Friday, April 9, 2010

Katzenberg on 3D

From Variety, an interview with Jeffrey Katzenberg of Dreamworks Animation on why 3D is a major industry crossroads.

Read the full interview here.

3D is either A) The industry's biggest bigscreen innovation in decades and its biggest growth opportunity; B) In danger of fading within a year; or C) All of the above. According to Jeffrey Katzenberg, the answer is C.

The DreamWorks Animation head says Hollywood is at a "genuine crossroads," and the decisions studios and producers make in the next few months could ensure a healthy life for film-going -- or kill the goose that lays the golden egg.

Last weekend was significant in the evolution of 3D because it marked the bow of the highest-profile 3D conversion: "Clash of the Titans," which Warner Bros. converted from 2D at the last minute. On that weekend, DreamWorks Animation's "How to Train Your Dragon" was in its second week and Disney's "Alice in Wonderland" continued its run -- giving auds a chance to experience three very different applications of the same technology.

The issue for Jeffrey Katzenberg is what he calls the "cheeseball" conversion of "Clash," with results that have been almost universally panned by critics. Warners insiders conceded to Variety that some at the studio were unhappy with the look of "Clash 3D" as it was seen at some screenings. But in public, Warner execs have defended the movie and argued that its strong box office performance proved that moviegoers are satisfied.

All over town, in film and TV offices, 3D is being debated. To get the dialog started, Katzenberg was invited to meet with a group of Variety reporters and editors for a wide-ranging discussion on 3D and why, in his opinion, the industry is in danger of incurring a major self-inflicted wound and setting back the entire bigscreen experience. Here are excerpts of that discussion.

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