Joe Dante on 'the art' of 3D filmmaking

The director of Gremlins explains how he used 3D in his latest movie

TODO alt text


the hole 3d

Cult filmmaker Joe Dante made a long awaited return to the big screen earlier this year with The Hole 3D.

With The Hole hitting DVD and Blu-ray in the UK in the New Year, 3DRadar sat down with the director to talk about shooting his first 3D feature film…

3DRadar: What were the main challenges in shooting The Hole 3D?

Joe Dante: It's not that much different from making a normal film. There are considerations that you have to make that add, all told, probably a couple of day in man-hours to the schedule.

But the equipment is now so much improved and portable, so it's really pretty much like shooting a regular movie. Except that you always have to keep in mind that you're actually going to be seeing real depth as opposed to 2D depth.

There's an art to it… an art that I might add is not being used in the movies that are being converted to 3D after they've been shot. These are basically a way to rip off the public without doing the work.

3DR: The 3D for The Hole is some of the more artistic we have seen…

JD: That's exactly why we did it. I was a little concerned. I was like, 'look guys, this is a small film, it's not going to be that small a budget, but it's a small film, and I think that if we did it in 3D we could make it look a little bigger and we could actually get some use out of the fact that we only have a few places that we keep using. So we can make them look bigger and give the picture a little scope.'

I wanted to shoot it in anamorphic 3D, but with the RED camera system we used you have to cut the top and the bottom off to do it. And that means you actually lose the ability to readjust the frame.

So I reluctantly agreed to do it in 1.85:1. But I wanted to do it in Scope'.

3DR: So where did the decision to shoot in 3D come into play? Was that something that was already tied into the existing financing?

JD: No, no. They had to get extra money for that. They had a budget for it, and when I suggested the extra money for 3D I thought they were going to fire me. But instead they were fairly progressive about it and gave it some due diligence, figured out how many other 3D movies were coming out and how many theatres were converting to digital and how many would be able to play it by the time it was done. And it all looked do-able, so they said yes.

3DR: Have you seen Piranha 3D?

JD: I haven't seen it yet… but I read the script, which was obviously not based on the script that I shot. But there were certain telltale similarities involving girls' breasts.

I was disappointed that they weren't shooting it in real 3D. They had all this money… and I was surprised to see how fake the digital piranhas looked.

Joe Dante's The Hole is released to buy on DVD and Blu-ray on January 17, courtesy of Entertainment One.