The first ever 3D Film Festival begins this Thursday in Hollywood and Hung's Thomas Jane is set to host. Jane recently made his directing debut with his new 3D psycho noir film, Dark Country, which will be screened at the festival. Jane is a passionate defender of the beloved, yet often controversial technology and gives us a look at what attendees will get to see. He talks about his new film and what projects he's got coming up, including projects with his company Raw Studios that he owns with Steve Niles and Tim Broadstreet. He also gives us a brief promo for the new season of Hung. It's short, but oh boy is it to the point!
The festival will be presented by RealD and The Los Angeles Film School. You can find more information at www.3DFF.org.
I will jump right in and ask you how you got involved with the 3D Film Festival?
Well, you know I directed a 3D film, so they asked me. They asked me to be a part of it and uh, you know, I've been involved with 3D for a while. Dark Country is the first all digital live action film to be shot in 3D. I'm very proud of that fact. Thanks.
Tell me a little more about Dark Country, because this is like the coolest premise ever.
Well, we're doing a psychological thriller. I wanted to see how I could use 3D to enhance the story and not just feel like a gimmick but make it an actual part of the story so that watching a film in 3D would be a different experience than seeing it in 2D. Was sort of the thesis that I based Dark Country on. I think I was successful in some of it, and you know I think there's room for 3D to become -- for 3D to stay and not just be a fad. We have to find ways to use it to tell the story. Just like we use sound to tell a story and we use color to tell a story. A film in color is a different experience from the same film in black and white. You get more information. You get information out of the movie that you wouldn't get um, in black and white. And so the same thing with color. The same thing with 3D. I want to find ways to use 3D to tell a story. To make the story so that you get more information out of it than you would if it were just in 3D. So that's what excites me about 3D. You know, I think as a society, as a species, we evolve. As we evolve, our ability to translate information or to transfer information to each other also evolves. So in our industry, we've seen changes, you know. When we went from black and white silent films to talkies, and to color, and to 70 millimeter Cinemascope, and now we have 3D. We're just, we're enhancing our ability to transfer information to each other.
That's the first time I've heard it put like that.
That's what's exciting about 3D. As an artist, what's exciting about 3-D is that we're still writing the language. The film language that we use in 3D is still being written. In other words, there's a lot that hasn't been done yet in 3D. There's a lot, there's new -- new words are being invented. In the film language. With 3D. So as an artist it's fun to be able to play with new phrases, new language, new colors. You know. It's not a new medium, but it's new tools within the medium that's exciting.
So at the 3D Film Festival, trying to take some of the best examples of 3D that's been done recently, and in the past, and bring it to people -- to have an outlet to bring it to people so that they can experience some of the best of what's being done in 3D. You know, we've got some terrific short films. You know, we've got one using NASA footage of the sun. We've got a short film, it's microscopic, they use microscopic cameras to explore the world of bugs, you know, so it's giving users a new experience, seeing something that they've never seen before. Sunday is a kids' day. We've got Legend of the Guardians and Despicable Me. We have horror shows at midnight, we're showing Joe Dante's The Hole and Piranha 3D. And then showing my film Saturday night at 10 o'clock, a little Q&A in it. Um, so it's exciting, an honor to be a part of it. I'm very happy to be the spokesman for 3D Film Festival. I'll probably be attached to it for many years to come.
There's been some backlash from fans who are frustrated with the badly done post-production on some 3D films. It's been frustrating for real fans of 3-D who absolutely love it and who really want to see it used correctly. So where do you see the technology going?
Well the technology is here. Digital 3D is uh, is what we use, you know. And the cameras are always getting smaller and better, and uh, the projectors are getting, you know, crisper and brighter. Um, I'm not aware of -- what's the backlash that you're talking about?
Well I think there's, with a couple of the 3D films where people really didn't use it as a tool and used it more as a gimmick -- you know, it's like that with all new technology. Some people use it as an art form and some people just say oh hey, it's a way to get people into the theater.
Right. They charge a little bit more money -- that's going to have to change. Look, 3D is coming into the home in the next few years, so all of the televisions are -- new televisions being made by all the major companies are 3D capable. They all have a 3D button on them. And soon everyone's Blu-Ray players will also be 3-D compatible. So in the next five years we'll see the roll out of a lot of 3D in the home, and once that happens, the ticket prices will have to come down. I think theaters will stop having to pay the premium, charge the premium that they do, currently, for a 3D film. And that will level the playing field a little bit. You know, 3D is getting cheaper to make so it won't be just event films but -- Werner Herzog just made -- art films, too. Example, Werner Herzog's new film. Werner Hertzog's having a film that's coming out in 3D. My film, Dark Country, is more of an art film than it is a commercial film. You know, we'll see 3D being, hopefully, trickle down and being used as a, you know -- most people do think of it as a gimmick right now because examples of really good 3D are still uh, you know, few and far between. Jeffrey Katzenberg called it killing the goose that laid the golden egg. That's what he calls 2D to 3D conversion. You know, if a film is not planned to be shot in 3D, then you're not going to get the same experience watching the film, no matter how good the conversion of 2D to 3D is. The film language is slightly different when you're shooting with two cameras instead of one, and the way that you um, intend the film to be seen is, changes, when you're shooting a film in 3D. So if you're not, if you don't have that in mind and you shoot your film in 2D, then you're always going to be missing something when you try to convert that to 3-D.
