Jeffrey Katzenberg Urges Filmmakers to Realize 3D’s Fullest Potential

Jeffrey Katzenberg
Jessica Chou

DreamWorks Animation

While 3D has had setbacks this past year, stereoscopic filmmaking was alive and well Tuesday at the 3D and Advanced Imaging Society’s fifth annual Creative Art Awards, which were handed out at Warner Bros.’ Steven J. Ross Theater.

DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, who accepted the Society’s Harold Lloyd Award, urged the audience to strive to reach 3D’s potential. “As we saw with Gravity, the excitement is there with audiences embracing 3D when a film like this rises to true greatness,” he said. “But film goers have also been asked to ante up for some movies that have treated 3D as a merely a sub par, poorly executed gimmick. And I think that has done some real damage to you, who so love this medium and have only the highest ambition for it."

“We have the technology; we have the talent. All we need is the determination to take stereo filmmaking to its fullest potential. If we do this … we can all look forward to a lot more magic at the multiplex," he said.

STORY: 'Gravity' Tops 3D Society Awards With Four Wins 

A driving force in starting the Society, Katzenberg was honored for his commitment to 3D and for leading the production of quality work including DWA's Oscar nominees How to Train Your Dragon and this year’s The Croods. “Creative opportunities like this come around really only once in a lifetime, if even that. I imagine filmmakers were similarly energized decades ago when sound and color came around,” Katzenberg said, adding that 3D "transforms the movie screen from a limited, flat plane into a wide open window of possibilities."

Also speaking of realizing 3D’s full potential was Chris Parks, stereo supervisor on Gravity. Accepting the award for best stereography for Alfonso Cuaron’s astronaut survival tale, Parks (who is now working on Jupiter Ascending) said 3D “can make a difference when it's considered all the way through [from preproduction to post].” He also urged the filmmakers to explore the use of the medium to include “intimate dramas, where 3D can help the emotional side of the story.”

Accepting the best 3D scene award for the opening shot in Gravity, Warner Bros.' executive vp digital production, animation and VFX and Gravity exec producer Chris DeFaria related that 83 percent of audiences saw the film in 3D (it made $689 million worldwide). "The audience is there, ready to recognize and reward excellent work," he said, telling attendees, "you're making the right bet, betting on 3D."

Gravity was the evening’s big winner, collecting four awards. Frozen won a pair of trophies in feature animation. Additionally, international categories honored filmmakers from the UK, Luxembourg, China, Japan and Taiwan. China’s CCTV, in fact, produces four hours of 3D content per day, it was announced during the ceremony.

Metallica’s Lars Ulrich was in attendance, accepting an award for Metallica Through the Never, which won the 3D documentary category. He got a laugh when he quipped, “These awards are the coolest because there’s no walk off music.”

Twitter: @CGinLA