UPDATE: After digging deeper, it appears 3D cameras were used throughout production.
Once we contacted sources closer to production, it appears Michael Bay did not ditch the 3D cameras for Transformers 3. If anything, the 3D technicians likely found alternative ways to effectively use the 3D rigs while filming in Chicago. The information from our source was apparently four to five weeks old and very well may have changed between then and when we spoke.
Further discussions reveal that while 3D cameras were used throughout production, not every camera shot is native 3D. While some of the footage may be converted in post-production, there were always 3D cameras somewhere on set. Rest assured, Michael Bay's Transformers 3 will still be a 3D movie.
I apologize for running with information that was not fully formed, as the intention was to simply present a newsworthy topic for discussion. Nothing was fabricated, but rather information from the source was outdated. We can admit we were wrong in this post (me especially), but know that we always approach stories with good intentions to deliver timely news as accurately as possible.
Since the start of production a few months ago, Michael Bay's Transformers 3 has made a number of unfortunate headlines. Now, we have learned from a source close to Bay that the movie is not being shot in 3D as originally believed.
Instead, next summer you will see yet another product guilty of a post-production 3D conversion. Apparently, filming did begin in 3D, but Bay opted out when the production moved to Chicago.
Considering how open the Chicago sets were to the viewing public, it's surprising there haven't already been more definitive answers regarding the lack of 3D camera rigs on set. I took some photos and video of the downtown shoots and each time I scoured the set for a 3D rig - but there were none to be found. Today's news would explain the absence of the mammoth cameras.
It was revealed two months back that Transformers 3 would be shot in 3D but it's sounding as though nobody followed-up on that report. The film's rushed production should have been fair warning that a full 3D shoot would be extremely difficult to pull off.
The misdirection should come as no surprise - considering Bay's penchant for releasing false information. We've already been thrown for a loop regarding the appearance of the infamous twin Autobots in Transformers 3. In case you need to be caught up to speed on that rumor, the Twins are definitely in the movie. Couple that news with the Megan Fox fallout and Transformers 3 has been one confusing shoot.
It's unfortunate that Bay changed his mind during production. Shooting using stereoscopic cameras is about the only way to create a truly immersive 3D final product. I might argue that the only truly effective mainstream 3D film to date is Avatar. Of course, accountants would say otherwise, since the last three films to gross $1 billion each were 3D. That said, we've yet to see really great post-production 3D - and it's doubtful that Transformers 3 will be the first.
If you are wondering why Bay would cut 3D cameras (a drastic decision), it's probably related to his aggressive filming style. Bay has never been shy about throwing a car through a building or running a camera alongside his actors. The intensity of his filming style requires a lot of handheld camerawork and multiple angles. Those multiple angles may have been the deciding factor, as filming using a 3D rig is very restrictive.
While money may be a non-issue considering the massive budget of Transformers 3, it still costs a lot to shoot using five 3D cameras at once. Bay's shots are constantly moving and require multiple rigging systems. Add everything together and it seems it just wasn't worth the price and trouble. In addition, Bay is known for his on-the-spot directing and 3D rigs are less maneuverable and could have slowed production.
To be fair, it is possible that Bay shot certain scenes in 3D and the rest in 2D, with a post-production conversion. Even if that is the case, Transformers 3 just isn't going to be the 3D robot action movie we hoped for.
What do you think about a post-production 3D retro-fit for Transformers 3?
Transformers 3 hits theaters July 1st, 2011.