Sailesh Ghelani attended a very special event and movie preview. Hollywood producer and Oscar-winner for Titanic, Jon Landau, flew all the way down to India for this special 40 minute presentation of footage from the film, which is being re-released in 3D.
Before entering the theatre all the press and invitees were handed a bright orange life-vest as their press kit by boys in sailor outfits, which I thought quite ingenius but would the film live up to it…
20th Century Fox was delighted to have Hollywood producer Jon Landau down to promote the film. Watch what Mr Landau had to say regarding the $18 million they spent on upgrading Titanic before showing us the special footage :
Alright, so the footage in 3D was okay, not great, not popping out at you. I’m guessing their goal is more immersive. You’ll probably come back to Titanic again anyway just for the thrill of the movie, the soundtrack and the grandness of it all.
Questions asked to Mr Landau at the press conference:
Mr Landau, did you succumb to a temptation to alter the content of the film while converting it into 3D?
There was an initial temptation but very early on we made a decision that what we were doing was letting an audience experience Titanic the way it was released 15 years ago. If we started adding scenes we’d be playing a game with the audience where people would be looking for what changed. But we don’t want them doing that. Movies don’t have to be perfect, it’s an imperfect art, which is appealing to so many and if there are imperfections in the film – and I know there are many – then embrace those.
Did you and James Cameron get the idea to convert Titanic into 3D when you were making Avatar’s groundbreaking 3D?
Absolutely. One of the greatest things about our industry is that your next project always depends on the experiences of your last project. We learned that if people can’t see the 3D in really fast paced scenes then don’t put in the 3D. From Avatar we learned where to emphasise 3D, where to add 3D, where the audience’s eyes were focused. 3D is another tool like lighting. When you’re telling a narrative you want to direct the eye of the audience.
Was it your intent to exploit the fact that this is a disaster movie?
That was never our intent. When you talk about disaster, this was a disaster that was a result of human error. We have a responsibility to remind people of the tragedy so they don’t repeat it. As a society we have icebergs ahead of us, and if you don’t change what we are doing, then we can hit that iceberg too. We’re doing this with the exhibitioners to show it to the consumers so they realise what a wonderful experience they are getting.
Do you see 3D in terms of a tool for the industry to get people into theatres in an age when people are watching more movies at home on HD screens and tablets?
The biggest thing to get people into theatres is the story. People don’t go to see a film because it’s in 3D. 3D does not make a bad movie good. 3D makes a good movie more engaging. Just like stereo sound enhances an experience, 3D does the same. The visual art form of the 20th century had no improvement to its format, we had widescreen Tecnicolor in the 1950s and sound improved. But now we can finally make a visual improvement. And that makes sense. I think all of our screens should become 3D. But sharing a movie as a group in a theatre will never go away as long as there is a good story and good technology to show you that.
If you could convert any film classic from the history of cinema into 3D, which one would you pick?
If you’re going to convert a movie, you need to do it with the filmmaker who created the movie. I think that eliminates Lawrence of Arabia. If you can get a Steven Spielberg or Peter Jackson involved then it’s a good idea. The problem that happened after Avatar is that the choice to make 3D movies did not come from the filmmakers it came from the studios. I would love to see a drama like Terms Of Endearment converted. Because you can become part of a scene, in the room with them. Lord of the Rings and Jurassic Park should be converted.
Titanic 3D releases in India on April 5, 2012. View the trailer here: