TDKR: Christopher Nolan Discusses Shooting THE DARK KNIGHT RISES In IMAX And Not In 3-D

The guys over at batman-news.com posted a snippet from a lengthy interview with Nolan about pressure from Warner Bros. to film The Dark Knight Rises in 3-D instead of IMAX.

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By WesleyGibson - 4/12/2012


With huge anticipation surrounding his new film The Dark knight Rises, the epic conclusion to his Batman films, Nolan discusses that he didn't want to use 3-D for his final installment. He is a very big fan of IMAX, and sees it as the only good way to shoot a film. Below is just a small excerpt from the interview with the director for more, just hit the link!

From Nolan:

"Warner Bros. would have been very happy, but I said to the guys there that I wanted it to be stylistically consistent with the first two films and we were really going to push the IMAX thing to create a very high-quality image. I find stereoscopic imaging too small scale and intimate in its effect. 3-D is a misnomer. Films are 3-D. The whole point of photography is that it’s three-dimensional. The thing with stereoscopic imaging is it gives each audience member an individual perspective. It’s well suited to video games and other immersive technologies, but if you’re looking for an audience experience, stereoscopic is hard to embrace. I prefer the big canvas, looking up at an enormous screen and at an image that feels larger than life. When you treat that stereoscopically, and we’ve tried a lot of tests, you shrink the size so the image becomes a much smaller window in front of you. So the effect of it, and the relationship of the image to the audience, has to be very carefully considered. And I feel that in the initial wave to embrace it, that wasn’t considered in the slightest."




The Dark Knight Rises is an upcoming superhero film directed by Christopher Nolan, who co-wrote the screenplay with his brother Jonathan Nolan and the story with David S. Goyer. Based on the DC Comics character Batman, the film will be the third installment in Nolan's Batman film series, and is a sequel to Batman Begins (2005) and The Dark Knight (2008). The Dark Knight Rises is intended to be the conclusion of the series. It stars Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, and Morgan Freeman. The film will take place eight years after the events of The Dark Knight and will introduce the characters of Selina Kyle and Bane—portrayed by Anne Hathaway and Tom Hardy, respectively—two villains from the Batman mythology



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lchaconp - 4/12/2012, 11:24 PM
FIRST
batfan175 - 4/12/2012, 11:57 PM
that man is a truly old-style filmmaker and I applaud him for that. Now that increased 2D ticket prices will partially be funding 3D films it seems like 3D will soon be the only option. Studios want it, executives want it, distributors want it, the public does not want it but it's being rammed down our throats by directors such as Ridley Scott and James cameron because they know it makes more money for them, without making the experience in any way more memorable. Lets not forget the 30 % colour loss, the headaches, the stupid 3D glasses, etc.

@WesleyGibson: good article but maybe you could include the parts about CGI and his answers about the IMAX questions as well? That would be really great because it would show just what he thinks IMAX has to offer.
WesleyGibson - 4/13/2012, 12:00 AM
^^^thanks for the advice man, I thought about it, but I thought it would have been too much. I was really trying to keep it simple, I'm all about simplicity when it comes to my articles.

I'll keep that in mind though, thank you.
FrankieDedo - 4/13/2012, 12:01 AM
WTF??
"it gives each audience member an individual perspective. It’s well suited to video games and other immersive technologies, but if you’re looking for an audience experience, stereoscopic is hard to embrace."
i think nolan hasn't saw a 3D movie...every member of the audience sees the same thing in a 3D movie! it's always an "audience experience" because everyone sees the same thing! o.O you just can see the depthness of the scene and that's all ok, for the bigger canvas, but THIS?!? ._."
PartyHard - 4/13/2012, 12:26 AM
He's not an old style film maker because he doesn't use 3D. 3D is a fad. If you actually think it's going to stick around you're pretty goddamn dumb.
batfan175 - 4/13/2012, 12:52 AM
The studios are raising 2D ticket prices and lowering 3D ticket prices (slightly) so that there is one price (as if tickets weren't expensive enough already) so that you're going to effectively pay the price of a 3D ticket even though you're going to watch a 2D film. the studios are going to force the price on you and, unless you like to go watch films at an independent arthouse cinema, you're going to have to pay more for the same experience.

@PartyHard: One part of the article discusses his choice to continue shooting on film whereas everybody today goes digital. Now tell me that someone holding on to the old vestiges of cinema is not an old-style filmmaker. here's the exerpt:

"Q: You and your cameraman, Wally Pfister, are—along with Steven Spielberg—among the last holdouts who shoot on film in an industry that’s moved to digital. What’s your attraction to the older medium?

