Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 is Bad for 3D TV
July 18, 2011 | by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Why did the biggest movie of the year come with the worst 3D experience?
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Posted by Ryan  on  07/18  at  12:33 PM

The 3D wasnt suppose to be obvious it was there to add depth. There moments when shadows had depth or the focus was incredibly shallow. Without 3D that could not have happened.

Posted by Rachel Cericola  on  07/18  at  12:48 PM

I have yet to see a conversion look good. Also, from what I’ve read, about 43% of Harry Potter’s weekend take was 3D (those numbers may have changed)... BUT a lot of viewers said they went 3D because the 2D was sold out.

Posted by Grant Clauser  on  07/18  at  01:29 PM

Ryan, Yes, I get that, but I don’t believe it did even that. I wasn’t looking for in-your-face effects, but I wanted something. I believe that if you read nearly any review of the film, most critics will agree that the 3D view was underwhelming.  You don’t need 3D glasses to see depth. In fact I think the 3D detracted from it because it made some scenes difficult to focus on. Plus, the darkening effect of the glasses destroyed what would have been some good shadow detail.

Posted by Chris  on  07/18  at  03:45 PM

I can really do without the whole 3D thing in general. I would much rather go and see it in IMAX, without the 3D and with that incredible surround sound.  I did enjoy Harry Potter in 3D, but like you said, I think the 3D detracted from it and made some scenes difficult to focus on.  I know you may say well why don’t you see it in 2D then, the IMAX surround sound it worth it!

Posted by George  on  07/18  at  04:07 PM

I saw it in IMAX 3-D and liked the effects—that is, when the cheap, dented, smeared glasses weren’t casting flares. I wasn’t about to run out of the theater and ask for another pair; the movie was too engaging, it wasn’t unwatchable and I probably would have lost my seat. But for $16.50, I was plenty peeved.

Posted by Gerald  on  07/18  at  04:26 PM

Grant, you could make the same critique of the world in front of you.  Just as few things pop out in your face in real life, it’s that way in 3-D movies.  Equally so, you don’t think about being immersed in “depth” in the real world, nor should you be thinking about it when watching a 3-D movie.  If you are, it’s probably overdone.  I went to the Thursday midnight showing of HP, too, and thought the 3-D was done fairly well, certainly a lot better than I was expecting.  I felt drawn into the scene, and didn’t feel drawn out of the story by excessive or badly done 3-D.  BTW, as you get more experienced with 3-D, you’ll come to understand that cameras can create lousy 3-D experiences just as readily as bad conversion.

Posted by Gabi  on  07/19  at  07:49 AM

I think one should note: it has been stated numerous times that parts if Deathly Hallows part 2 was shoot for 3d.  Hence your entirte presumtion is in no way correct.  To dispute this is to undermine those involved in the making of the film and say that when they where shotting the film for 3d, they really wern’t (which is as silly as it gets)..  Second, every live action film seen in 3d has had converted footage.  This includes Avatar.  Without checking would you be able to tell me which ones they where?  In fact the opening shoot in Avatar is a converted shoot from 2d to 3d along with several others.

The Harry Potter conversion wasn’t perfect, but tell me which shoot(s) displayed halos (not crosstalk).  If you didn’t notice these anomolies I doubt you could ever tell the difference between a good conversion for something designed to be shown in 3d) and something shoot in 3d.  Not try to be rude, pointing out the biggest fault of conversions which few have noticed.  One thing that can significantly undermine 3d and effects the image more then 2d is a bad presentation in 3d is significantly more noticable then a poor presentation in 2d.

Also to see 3d you do need two images (unlike what other posters have said).  Your mind does interperet and try (rather poorly) to create some level of 3d effect, there is extensive discussion on this readily available.  If your mind is trying to make it 3d, doesn’t that tell you something about the most natural way to watch a film would be in 3d?

Also Potter saw 65% of its gross in America from 3d scrennings (based on trends it will be even higher in terms of the worldwide figures).

