Oblivion Director - All Blockbusters Don't Need to be 3D


Oblivion Director - All Blockbusters Don't Need to be 3D
Joseph Kosinski on why he didn't choose the format for his latest movie
Commercials director Joseph Kosinski chose to shoot his first feature, 2010s Tron: Legacy in 3D to help get across the films unique visuals. Three years on and the filmmaker decided against the format for his latest blockbuster, Oblivion starring Tom Cruise. In this case, he says it’s a matter of light.

“The main thing right now for me is the brightness,” said the filmmaker when we asked him about it during a recent interview. “With 2D films you’re at 14 foot-lamberts [fL - a unit of luminance] with 3D you’re lucky if you get 4. So you’re talking about less than a third of the amount of light coming back. And for a movie that takes place in the daytime in Iceland, I didn’t want it to be dim.”

Shooting the visually stunning scenes in Oblivion
Shooting the visually stunning scenes in OblivionEnlarge Enlarge

A symptom of the current 3D trend has been so many poorly converted movies which dull the viewing experience and when you add in the possibility of improperly aligned projectors and the darkening effect of glasses, it just serves to make the picture murkier still.

Instead, Kosinski wanted to focus on making the film as bright and clear as possible, shooting the film in 4K on Sony’s new CineAlta F65; “I felt like 2D but 4K which this ultra-high resolution format we shot in was a better fit for this movie”. Even for a filmmaker familiar with the 3D process, his approach is refreshing, with Kosinski suggesting that “I think 3D isn’t something you should just apply to every big film. I think it’s a case by case basis.”

It’s a philosophy which we wish more directors shared, and a nice change of pace to have a studio, in this case Universal, willing to move away from the enforced extra-dimensionality we’ve seen in so many releases in recent years.

Check back soon for our full interview with Kosinski, where he talks about his collaboration with Tom Cruise, the graphic novel which started it all and composing for IMAX and regular screens at the same time. We’ll also have video and pictures from the red carpet premiere of Oblivion in Dublin up soon.

Oblivion is in cinemas from the 12th of April.

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