot in 3D that don’t use the format one half as well.