Shooting 'Hugo Cabret' in 3D Has Scorsese 'Rethinking Cinema'
by Ethan Anderton
November 22, 2010
Though the popularity and love for 3D from studios and audiences alike has already taken off, veteran director Martin Scorsese is in the midst of shooting his first 3D motion picture right now. His adaptation of the children's book The Invention of Hugo Cabret starring Chloe Moretz, Sacha Baron Cohen and more is being natively shot in 3D. Word has come through the grapevine that production has been slow-going because of all the logistical issues of shooting in 3D, but also because Scorsese has found himself approaching filmmaking a little differently as he crafts his film with the third dimension in mind for audiences. Find out why below!
As for Scorsese's leap into 3D, he talked to The Guardian and said, "I've always liked 3D. I mean, we're sitting here in 3D. We are in 3D. We see in 3D. So why not?" That's one way of looking at it, and 3D has Scorsese looking at cinema in a whole new light as well. Here's what the famed director had to say:
"Every shot is rethinking cinema, rethinking narrative – how to tell a story with a picture. Now, I'm not saying we have to keep throwing javelins at the camera, I'm not saying we use it as a gimmick, but it's liberating. It's literally a Rubik's Cube every time you go out to design a shot, and work out a camera move, or a crane move. But it has a beauty to it also. People look like… like moving statues. They move like sculpture, as if sculpture is moving in a way. Like dancers…"
It sounds like 3D has Scorsese and likely even the production designers and the rest of the crew thinking even more carefully about the sets, extras and all the details surrounding the actors and the story they inhabit. It's not as if these weren't important elements before, but now it seems like they are being more meticulously crafted. I think calling 3D a revolutionary technology that could change the face of cinema and storytelling is definitely hyperbolic, but I like how Scorsese has illustrated it's made him more aware of his visuals and how his moving canvas is shown to audiences.
As for the story of The Invention of Hugo Cabret, which follows a 12-year-old orphan named Hugo who finds himself living in a train station, and still dedicated to his late father's ambition to solve the mystery of a broken robot, Scorsese had something to say about that as well:
"It's really the story of a little boy, but he does become friends with the older Georges Méliès who was discovered in 1927, or 1928, working in a toy store, completely bankrupt. And then he was revived in a way, with a beautiful gala in 1928, in Paris. And in my film, the cinema itself is the connection – the automaton, the machine itself becomes the emotional connection between the boy, his father, Méliès, and his family. It's about how it all comes together, how people express themselves using the technology emotionally and psychologically. It's the connection between the people, and the thing that's missing – how it supplies what's missing."
The thought of an adaptation of a children's book in the hands of Martin Scorsese was enticing in itself, but hearing how deep he's invested in the material is even more exciting. Combine that with the prospect of seeing how Scorsese handles something like 3D, a technological device that has quickly divided film-goers around the world, and it sounds like The Invention of Hugo Cabret could really make quite a splash. Maybe Scorsese is one of the few filmmakers who will have audiences rethinking 3D. For the entire interview complete with more talk from Scorsese about his career and approach to filmmaking, head on over to The Guardian. What do you think?