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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
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December 22 2011

The Avengers to be released in 3D. "The Avengers" has a new superpower: 3D. Walt Disney Studios said Thursday that the movie will be released in the format when it debuts May 4. ETA: Joss comments on it at

I had just assumed that it was going to be in 3D since both Thor and Cap were in 3D. I'm actually surprised to hear that it wasn't originally planned for it.
Well, as long as the script is 3-D, or Joss can make it 3-D, we'll be fine
I was surprised to see the news too. I always assumed it'd be in 3D. But now we know that the film was not originally intended to be 3D and it wasn't shot that way. Post conversion always sucks. I'm going to see the movie at least twice, I'll catch the 3D version later.
Joss even commented that he saw Avengers as being a good fit for 3D a while ago. I thought it was clear they were doing this from the start.
Post-conversion 3D is inadequate, lazy, and designed only to squeeze more money out of the box office. If Marvel were serious about 3D, they would have asked the film makers to use 3D technology, design 3D shots, and spend the money to justify the raised price. Don't fall for it. See it in 2D. Make Hollywood earn your coin.

[ edited by Andy Dufresne on 2011-12-22 22:48 ]
I think Joss probably filmed with 3D in mind, even if he didn't use the technology. I'll end up seeing it that way too, because heck, I'll be watching it in 2D for many years to come afterwards so might as well do something different for the first viewing.
I am sure Whedon did design it in 3D as best he could. All good film directors of the last 40 years have been, because since CITIZEN KANE, we have tried to bring the viewer IN. Crane shots, pans, zooms are all 3D tricks without the glasses. But Marvel are looking for a quick buck. CAPTAIN AMERICA and THOR had negligible and artless 3D.

Peter Jackson is using 3D cameras in new Zealand, and painstakingly creating an image worthy of the extra 3 dollars in THE HOBBIT. He wants there to be a reason to ask you to pay more. He wants to give you more.
Nobody tell all the news organisations running this it says 3D on the Avengers trailer, released many months ago.
joss on the news: "Yeah, it's fun!...I'm not a big fan of extreme long lens, talky movies - I like to see the space I'm in and relate to it, so 3D kinda fits my aesthetic anyway. And the technology has advanced so far in the past couple years."
For some reason, from way back I'd thought that The Avengers had been filmed in 3D. But I guess post-conversion is cheaper than the cameras? This is not pleasant to my bones. I saw Thor in post-converted 3D and vowed never again.

Anyway, here's hoping for some upscaled IMAX to go with my post-converted 3D!
You know, I actually liked the post conversion job on THOR. The other world shots looked amazing.

Don't get me started on the last POTTER 3D job, though - actual headache. Same with TITANS. Instead of taking me into the universe, with those movies it made me think 'my eyes. My brain. My wallet'.

[ edited by gossi on 2011-12-22 23:30 ]
Yeah, TITANS was probably the worst modern 3D hack job I've ever seen.
Let 'em convert. You can still go watch the 2D version. It's better that way anyway.
On the show Reviews on the Run they always say how good the 3D in a 3D movies is and whether you should see it that way. Sometimes it's just that the glasses make the movie darker and if there are a lot of dark scenes then it's hard to watch. I heard a lot of Thor was like that. I saw it in 2D as was recommended.
I was under the impression this was filmed in 3D too. As much as I disliked that thought, the thought that it will be converted is even worse! After seeing Potter in converted 3D, even in the otherwise great IMAX screening, I decided to never see a converted 3D film again. As I was hoping to see this in IMAX, which will likely only be showing 3D, I may have to think again about that.

Despite now having two positive experiences with 3D (the short at the start of Toy Story 3 and the wonderful Hugo,) I still feel that you have to have a damn good reason to be using it and that not every single film deserves the treatment. I don't think I have watched a 3D film and felt drawn into the experience or felt like I was in the room with the characters. Generally, it has the complete opposite effect, making everything feel very artificial. Certainly that is an effect that can be used to the benefit of the film maker, but I can't see how this would enhance something like The Avengers.

Andy Dufresne said "I am sure Whedon did design it in 3D as best he could. All good film directors of the last 40 years have been, because since CITIZEN KANE, we have tried to bring the viewer IN. Crane shots, pans, zooms are all 3D tricks without the glasses."

Those are also tricks that create the illusion in a much more natural way than 3D films. We should also remember that there have been experiments with 3D since the birth of film (certainly long before Citizen Kane!) All have failed to be successful.

[ edited by Vandelay on 2011-12-23 00:23 ]
I dislike 3d and now find it likely I will not go to see this movie as a result.
Whedon knew from the very beginning his film would eventually be converted to 3D saying he thought about the format "every second" while filming.

That's all I wanted to know. As long as Joss was considering the cinematic effects of 3D the way he thinks of the cinematic effects of light, staging, close-ups, action and everything else on the screen, all the elements will work together symphonically. And if the movie's about characters who shouldn't be in the same room together, I want to feel the room and the space between them.
And if the movie's about characters who shouldn't be in the same room together, I want to feel the room and the space between them.

Funny, though, how other movies can accomplish this without 3D. So, it's not like it's necessary.
Not a fan of 3D as a format -- it strains my eyes and I hate wearing the glasses -- so I've been seeing most movies in 2D, even the ones lovingly made in 3D (Hugo, Avatar). I saw two Pixar movies in 3D and 15 minutes in, I forgot the 3D effect and was absorbed in story. But I might make an exception for this, just because I really want to see it in IMAX and doubt that it'll play in 2D IMAX. Sigh.

Dana5140, this doesn't mean that the movie won't play in regular 2D format. There hasn't been a movie released where it only played in 3D. Not even James Cameron has that kind of power or ego.
Just like Thor and Captain America, The Avengers will also be released in 2D. It will be easy and cheaper to see that way. No one is forcing anyone to see it in 3D so it is pure hyperbole to say that this will somehow ruin the movie. But obviously we need something to discuss until the movie comes out. :)
And I will be seeing it in 2D-I avoid 3D like the proverbial plague!
Sound and color aren't necessary either, b!X, but they add realism to movies and with it dramatic power. 3D does the same when artfully deployed, and Joss is a thoughtful and artful deployer of all the elements of cinematic style.
I have every confidence that Joss will use it well. I figure some day it will just be another tool in the film toolbox. No one knew what they were doing when they first started adding in soundtrack music either. Maybe they need an award category for Best Use of 3D. Maybe that would help eliminate some of the crap.

One movie coming out that I think belongs in 3D is Ender's Game, especially the null gravity stuff.
I'm most excited about the release date: May 4th is mah birthday, so I know what I'll be doing!
I hate 3d because I have to wear glasses over my glasses and it doesn't really work. Seeing it in 2d, at least in Sweden, means seeing it on some tiny screen instead of the big premiere screens. The 3d is the major reason why I'm not that excited about Avengers.
Oh, what a relief! If it wasn't shot that way then I'll watch it in 2D - I hate 3D.
I do not want to see it in post-converted 3D. Every film I've seen in 3D gave me a head-ache, so I don't want to pay extra to get that head-ache with my movie.

Sadly the cinema in my city is pretty small and if there are enough successful movies playing at the time, they tend to only show the 3D version. Ah well...

That said, seeing Peter Jackson film the entire "The Hobbit" film with 3D-glasses on makes me want to give that one a shot in 3D. If they could film it without getting a head-ache, maybe that's a signal it's going to be head-ache free.
I'm another 'glasses on glasses' person so I tend avoid 3D whenever I can, and when there is a choice. It's likely that I will go and see it in 3D first and then enjoy it again in 2D.
There are people on other sites acting as if Disney/Marvel just decided on a whim to do this movie in 3d but before the movie even started filming we've known the movie would be in 3d.

Articles like this one here
say that movie was going to be filmed in 3d long before the movie started filming.

