'Need for Speed' Getting Converted to 3D, But Not at the Last Minute
The Super Bowl spot from Sunday showed off some of the great, real action from the video game adaptation Need for Speed. Even if the full theatrical trailer showcased a lot of melodrama and cheesy dialogue, we at least now this film will look pretty on the big screen and have some spectacular racing sequences with big crashes. And now those bits of high speed destruction will be coming at our faces. After an update on Twitter from Box Office Mojo said the film would be released in 3D, people began worrying about a terrible, hasty 3D conversion akin to the atrocities committed in the moving pop-up book of Clash of the Titans or The Last Airbender. But fortunately, director Scott Waugh says that's not the case. More below!
SlashFilm got word direct from Wuagh himself, and the conversion to 3D isn't a last minute decision as we assumed. The decision was actually made in September, and the reason he wanted to hold off on the revelation until now was because he didn't want it to take away from the film itself. Since 3D is increasingly seen as a gimmick, especially when it appears alongside certain titles in trailers as a selling point (looking at you Pompeii). So Waugh wanted to make sure the film stood on its own for awhile without selling the 3D:
“We kept it very quiet because we didn’t want this movie to feel like ‘GO SEE NEED FOR SPEED IN 3D!” That’s not the movie we were making. We’re making a real, traditional, throwback movie to the ’60s or ’70s so we didn’t want that marketing gimmick. That’s not what the movie is about.”
And while the decision was clearly something the studio wanted, Waugh had to be convinced about doing the conversion. While working on a cut of Need for Speed, a friend said that Waugh's shooting was perfect for 3D and suggest a post-conversion. But Waugh says, "I’ve never really been a 3D fan. That’s not my type of movie. I like real movies with no CG.” But the friend offered a free test from two companies to do a 90-second conversion of the some footage. Waugh says it was the conversion from Stereo D, the company behind the conversion of The Avengers, Jurassic Park and Titanic that did the trick:
“I left there with my jaw on the floor. I called [Spielberg] and said ‘I’m blown away.’ I don’t think anyone has ever seen a movie like this in 3D because its all real. It actually exemplified, in 3D, how real everything is. You are completely immersed in these car races.”
As for why Waugh didn't simply contemplate shooting in 3D from the beginning, well his practical approach to action and method of shooting coverage just doesn't work for 3D. He explains, "My shooting style is almost literally impossible to shoot in 3D. I shoot with 27 cameras, they’re mounted everywhere, can you imagine trying to parallax 27 cameras for 3D?” Stereo D only needed 12 weeks to get the conversion done, so Waugh and Spielberg (remember he's an executive at DreamWorks) made the decision.
So Waugh has been making weekly visits to Stereo D to oversee the conversion and has been heavily involved in the process. The director also wants to reiterate, “It was not a financial decision at all. It was what is best for this movie creatively. No one has ever seen a movie like this in 3D and the proof is when you see it.” I suppose we'll have to check out the film in 3D to see if the conversion is really worth all the hype. Again, at the very least, the action will be something cool to see on the big screen. Need for Speed starring Aaron Paul arrives in theaters in 3D and 2D on March 14th. Sound good?