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CinemaCon: Baz Luhrmann Calls 'Gatsby' 3D Performances 'Special Effect'

The director described F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel as “a reflection of our time.”

"The Great Gatsby"
"The Great Gatsby"

Director Baz Luhrmann -- who is still “tweaking” his adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby -- introduced a dazzling 3D montage from his May 10 release via a videotaped message Tuesday at CinemaCon.

The director said “one of the greatest privileges of my career was working with this cast,” which includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Tobey Maguire and Joel Edgerton. “The entire cast of young actors are at the height of their powers,” he said. “Everyone’s investment in this project has been 100 percent.”

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Calling The Great Gatsby a “reflection of our time,” Luhrmann related that the novel, set in the early '20s, is a “great, tragic love story with action, passion, drama.”

Adding that Fitzgerald “was criticized for putting pop culture in his books,” the director said he choose to do just that, involving Jay-Z and other contemporary artists to “make this feel of the moment.”

The presentation included striking, bold imagery and emotive close-ups that took advantage of the 3D format. The movie was lensed in 3D using Red Epic cameras on 3Ality 3D rigs. The team included director of photography Simon Duggan (who is also behind Warners’ upcoming 300: Rise of an Empire) and production and costume designer Catherine Martin (Luhrmann’s wife, who also worked on Luhrmann films including Moulin Rouge and Romeo + Juliet).

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"F. Scott Fitzgerald was a great fan of new technology,” said Luhrmann, who realized 3D's potential when he had an opportunity to watch Alfred Hitchcock’s Dial M for Murder in its original 3D format “and seeing the actors move in the space.”

Luhrmann related that for Gatsby, it would be “great to see the actors perform in [3D space] in these 11-minute scenes. That would be our special effect.”