A: For the last 10 years, I've felt increasing pressure to stop shooting film and start shooting video, but I've never understood why. It's cheaper to work on film, it's far better looking, it’s the technology that's been known and understood for a hundred years, and it's extremely reliable. I think, truthfully, it boils down to the economic interest of manufacturers and [a production] industry that makes more money through change rather than through maintaining the status quo. We save a lot of money shooting on film and projecting film and not doing digital intermediates. In fact, I've never done a digital intermediate. Photochemically, you can time film with a good timer in three or four passes, which takes about 12 to 14 hours as opposed to seven or eight weeks in a DI suite. That’s the way everyone was doing it 10 years ago, and I've just carried on making films in the way that works best and waiting until there’s a good reason to change. But I haven't seen that reason yet.

Q: Have you ever thought about communicating your feelings to the industry and other directors?

A: I’ve kept my mouth shut about this for a long time and it’s fine that everyone has a choice, but for me the choice is in real danger of disappearing. So right before Christmas I brought some filmmakers together and showed them the prologue for The Dark Knight Rises that we shot on IMAX film, then cut from the original negative and printed. I wanted to give them a chance to see the potential, because I think IMAX is the best film format that was ever invented. It’s the gold standard and what any other technology has to match up to, but none have, in my opinion. The message I wanted to put out there was that no one is taking anyone’s digital cameras away. But if we want film to continue as an option, and someone is working on a big studio movie with the resources and the power to insist [on] film, they should say so. I felt as if I didn’t say anything, and then we started to lose that option, it would be a shame. When I look at a digitally acquired and projected image, it looks inferior against an original negative anamorphic print or an IMAX one."

@FrankieDedo: no, it's not the same experience for everyone because many of us don't care for the stupid glasses or the headaches, the darker screen, the colour loss, etc. 3D is alienating the audiences in many different ways. also, try watching "Jaws 3D" with that little guppy/"shark" biting your ear. In the remake of Clash of the titans the monsters were made smaller because of 3D. It's dying and people are allowed to voice their disdain for it. it's just that his argument for not using 3D is much more professional and sophisticated because he works within the industry that a lot of us don't know too much about. We know the borad strokes but that guy works every day with studio executives, cinematographers, etc. so I expect that a lot of people on here are just bashing him again because he made batman films that express the way he views the characters and many people like those films, a fact that noone seems to have gotten over here.
FrankieDedo - 4/13/2012, 1:33 AM
@batfan175 But if you see a movie in both 2D and 3D the movie is the same.
Despite all headaches and the individual perceptions, the movie is still the same, right?
Nolan is kind, if he doesn't want to deliver us a permanent cross-eyeing, and i agree with him (despite i like 3D, because i don't suffer it) but regarding the quality of movie: if you shoot it in 3D or in 2D, without putting popping-out scenes in it, but just going straight through your idea of movie, the movie will still be the same. e.g. The Avengers will be the same movie both in 2D and in 3D! ;)
DoctorSnide - 4/13/2012, 4:32 AM
If people were not so money motivated they'd probably make a great film. Ex: Christopher Nolan.

I hope Chris can one day make Syncopy a BIG player in Hollywood so he becomes the true Godfather. Glad he has enough influence to make the suits (Who are just about dollars) be quiet and roll with what he wants.
marvel72 - 4/13/2012, 4:34 AM
i don't care for imax,too much traveling just to see another batman film.

normal screening will do me.
AC1 - 4/13/2012, 4:45 AM
@FrankieDedo actually, no two people see the same thing in a 3D screening; the way in which the technology works forces a different perspective of the image depending on where you're seated in the cinema auditorium. If you're sat right in the center, you tend to get the best viewing experience in 3D, while if you're sat at the edges, the image seems more blurry and awkward. It's all about the way the two images are overlaid onto each other, and how the glasses force each image together when you look through them. Of course, the problem isn't as bad if it's filmed with a 3D camera (like Amazing Spider-Man), as the two camera lenses also film at a slightly different perspective, making it more natural when the images are compressed by the glasses. Post converted 3D on the other hand is generally very awkward to watch for most audiences. Plus then the loss of colour, and the way many people feel the glasses separate them from the screen, it does seem to ruin the audience experience.

That's why it tends to work better on video games, etc, because they're not used by hundreds of people sat around one screen, it's usually just the one person.

