Berlinale Tackles the Topic of Changing Cinema With '3D: Fad or Fab' Panel

'Certainly 3D creates an event, which is what audiences want now,' CinemaxX chief Christian Gisy said.

The 3D filmmaking process doesn't have to cost the Earth, it's not all about multimillion dollar studio-backed cartoons and it brings the audience closer to the action.

But filmmakers wondering whether or not to make their pictures in the format so far dominated by animations from Disney, Dreamworks and, of course, 20th Century Fox, it better be for the right reasons, according to a panel entitled "3D: Fad or Fab".

With a trio of 3D movies unspooling in the Berlinale on Sunday alone -- Michel Ocelot's Tales of the Night; Pina, directed by Wim Wenders; and Werner Herzog's Cave of Forgotten Dreams -- it certainly seems the indie world is also embracing the pop out experience. Or at least hoping to.

U.K.-based production and finance label Film and Music Entertainment's Sam Taylor, whose company backed Panorama entry The Mortician 3D, directed by Gareth Maxwell Roberts, said shooting it in 3D added around £500,000 ($800,000) to an already tight budget.

"I have to respect Gareth's decision [as a director] to go with shooting it in 3D," Taylor said, while noting it has to be to help enhance the storytelling and not just because its the vogue.

"If anything I've found it is the financiers that are beginning to act with a sense of weariness when presented with a project pitched in 3D to them," Taylor said. "You have to say, 'no wait, listen, there is a reason we want to shoot in 3D' and then explain creatively why the story demands it."

Keith Collea, a stereographer who is in Berlin after working in China on a 3D shoot, Mortician, thinks audiences will be much more accepting of stories presented to them on the big screen in the new format.

"When you shoot in 2D you are asking audiences to see the movies in their minds eye in 3D anyway," Collea said. "Seeing a movie in 3D, it more resembles life and it is easier to process the story unfolding before you."

And Pina producer Erwin Schmidt from Neue Road Movies, who noted when he and Wenders first drew up the concept for the dance movie it was to be shot for both a 2D and 3D version, said: "I don't think 3D is a perfect recipe that will make a film work. But a lot of films will gain by being made in 3D."

Germany's exhibition giant CinemaxX plans to free up screens for art house 3D movies as well as the studio fair.

CinemaxX chief Christian Gisy said: "It [3D] is a compliment to 2D, not a replacement. Certainly 3D creates an event, which is what audiences want now."

Gisy noted that any perception of a certain fatigue from too many 3D movies being released among moviegoers is too difficult to call yet.

"The studios possibly put out too many films that have been converted right now," Gisy said. "So the problem might be that movies not conceived in 3D but are put out in that format doesn't work [for audiences]."

Said Collea: "You can't make a bad 2D movie into a good 3D movie by converting it. You have to make a good movie first."

The Hollywood Reporter-presented panel Sunday was staged in partnership with the European Film Market industry debates program and chaired by Scott Roxborough, German bureau chief.

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