Posted by Grant Clauser  on  07/19  at  08:33 AM

@Gabi, I don’t want to get into an argument over this, and I know there are plenty of people who will like it, but personally I thought the 3D experience was disappointing, and every adult I’ve spoken to agrees with me. The fact that 65% of the gross came from 3D screenings doesn’t mean that people liked it. It means that 1) the 3D screens cost more ($14 where I saw it) and 2) many people didn’t have an option. Where I saw the movie, the 2D theaters were sold out so 3D was the only choice.

Were parts shot in 3D? Yes, the few parts that looked good. I’m glad you liked. In fact, as I said, I really liked the movie too, and I’ll go see it again, but I don’t feel it was a good representation of the best of that 3D can be, and for the biggest movie of the year, I expected better. In terms of 3D TV, I believe the 3D experience of the theatrical version will not encourage people to seek out the 3D Blu-ray when it is released. There’s still plenty of time yet for me to be proven wrong.

Posted by Matt  on  07/19  at  12:37 PM

Grant, you’re totally right, and I’m 100% with you.  In fact I think most of the 3D these days is pretty terrible, aside from Avatar and some of the Pixar and Dreamworks animations. 

Very few of these production teams really take the time to tune the 3D effect, even if they are shooting some or all of the scenes in 3D.  Generally what you get is an image that looks like a series of flat planes arranged in 3D, with maybe some true 3D on the completely CG stuff.

Remember back to Avatar, when every closeup of a character’s face, and every shot of the jungles and mountains felt completely dimensional. 

I’m not seeing any more movies in 3D, unless the production teams stop taking my extra $4 for granted.

Posted by Matt  on  07/19  at  03:23 PM

Also, @Gabi, yes the film was up-converted to 3D, not actually filmed originally for 3D.  See this article from the LA Times:

A quote:
“We really pushed it right way to the end of any possible time on this one. We had the big conversion to 3-D as well, and that sort of added a massive complication.”

Posted by DJ  on  07/19  at  03:52 PM

Grant - I admit up front that I support the abolition of 3D in the mainstream.  It clearly has become a marketing ploy to reap profits for Home Screen Manufacturers as well as Theater owners.  But I will say I enjoyed seeing HPDH2 on the IMAX in 3D.  I felt it added a nice depth to the movie in this final emotional conclusion to the HP story.

I do feel people ask too much from 3D.  That it is going to be event changing in some way.  I am sure well over 95% of every movie has scenes that would never justify adding a 3D effect.  But those 5% of scenes that do, add a new impact to the viewers experience.

My daughter and I talked through the whole movie on Friday morning at breakfast.  She loved it too, but really hates wearing the 3D glasses, not very fashionable for the teens you know!!  We felt a number of scenes standout from the Thursdays nights showing. 

The Gringots bank heist was fabolous in 3D.  From the coasters descent, to the assault on the vault, to the dragon aided escape.  The 3D effects where superb and added immensly to the rhythm of the scene.  Additionally, any of the 3D scenes where Nagini was present, add to the heightened tension.  The subtle depths 3D added to the final battle of hogwarts was welcoming.  I did not feel like we were watching any cheesy computer effects.

Having seen Transformers3 in 3D a week before, which in my opinion failed miserably with its 3D, it was welcome a welcome pleasure watching HPDH2 in 3D….just my two cents.

Posted by Gabi  on  07/19  at  07:28 PM

Yes I know it was converted (not upconverted).  What I said was some whoots where shoot for 3d (albiet shoot in 2d), much like Piranah 3d was.  I think a big issue is the quality of cinemas.  Not to be rude but some countries simply tend to have awefull presentations when compared to others.  A bad prersentation makes any 3d like much worse then it is (moreso then a poor 2d transfer). Also 3d screennings don’t always cost more, I know that is the case in Ameirca but not a rule worldwide.  It would suck to have to pay that much more (I have to pay $2 more, which is in terms of equivelants is like paying $1 more in America for 3d).

Regardless of why 65% gross, do you really think cinemas and studios are going to let go of 3d when well over half of there profit is coming from tickets sold at higher prices then 2d?

I wont be posting anymore as I was just trying to provie insight into the reality fo the situation.  I hope some find it helpfull and odn’t blindly trust publiations by non professionals.