And I even remember reading that they were going to FILM it in 3d but I guess Joss or the producers changed their mind about that? What I don't get though is why Disney decided to make a press release about it when it says it right there in the trailer.

[ edited by eddy on 2011-12-23 15:46 ]
Mitholas, I would hesitate to trust that just because Peter Jackson could utilize 3D glasses during filming, it won't give you a headache. It's not the content of the 3D, I suspect, so much as your brain reacting to the 3D process. I'm migraine-prone, and going to a 3D movie can tip me over into a migraine if I'm already in a pre-migraine state. It's the 3D itself, I think, and how the input affects my eyes that does it.

I really want 2D IMAX, midnight screening, but I'm very willing to settle for 2D regular midnight screening. As long as the movie is good, the format is immaterial!
I just threw up in my mouth a little. If I can't find a local theatre that's showing it in 2D because of this (it happened when I tried to see Fright Night this summer), I'm... well, I'll come here and write another anonymous internet rant about 3D, very unhappily.
Meh. Doesn't really affect me much. I've never been a huge fan of 3d, but I don't mind it as much as some. However, I will be seeing the movie in 2d because one of my best friends has a problem with his eyes that prevents him from seeing 3d movies. I care much more about seeing the movie with my friend than about seeing it in 3d.
Notes to all:

Indeed, we did know Avengers was to be shot in 3D. A few months after filming we discovered it was not being shot in 3D, and it does say 3D in the trailer. This is the first official announcement of the conversion as far as I know, but it was a very safe assumption.

Headaches are user-specific, not movie-specific. Sometimes related to the presentation format as well. Maybe shutter glasses give you headaches but polarized glasses do not, or vice versa. The Hobbit will give headaches to whomever it gives headaches to.

The Avengers will be available in 2D

To everyone who wants to see it as intended, you should avoid IMAX. It was not shot with IMAX cameras. And there's "IMAX" theaters out there now that are actually normal screens with IMAX brand digital projectors. That would be fine to view it in, but don't pay extra money for it or a regular IMAX theater, you don't get anything out of it.

Joss may have planned for 3D conversion in the way he shot it, but don't count on this conversion to be particularly good. He would have shot for 2D first, not compromising a shot if there was a way to shoot it better for 3D. Also, he likely has nothing to do with the conversion itself. Also, the best conversions, the ones that actually make 3D models of each frame (essentially making the movie again in CG) are extremely expensive, and Marvel/Disney was likely trying to save money and headache and time by not shooting in 3D, so it's doubtful they would do a top dollar conversion, as was apparently not done for Thor or Cap (saw them in 2D, wouldn't know).

All in all, I'd say just see it in 2D, as it was intended. To the people who will have to compromise theater quality cause the good screens will only have 3D, I guess decide what's more important. I totally get your concerns.
Best recent 3D experience - one film which really should be seen in 3D if you are seeing it at all - was A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas (not seen Hugo yet). The 3D gags really wouldn't work in 2D.

I'll probably wait to see what the word on the street is about the 3D conversion job before deciding. I saw Captain America in 2D, because generally that was what was recommended. If I want to see this on release day and have to make the choice, I expect I'd go 2D, to be on the safe side. I can always go back and see it in 3D later, if I hear it's worth seeing that way.
I was disappointed that I missed A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas, but I couldn't bring myself to see a Christmas movie at Halloween, and it was gone from all the local theaters by Thanksgiving! *grumble grumble*

eta: And Hugo is magical!

[ edited by embers on 2011-12-24 16:54 ]
I hate 3d, but as long as there are sufficent 2d copies... Whats the biggie? Each his own.
I thought the Captain America trailer looked amazing in 3D, but there wasn't much to the effect in the end; think 2D would have been at least as good an experience. So if it's only a post conversion I'm going to see Avengers in 2D.
I couldn't bring myself to see a Christmas movie at Halloween, and it was gone from all the local theaters by Thanksgiving!

Don't understand why they did that with the US release dates. Over here in the UK, it came out early December, and is still around.

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