For a movie audience, a good 3D film can be thrilling. Dancers can spin their legs at you, you can view a stunning vista of an alien planet, or a bloody chainsaw can fly off the screen and scare you out of your wits. The immersive experience of 3D is visceral and exciting for viewers, but what is it like for actors and filmmakers? And what does the future of 3D filmmaking hold?
I had the unique opportunity to ask these questions to a man who knows a little something about 3D moviemaking – Leatherface himself. Dan Yeager, who plays the killer in the new film Texas Chainsaw 3D, spoke to me about the challenges and rewards of this new brand of filmmaking, the future of the medium and the importance of social media.
Yeager explained how 3D filmmaking requires more planning and different acting techniques than those used in a standard 2D movie. If an actor is swinging, for example, a chainsaw, he needs to be very precise with the movement of that prop. If the chainsaw goes out of frame of one of the camera rigs, it can go out of frame and the shot is ruined (or the prop must be added digitally in post production). The actors must change the way they move and think about their blocking to account for the different filming techniques as well. And the shooting becomes complicated, with many different technical experts involved – working the camera, taking care of processing the images, etc.
The team behind Texas Chainsaw 3D decided to embrace the new technology but make some nods and winks to the campy origins of American 3D from the 50s. But Yeager stressed that the moviemakers were careful not to use techniques that would jerk the audience out of the movie-watching experience. The point of the 3D is to be immersive – not disruptive.
And Yeager sees this immersion as the wave of the future. He predicts that 3D will soon become the norm for our viewing experience. We’ll have lenticular 3D televisions in our living rooms and movie theaters will have immersive 3D setups. He foresees a time when all movies are made in 3D and predicts that most older films will be converted as well.
On the topic of social media, Yeager emphasized the importance of an online presence for building a movie audience. He feels that Facebook, blogging, official websites and Twitter (News - Alert) (follow him @DanLeatherface) are essential. If you are not using these tools, you are not getting your message to large groups of potential fans.
Speaking of fans, any fans of the Texas Chainsaw series who are in the Norwalk, CT area this weekend have a rare chance to meet Leatherface himself. Yeager will be meeting and greeting the public on Sunday, January 27 from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the DoubleTree Hotel, located at 789 Connecticut Avenue in Norwalk. The event will feature props and costumes from the movie, there will be giveaways every half hour and autographs will be available for a fee. Parking and admission are free.
For more information, click here.
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Edited by Jamie Epstein