Gravity's 3D supervisor attacks 'crap' 3D effects in superhero blockbusters

Chris Parks says Alfonso Cuaron used the technology properly

The man behind the acclaimed 3D effects in Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity has attacked the "crap" 3D in this year's superhero blockbusters.

Chris Parks, stereo supervisor on the hit sci-fi epic, claimed that while 3D was lovingly incorporated into the storytelling process on Gravity, that's often not the case – and it's putting audiences off.

He told The Independent: "I have gotten tired this year of watching films in 3D – I have to for professional reasons. The majority of the films that I've seen in 3D this year were not worth seeing and I'd have much rather seen them in 2D.

"I would say that your typical studio blockbuster, your typical superhero blockbuster, doesn't necessarily approach 3D in the same way as we did on Gravity - it doesn't have the director using it as part of the storytelling process."

Among the superhero films released in 3D this year were Iron Man 3 and Man of Steel.

"It doesn't add anything to the film," Parks continued. "There's only a point to watching a film in 3D if you're going to get more from it than if you watch it in 2D, because you've got to pay more for the tickets, wear dark glasses and see a less-bright image."

When Avatar arrived in cinemas in 2009, 3D was heralded as the future of cinema. But audiences in the US and the UK are now less keen on the format.

Alice in Wonderland and Clash of the Titans were the first big 3D blockbusters to follow the success of the James Cameron film, and many people thought their special effects were superfluous.

"The approach of some studios and some films has been to use it as something to get people into the seats, not caring about what happens to 3D film-making as a whole," Parks said.

"I've had conversations with directors where all they were interested in was the impact on their film, and didn't care how that affected the industry as a whole.

"Crap 3D will ruin a perfectly good film… There's a lot of crap 3D out there, but when it's used properly it can enormously enhance the experience."

Gravity, starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock, is being touted as the film that shows 3D isn't just a gimmick.

Some 80 per cent of the film's opening weekend gross in the US came from 3D screens.

According to Parks, the "whole thing was conceived in 3D", and he was brought on before Bullock and Clooney had even agreed to appear in the film.

He said Cuaron attempted to use the technology in "emotive" ways. "He was trying to use the 3D get across the narrative to the audience. There are big, incredibly dynamic scenes of destruction, but there are long, intimate moments where we tried to use the 3D to communicate with audiences and break down a bit of the front wall of the theatre," Parks said.

In one particular instance [spoiler alert], Cuaron wanted to make the moment Clooney grabs Bullock's hand more impactful.

"When their hands touch, Alfonso wanted the 3D to be effective and he challenged the 3D [team] to do that," Parks said. "We massively increased the amount of depth in the shot to five times what it had been – it's something you would never do."

Parks is now working on another Warner Bros project, the Tom Cruise vehicle Edge of Tomorrow.

Gravity has already grossed $427m (£265m) ahead of its UK release.

Arts and Entertainment
music Malik left the Asian leg of the band's world tour after being signed off with stress last week
Author J.K. Rowling attends photocall ahead of her reading from 'The Casual Vacancy' at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on September 27, 2012 in London, England.
peopleNot the first time the author has defended Dumbledore's sexuality
‘The Late Late Show’ presenter James Corden is joined by Mila Kunis and Tom Hanks for his first night as host
Arts and Entertainment
Joanne Harris, author of Chocolat and Blackberry Wine, wrote a blog post attacking the app and questioning its apparent 'strong Christian bias'
Arts and Entertainment
Leading light: Sharma in London

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Elizabeth (Heida Reed) and Ross Poldark (Aiden Turner) in the BBC's remake of their 1975 original Poldark

Poldark review
Arts and Entertainment
Daniel Craig as James Bond in Skyfall

Mexican government reportedly paying Bond producers for positive portrayal in new filmfilm
Arts and Entertainment
Disney’s flying baby elephant is set to return in live-action format
filmWith sequels, prequels and spin-offs, Disney plays it safe... and makes a pachyderm
Arts and Entertainment
Nazrin with Syf, Camden
The QI Elves photographed at the Soho Theatre. They are part of a team of researchers who find facts for the television programme 'QI'.
Arts and Entertainment
‘The Royals’ – a ‘twisted, soapy take on England’s first family’
tv0-star review: Sean O'Grady gives it his best shot anyway
Brooke Magnanti believes her reputation has been damaged by the claim
Arts and Entertainment
A large fire has broken out in London's historic Battersea Arts Centre
Arts and Entertainment
Orla Brady as Anne Meredith, MyAnna Buring as Elizabeth Quinn and Joanna Vanderham as Katherine McVitie in Banished
tvReview: Despite the gritty setting, this drama is as fluffy and soppy as a soap opera
Arts and Entertainment
Julianne Moore and co-director Richard Glatzer, standing, on the set during the filming of ‘Still Alice’ in New York
Arts and Entertainment
Great British Sewing Bee finalist Matt Chapple
tvReview: He wowed the judges with an avant garde dress
Arts and Entertainment
Driven to the edge: 'Top Gear' producer Oisin Tymon is said to have had a row with Clarkson
Arts and Entertainment
Nazi officer Matthias Schoenaerts embarks on an affair with married French woman Michelle Williams in 'Suite Francaise'
film review
Arts and Entertainment
Prime movers: Caitriona Balfe (centre) and the cast of Outlander
Feasting with panthers: Keynes
Arts and Entertainment
Strung out: Mumford & Sons
Arts and Entertainment
Avant-garde: Bjork
Arts and Entertainment
Despite a decade of reform, prosecutions and convictions of rape has remained consistently low
arts + entsAcademic and author Joanna Bourke in warning to arts world
Arts and Entertainment
Electro Velvet, made up of Alex Larke and Bianca Nicholas, will represent the UK at the Eurovision Song Contest 2015
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

    The saffron censorship that governs India

    Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
    Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

    How did fandom get so dark?

    Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
    The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
    The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

    Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

    Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
    Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

    Disney's mega money-making formula

    'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
    Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

    14 best Easter decorations

    Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
    Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

    The future of GM

    The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
    Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

    Britain's mild winters could be numbered

    Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
    Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

    The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

    The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
    Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

    Cowslips vs honeysuckle

    It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
    Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

    Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

    A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss
    Tony Blair joins a strange and exclusive club of political leaders whose careers have been blighted by the Middle East

    Blair has joined a strange and exclusive club

    A new tomb has just gone up in the Middle East's graveyard of US and British political reputations, says Patrick Cockburn
    Election 2015: Meet the top 12 wacky candidates seeking your vote in May

    Election 2015

    Meet the top 12 wacky candidates seeking your vote in May