I'm curious what you think is really the best 3D film out there right now.
Uh, you know, the best 3D right now is being done, in my opinion, in the animated world. Because they, because those guys understand with the animation, they understand framing, they understand how to plan a shot. Because they get to create the second camera virtually, they can create a very wide stereo base, which means a camera that virtually would be several hundred to several thousand feet apart from each other, which creates really interesting effects in 3D. They can also, they can move the camera and adjust that variable distance between the two cameras at the same time in a much more fluid way than we can using live action. So the best 3D, you know, the most thoughtful, well-planned out 3D, is being done in animation.
As far as the live action 3D there are some great examples. Avatar was a terrific example of very good 3D. The use of 3D that's not gimmicky, that doesn't call attention to -- you know, it doesn't have ping-pong balls flying off the screen. And um, my film, Dark Country, is a very good example of 3D storytelling. And there's a few other movies. I think Tim Burton did some nice things because he planned his film to be converted. He started in 2D but he knew it was going to be converted to 3D so he planned it to be seen in 3D, and there are some very nice 3D sequences in Tim Burton's film, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Um, that's what comes to mind right now, you know.
I actually would love to know when we're going to see Cal McDonald from Criminal Macabre comics in a 3D movie.
Great. Yeah, I think that would be terrific. I love, one of my favorite characters.
Well, how is that moving? Is that a possibility in the future?
Cal? Yeah, you know, I think it's over at Universal. They're working on a script. They've been working on it for a long time. I don't know, you know, making, Cal McDonald is an edgier character, and as you know, making edgy films in Hollywood has always been tough.
So, we'll see if the damn thing every gets made.
I really, really hope it does. I'm a huge fan of Cal.
Great, well me too. Yeah, I'm doing a film with Ron Perlman in 3D called War Dogs. It's about, it's basically Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid during the fall of Rome. A couple of Roman soldiers being chased across the countryside by a band of Goths.
Really good script. And we're shooting that in 3D. In January. My company, Raw Studios, is producing that. In fact, I'm producing a TV show called Twisted Tales, based on the famous comic book from the 80s. We're doing a Twilight Zone half hour TV show out of that, in 3D. So yeah, I like to stay on the cutting edge of what's being done in 3D. A 3D TV show is such a, you know, people know it's coming but nobody's really thinking about it right now. But my company, Raw Studios, we plan on doing everything in 3D, you know. I think that that's the future.
Are you doing Twisted Tales for SyFy?
You know, we don't have a -- no. We don't have a home for Twisted Tales yet. Although we're talking to, actually talking to some of the television manufacturers, like Panasonic and Mitsubishi, because they've created all these TVs but they don't have the content yet. So that's, you know, that's a big deal. The future of 3D, creating content for our 3D TVs.
I'm familiar with Raw. But for people who aren't, talk a little bit about the company.
Great, well yeah, we started the company a few years ago to do, sort of high concept or high end genre comic books. Um, with uh Tim Bradstreet, Steve Niles, myself, and uh, we've had a couple of books--one's called The Bad Planet, the other's Alien Pig Farm 3000, which got picked up by David Gordon Green's company, Rough House, and they're turning that into a motion picture, Alien Pig Farm.
Yeah. And that'll probably be in 3D, if I have my way. And uh, I want, and then we're also producing films. I just went -- one of them's called I Melt with You, directed by Mark Cullington, that I did with Rob Lowe and Jeremy Piven. And the other one, War Dogs, I told you about, with me and Ron Perlman. It's been a great couple of years. We've got some great comic books coming out this year. The second part of Bad Planet is coming out. Probably early next year. And we're relaunching Alien Worlds and Twisted Tales, classic comics from the 80s.
That's very cool. I'm a big comic fan, so I'm excited to hear that!
That's great. We've got some terrific stuff on the horizon.
Well also, just a quick question about Hung. Anything you want to tease for next season?
Um, better, stronger, faster.
Awesome. Couldn't be a better tease than that.
Better, stronger, faster, younger.