Ang Lee Tells Wannabe 3D Filmmakers: 'Trust No One'

Ang Lee - Life of Pi - P 2012

Ang Lee - Life of Pi - P 2012

The "Life of Pi" director says the format is in its infancy and that he wants to be a trailblazer if and when he "can afford it."

LONDON -- Oscar winner Ang Lee said wannabe 3D filmmakers should "trust no one" when it comes to 3D movie-making.

The Life of Pi director told an audience at the 3D Creative Summit in the British capital via a live link from Fox News Studios in NYC that anyone who claims to know about the format is "bull shitting."

Lee lamented the perception that 3D was the preserve of action and animation films, arguing that the format offers filmmakers myriad opportunities to explore emotions and human stories.

"Don't trust anybody," said Lee, as 20th Century Fox 3D guru David Conley, grinning broadly, listened in on stage in London. "Don't let anybody tell you what 3D is, including me," Lee continued. "The stenographers on these movies should be the filmmakers. The best way to learn is to jump in, like swimming, and learn yourself."

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Conley, prior to the live link with Lee in NYC, had described the work and techniques used to make Lee's vision of Yann Martel's best-selling book to the London conference audience.

Lee said: "I want to learn and become one of the trailblazers in discovering the language of 3D filmmaking."

He said he remains "attached" to 2D filmmaking but is "excited" by the "new language of cinema" that 3D provides a filmmaker with.

He said that because of the volume added to a character from the third dimension, he had been able to shoot more powerful scenes from different points of view than traditional 2D techniques would have allowed.

Lee described one example of shooting over Pi's shoulder when the boat sinks.

"In 2D I would have used three cameras to get the awe I wanted to inspire with that sequence," Lee noted.

He also said he'd make films in 3D but only if he "could afford it." He said he hoped the cost of the equipment and technology would come down eventually to allow more subject matters to be tackled.

But he also had one big reservation. "I personally don't like the glasses," Lee said. "I hope some smart guy works out a way to get rid of them."

Lee was a big draw for the two day summit, which runs over two days at the BFI Southbank through March 28.