Posted by Scott  on  07/20  at  11:38 AM

I thought the movie was perfection and that the 3D was incredible. I didn’t even really think about it….it just was. Honestly, if you didn’t like the 3D, don’t watch it again in 3D…but a fantastic movie, an instant classic is just that. Incredible!

Posted by Grant Clauser  on  07/22  at  11:39 AM

What concerns me about some of the comments in this debate is that some people seem to believe we need to educate the public about how to appreciate 3D. One person suggested that the public expects too much from 3D, while another suggest that I’m not professional enough to have an opinion. That’s crazy. Movies are supposed to be entertaining for THE PUBLIC, not for trained cinema pros. We expect a lot from it because the studios (and not the TV manufacturers) are telling us to expect a lot from it. And they charge a premium for the experience. Am I wrong to believe that a revolutionary technology should actually offer a revolutionary experience?

Posted by Matt  on  07/22  at  12:00 PM

Grant, you’re not alone.  I found your article by googling “Harry Potter bad 3d” because I was annoyed by the experience and wanted to see if others felt the same way.

Like you, I enjoyed the movie and don’t mean this to be a critique of Harry Potter or the movie itself.  I love the Harry Potter movies.  I just don’t like it when studios charge me extra for a 3D experience, and then give me something less than the full experience.  Movies like this are sort of two-and-a-half-D.  All you have to do is watch Avatar or UP in 3D, and then watch this or Clash of the Titans and you’ll spot the difference.

It reminds me a little of when they colorize black and white movies.  It’s possible to do a really good job on colorization with the utmost respect for the original film, but no matter how good a job you do, it’s never going to be the same as a movie that was shot originally in color.

Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, that’s fine.  Some people even prefer colorized movies to the b/w originals.  I’m just not one of those people…and from now on, I’m only going to see 3D movies that were shot in 3D with 3D cameras.

Posted by Adam  on  07/23  at  07:34 AM

Well I think you are wrong. Mr. Article. The 3D was very good. It was converted into 3D in post-production (after it was shot) which means A LOT of hard work. BUT a lot of conversion processes are useless, waste of money for the viewer, a scam (ex. Clash of the Titans). Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 wasn’t in 3D because they couldn’t convert it in time at a high quality worthy of David Yates (director). In this film, the 3D was dept, not so much ‘things flying out at you’ but they did the odd time. They had 6 months more to convert 2 and a half hours of film. The whole way through I was thinking about how good a job they did converting it. So believe me, they done a bleedin’ good job.

Posted by mister D  on  07/23  at  04:50 PM

hmmm well i had the same feeling, awesome movie and the only scene i thought was really good 3D (SPOILER ALERT !!)

Is when voldemort dies and you see his ashes flying around the screen.. But i’d expect so much more, i don’t really care much for the people standing more in the background-3D, i thought dragons would come up to my face and i would be shitting my pants..

I’m beginning to think that Conversion 3D instead of 3D camera’s isn’t the thing for me either., Awesome movie, imo not good 3D.

Posted by Matthew  on  07/24  at  07:34 PM

Like everyone else, I only saw “3-D” in the ash.  That does NOT warrant an upcharge on a ticket.

Don’t lie to me and say depth of field cannot be achieved with 2D film.  That’s idiotic.  Nothing in this film jumped offscreen, and the 3D experience will forever ruin my opinion of the final Harry Potter film.

Garbage quality.  Feel bad for anyone whose first 3D film was THIS one.  I wish I could go back to the theater and watch Drag Me to Hell again.  Now THAT was a truly 3D film, from the ground up.

Posted by ahmed  on  07/25  at  05:14 PM

the problem is that harry potter is not meant to be 3D they wated to rise the sales of it so they made it 3D its not the film worth to go for 3D watching but anyway i think they did good job considering that it wasnt captured with 3D cameras RIP voldy :)

Posted by Brian  on  08/30  at  12:18 AM

I thought it was my theater’s poor ability at aligning projectors. Because the previews were very clearly 3D, but the actual film had no depth at all. I paid close attention to the Gringotts scene with the multiplication, because Christy Lemire mentioned it on her show. No part of it was in 3D at all.

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