So yes, it would be the same film in both 2D and 3D, but in 3D you lose a lot of the quality of the film in exchange for a gimmick that is almost always very forgettable. And it's always awful when films specifically insert 3D 'pop out' moments into films.

And at the very least for consistency's sake, it's a good thing Chris Nolan has rejected 3D for his last Batman flick, as it wouldn't fit in with the other two films.
GingerBird - 4/13/2012, 4:48 AM
I really dislike 3D. The glasses are super annoying and all of the visuals from the film just look so dark and muddy.
TheBigBoss917 - 4/13/2012, 5:07 AM
@marvel72, you might not care for IMAX but it truly is a breathtaking experience. Not everyone lives in the middle of Kansas and traveling isn't a deterrent to IMAX for most people. IMAX>3D, Nolan cares about his audience's perspective and that's why he hasn't disappointed me yet
NeoBaggins - 4/13/2012, 5:21 AM
The Dark Knight was the first and only film I ever saw in IMAX. And the Dark Knight Rises prologue was my second time in an IMAX theater.

Both times I was lucky enough to sit in the back. I can't imagine being any closer without having a terrible time trying to enjoy the film. Let alone in the middle or anywhere near the front where I can't even udnertsand why there would even be seats there.

Or maybe it's just the SF metreon's specific screen. It's ridiculously big. If I can't get that back row seat I'm [frick]ed.
deadman222 - 4/13/2012, 5:30 AM
Shitt azz blab pab [frick] [frick] [frick] fu ck
NeoBaggins - 4/13/2012, 5:30 AM
@Azazel1 Man, the air-view shot over the city/wayne tower makes it feel like your going to fall into the screen. Who needs 3D with an experience like that?
SHO1138 - 4/13/2012, 5:31 AM
I think a lot of the problem with 3D falls on the projectionist and lack of digital screens. My local AMC has 16 digital screens and one IMAX but the projectionist is still not used to the new tech so it's always 50/50 on the 3D experience. But when they are on their game digital 3D has less color and clarity loss. When more theaters can make the conversion and more people are properly trained I think the quality of 3D will improve.

For now I stick to the 2D
batfan175 - 4/13/2012, 5:43 AM
@SHO1138: I think that the problem with digital projection (which came about because of 3D) has actually led to the disappearance of the profession of the projectionist, since now all that is required is to push a button in a centralised screening room. There's just one projectionist for 10-12 screens. I was not fooled by the 3D craze because I watched Avatar in 2D and saw it for what it was: an uninspired, derivative work that was more like Big Smurf Dances with Wolves in Space. The special effects were good but nothing else really and I've remained sober ever since regarding 3D. maybe films like Avengers and Prometheus are the same in 2D and 3D but your wallet says what the difference is. i'm not going to pay a 3D ticket price, even for films like these.
AutobotCommander84 - 4/13/2012, 6:05 AM
I don't think it's for us to say whether or not film is better than digital. Sure both has their pros and cons, but I think it all comes down to personal preference. As for 3D, I'm not really a fan of it. I think it worked a lot in Avatar and Transformers: Dark of the Moon, but I'm not really sure if it should be in all movies. Thor and Captain America had no use in being in 3D. I don't even think The Avengers will do great in 3D. But also, I think it comes down to the way 3D is used, both hardware-wise and visually. I'm personally more a fan of films that are shot in 3D rather than converted in post because the image looks much more natural. Christopher Nolan was considering converting Inception in post but didn't have sufficient time to do it right and hopefully, he does do that for a sequel.
alekesam - 4/13/2012, 6:07 AM
I applaud Nolan. Hate his @$$kissing disciples called fans but I applaud the man himself.

He's right.

You can get extreme depth without steroscopic filming by layering, positioning, scale and occlusion. I draw and paint, both traditionally and digitally and I'll tell you, layering will give you serious depth, it's just falling inward instead of outward.
SHO1138 - 4/13/2012, 6:09 AM
@batfan175

