The guys over at /Film had a reader point them towards an exclusive article in the Australian movie magazine Inside Film, which stated that Dr. George Miller's upcoming sequel/reboot Mad Max: Fury Road is going to be going the 3D route.
For months now we've suspected that Mad Max 4 would be retrofitted with 3D - i.e., the type of post-production 3D conversion process that we've seen with Clash of the Titans, Alice In Wonderland and most recently in The Last Airbender.
Avid movie fans know all too well that the process of retrofitting a movie with 3D is a real issue in the movie industry right now. The post-conversion process diminishes the quality and colors of movie footage, and worse, creates a hackneyed pop-n-flat "3D effect" that is little more than a reason to charge moviegoers exorbitant prices for tickets. So, hearing that Mad Max: Fury Road was going to be subjected to such a format was pretty disheartening.
But alas, what we dreaded has NOT come to pass (for once). In fact, Inside Film is reporting that Mad Max 4 will be shot using 3D rigs and cameras that are being specially developed by George Miller himself. Said the director:
“We are doing 3D on Fury Road – we are shooting with real 3D cameras...Seven years ago we were going to shoot in 3D but the technology in cinemas wasn’t geared for it then but I always loved 3D or stereo...”
Mad Max 4 is currently slated for a rough-n-tumble shoot across the Australian Outback (likely early next year), which would represent something of a challenge, as directors such as Michael Bay have noted that shooting with 3D cameras is a cumbersome experience. However true that may be, it didn't stop James Cameron from changing the landscape of cinema with Avatar; it also hasn't stopped Bay himself from ultimately shooting Transformers 3 in 3D.
For now it seems that 3D is here to stay, and in the case of Mad Max 4, I'm not worried. Dr. George Miller is an Oscar-winning pioneer when it comes to visually impressive films (see Babe and/or Happy Feet), and was even recently awarded the status of honorary member of the Visual Effects Society - the first non-U.S. citizen to be recognized in such a way.
There's also the fact that Miller has Peter Jackson's WETA handling visual f/x, makeup and costume designs for Fury Road. When the guys who brought Middle Earth to life in Lord of the Rings are behind a film, in my opinion it's somewhat safe to raise one's expectations.
What do you guys think: Does George Miller developing new 3D shooting techniques intrigue you? Does the process (if done right) seem fit for a film like Fury Road? Or is the thought of "3D shaky-cam" already making you nauseous?
Mad Max: Fury Road should start production early next year (at the latest).