JJ Abrams Gives Star Trek Sequel Update – To Be Shot in 2-D & Converted | TrekMovie.com
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JJ Abrams Gives Star Trek Sequel Update – To Be Shot in 2-D & Converted December 20, 2011

by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: Abrams,Star Trek Into Darkness , trackback

At the world premiere of the new Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol, JJ Abrams gave an update on progress on the Star Trek sequel talking about the sets, lessons learned from the 2009 movie and how he will be handling 3-D. Watch his comments below.


Abrams Star Trek sequel update

Last night MTV, JJ Abrams gave an update on progress for the Star Trek sequel:

It’s a little early to be talking about ‘Star Trek,’ but I will say that they wrote — the three writers, Damon [Lindelof], Bob [Orci] and Alex [Kurtzman] — they wrote the most amazing script, and I’m thrilled to get a chance to direct it. I’s totally mine to screw up, so if you don’t like it, it’s completely on me. Our sets are almost done, so we’re going to go back and start shooting next month.

Abrams also talked about how he learned from his first Star Trek:

I’m sure, like many people, you see what you do and you go, ‘I really could have done that one better, I should have done that, that was a mistake, more of this, less of that.’ You always do that," he said. "I’m hoping that as we do the next one, all the mistakes that I’ve made that I’ve hopefully learned from, I can bring to this one and hope make it better.

Abrams also confirmed they will be doing a 2-D conversion to 3-D:

We’re shooting on film, 2-D, and then we’ll do a good high-end conversion like the ‘Harry Potter’ movie and all that. Luckily, with our release date now we have the months needed to do it right because if you rush it, it never looks good…. "We were talking about [shooting in IMAX] and I would love to do it. IMAX is my favorite format; I’m a huge fan," he added.

Here is the video:

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1. Dr. Cheis - December 20, 2011

Shot in 2D and converted later… I feel like I should have an opinion on this but don’t know enough about the technology.

2. flake - December 20, 2011

I hope some IMAX locations show this in 2D because I don’t care about 3D and neither does JJ.

3. Darkwing - December 20, 2011

Hey JJ, take this from someone who’s worked as a projectionist for several years, 2d converted to 3d NEVER looks good, no matter how much time is spent on it. And people also feel gypped cause they’re spending 3 bucks extra as a tech fee that becomes less necessary than if it was shot with 3D cameras. Basically, expect a lot of backlash on this.

4. Reign1701A - December 20, 2011

Booooooo. Real 3D or no 3D at all. Conversions are what give 3D a bad rap.

5. Tom - December 20, 2011


No article on the report of no original cast members in the sequel?

6. Tom - December 20, 2011

now i see it

7. Petros L. Ioannou - December 20, 2011



I was very happy to hear that Star Trek 2012 was going to be in 3D. In fact I was in the minority when they did, but I like 3D, I really do and films SHOT in 3D are the next medium of film in my opinion. 2D to 3D conversion is NOT 3D, it is NOT! I have yet to see a SINGLE 2D to 3D converted movie that I enjoyed the look of!

If it’s shot in 3D I will see it in 3D. E.G. Avatar, Hugo. If it’s converted E.G. Green Lantern, Thor, Pirates 4, Captain America. I will see it in 2D.

J.J. Abrams, I know you love the “purity of film” and what not. But if you’re going to shoot in one way, shoot in that way, don’t half-ass it. Conversion is horrible and if you don’t believe me, look at what your audience is saying.

8. Petros L. Ioannou - December 20, 2011

PS: Good high end conversion like Harry Potter? Are you kidding me? I couldn’t see shit in that movie!! Shoot in 3D or release only in 2D, make up your mind. There’s no inbetweens here.

9. Mark Tedin - December 20, 2011

It will be interesting to see how the lens flares will look after a conversion to 3D. Blue light wrapping over peoples heads…

10. dmduncan - December 20, 2011

YAY! Shooting on FILM! And YES! Please shoot it on IMAX!

11. dmduncan - December 20, 2011

Now how about upping the FRAMERATE, JJ!!!

12. Ted C - December 20, 2011

Petros, dude, relax. It’s just a movie.

13. Petey - December 20, 2011

Sigh. You fans realise this is not his decision to make, right? The Star Trek sequel will be a big summer blockbuster – studios will expect, nay, DEMAND a 3D version. Better to have the director decide off the bat that he’s not shooting in 3D, a medium few have the vision for or experience in, and warn the viewing public before hand.

14. Karen Brown - December 20, 2011

Rather not see it in 3D at all. JJ isn’t a fan because he’s said it affects how you shoot the movie. I want the movie to drive the special effects, not vice versa.

15. Dom - December 20, 2011

Basically, JJ wants to make a solid 2D film, so he’ll let the studio bugger it up with faux-3D in the knowledge that his core film is future-proofed. A shame it doesn’t sound like he’s shooting any of it in IMAX format. I, for one, don’t believe 3D is the ‘next medium of film;’ it’s a very old concept that shows up every 25 years, outstays its welcome and gets abandoned.

I believe the future is higher framerates and higher quality image such as IMAX, hence I’m looking forward to Mission: Impossible and The Dark Knight Rises!