Regardless of how you feel about Avatar (not saying it would have changed your mind on the story) you did cheat yourself out of the best 3D experience to date. It was like that first hit of crack we may never get that high again; but Hollywood keeps chasing that dragon.
antonio - 4/13/2012, 6:20 AM
3D is just a fad to make easy money. Unless it's actually shot in 3D(Avatar, Transformers: Dark Of The Moon, Amazing Spider-Man, Prometheus), it usually doesn't work. IMAX>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>3D.
BIGBMH - 4/13/2012, 6:43 AM
3D is whack. And I'm only slightly biased by the fact that I can't see it.
Wildaniel - 4/13/2012, 6:44 AM
I hate watching movies in 3d, the only one I liked was Transformers DOTM.
CPBuff22 - 4/13/2012, 6:57 AM
I am actually more impressed with DBOX movies in theaters. At least the action and horror movies. Now for animated films I totally dig the 3D because it looks amazing. That said I have to be honest in the fact that my Favorite 3D movie so far has to be Harold & Kumar 3D. They used the 3D element better than anything else I have seen.
AsianVersionOfET - 4/13/2012, 8:15 AM
Love this man!
Gnyah123 - 4/13/2012, 8:59 AM
nolan said it best
and as for a new trailer I honestly think it will be the weekend before the avengers or the weekend of the avengers attached to the movie..has to thats the only big movie coming out soon early MAY or release it online
OnLeatherWings - 4/13/2012, 9:14 AM
boy cott 3D!!!!! if its available in 2D then go see it in 2D dont give these exec. anymore wasted money. Nolan has the right idea here. keep doing what your doing bro and stay away from cheesy 3D fluff.
TheDetectiveComicRises - 4/13/2012, 9:17 AM
Much respect to Chris Nolan, Awesome film maker!
Irons - 4/13/2012, 10:17 AM
The rest of that interview was really great stuff.
NeoBaggins - 4/13/2012, 10:19 AM
@Azazel1

"could you have imagined Avatar being the same experience in 2d?"

I think I know what you're asking, but in all fairness, even shitty 3D is a different "experience" than a 2D movie- Unless it's Clash of the Titans 3D where the film is 2D with or without the glasses.

But no, the experience would not be the same. Avatar took a standard story, some proven tactics of appeal and added really crisp 3D. It's a full package novelty. Watching Avatar in 2D defeats part of it's purpose on a whole. The 3D is not just an additive to the movie, it's a component of the movie. It's part of it.

Can I watch Avatar without 3D? Yeah, I could. You see, the cliche elements of the story, the by-the-numbers familiarity of it's visuals and events are ironically part of it's appeal. Being somewhere you've been before may not be new, but there's comfort. Add a few colorful elements and mediocrity is acceptable entertainment. Add 3D to it and it may appear to be the best thing since toothless blowjobs.

ps: Avatar's 3D is more of an HD with depth than it is a coming-at-you, pop-out 3D.
NeoBaggins - 4/13/2012, 10:22 AM
@supersaiyanfan1 I like those Nolan memes but there's a fail type-o in the first one.
forthesakeofnow - 4/13/2012, 10:45 AM
its just a shame that the majority of imax cinemas arent actual imax 70mm film projection on a giant screen
forthesakeofnow - 4/13/2012, 10:47 AM
id never see a film at an imax cinema that didnt have imax scenes in it or even something like TDKR at an imax with a screen that isnt the correct ratio

as much as i love the tech, they have compromised their brand.

90% of people that have seen something in imax, havent seen sh*t
GreyChaos13Zero - 4/13/2012, 11:04 AM
this movie has been guiet of late, if I was WB I would try too rain on Marvel's parade. just sayin, I can't wait too watch all the CBM this year tho?)

forthesakeofnow - 4/13/2012, 11:47 AM
@ToughGrappler

it made me laugh when warner bros said that all of their tentpoll releases are going to be 3d, and nolan said "yeah, mine isnt"
forthesakeofnow - 4/13/2012, 12:03 PM
@Azazel1

its a shame they dont do 2d imax screenings of 3d films

admitedly other than technically (but not properly) tron legacy there hasnt been a non documentary 3d imax film

its either real imax 2d, or 3d blown up

i wouldnt mind someone actually using 3d imax cameras for a feature film for once.

it sorta annoys me that they are doing star trek 2 in imax and in 3d but not imax 3d
THEDARKKNIGHT1939 - 4/13/2012, 12:09 PM
Screw 3D
DCwanabe - 4/13/2012, 12:14 PM
F-ck 3D!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The fire rises. Also avengers is going to own, but not in 3D.
Devastator335 - 4/13/2012, 2:28 PM
Christopher Nolan rules!
thisheart - 4/13/2012, 4:46 PM
I am glad he is fighting for the option to continue to shoot on film rather than digital, but the argument that not everyone gets the same experience seeing a film in 3D can also be used for IMAX.

For instance, the people at the back of the theater have the best seats, while those closer to the front get a headache (at least I did, when I saw Tron Legacy in 3D IMAX). Not saying that IMAX isn't better, but it also isn't for every movie, or everyone. Different stokes for different folks.
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