16. Dee - lvs moon' surface - December 20, 2011

OK JJ… whatever you want… but do it, do it… LOL

… so begins really next month… can’t wait!!!!!

:-) :-)

17. dmduncan - December 20, 2011

I’m not replacing any of my TVs or bluerays with 3D versions. In fact, if they ever do make 3D TVs the only available kind, I will figure out a way to downconvert them to 2D.

Just my way of flipping the technocracy the bird.

18. BoltBait - December 20, 2011

I hate 3D. I’d much rather see this in real iMax *without* the 3D.

19. Captain Hackett - December 20, 2011

I will advise my Trekkie friends who are prone to motion sickness, to take proper medication in order to prevent it before they are to watch the movie.

20. Gabriel Bell - December 20, 2011

Awesome! Shooting in 2D is the way to go. Great news! Thanks, Anthony! (Could care less about the conversion. Sure I’ll go see it on viewing 4 or 5 in 3D, but will enjoy it and get to know it as I do all my media content, in 2D.)

21. Firebird64 - December 20, 2011

I’m on the fence on whether JJ should go with IMAX or Panavision System 65. It’s always been my dream to see a Star Trek film in 70mm (see Branagh’s Hamlet, Ron Howard’s Far and Away & the flick Baraka for great recent examples of System 65). I’m not a fan of 3D, mainly because of the headaches I always suffer after seeing a screening. I’ll be going to a 2D showing.

Mr. Orci, I’m curious if Paramount has come forward with any kind of request to publish the shooting script as a tie-in to the theatrical release? It would be cool to see that and another Making-of/Art-of coffee table book.

22. soonerdew - December 20, 2011

Toss 3D in the toilet. Love the prospect of IMAX, however

23. Dee - lvs moon' surface - December 20, 2011

Mr. Bob Orci… are you there?… Congrats for the most amazing script… yeah I believe in JJ Abrams… if he is saying… can’t wait!!!!…..:-) :-)

24. Gordon Ramsey's knife - December 20, 2011


25. Magic_Al - December 20, 2011

3D is worthless. IMAX would be good if the pace of the film allows for some moments of cosmic awe and wonder, which not coincidentally are the emotions Shatner emphasized in Captain Kirk. There should be some exploring of strange new worlds in Star Trek and IMAX should be used for that. It doesn’t have to be multiple 7-minute flybys like in Star Trek The Motion Picture but there should be more than a few seconds where the movie is willing to let people just experience being somewhere strange and new!

26. Basement Blogger - December 20, 2011

Shame on you J.J. Abrams and Paramount for not shooting in 3D and converting. The only quality picture I’ve seen that was a partial conversion was Transformers: Dark of the Moon. The rest of the conversions I have seen are not worth a filmgoers extra money.

I’ve seen a bunch of conversions since 2009. I still want my money back for “The Last Airbender.” (2010) There are two reasons why conversions stink. One, the director of photography is shooting in 2D. The polarization process of watching a movie in 3D is usually not taken into account. So you get a darker picture. Two, the special effects don’t mesh. That’s because the director is not thinking in 3D. Special effects are not special And J.J. Abrams makes silly comment about the last Harry Potter movie. The live action shots in that movie could have been better but the conversion could not capture a real 3D picture. Harry Potter was a great movie but not made any more special by being converted to 3D.

Trek Nation you deserve a quality 3D film. You are not anything less than the fans of Avatar. It amazes me that Abrams wasn’t inspired by Martin Scorsese’s Hugo in 3D. What makes that film great was that Scorsese thought about seeing the movie in 3D throughout the whole movie. Star Trek (2013) has made a misstep.

27. Steve-o - December 20, 2011

thank god he is not selling out and doing 3-d. i get the genre of 3-d films for the sake of being a novelty and a fun experience, but move on….

if i want a 3-d experience i’ll go see some stupid pixar cartoon that was made for it.

28. Steve-o - December 20, 2011

i should clarify i am glad the original cut of the film will not be using their 3-d making process……

29. Brian K - December 20, 2011

To hell with 3D, and the inflated prices for the “experience”

I was not happy when the original “Trek in 3D” reports came out, but this makes me feel better. The upconverting to 3D will be nothing but a money grab for Paramount, that’s cool, they need to make money off this. Let the geeks and the foolish pay extra for 3D viewings (they love giving money away), and let the rest of us watch a real movie shot on real film. Thanks JJ for restoring my faith in real filmmaking and letting your bosses have their cash grab. Win – Win.

30. dmduncan - December 20, 2011

Scorcese’s next film after Hugo is Silence. If he does not shoot that movie in 3D, then that tells you something about what one of our master filmmakers feels about the universal necessity of 3D. In a movie about the magic of movies, which Hugo was, 3D makes perfect sense. But that is not always going to be the case, and 3D will remain a marketing gimmick used to get people into the theater — except for James Cameron’s movies, because it’s clear that everything he will do from now on will be movies that are 3D appropriate.

But Cameron is just one guy, and he’s not a guy in the same artistic class as Scorcese. James Cameron is a mechanic who likes to build hot rods, and beyond that if you want to call him an artist, he’s more like a comic book artist than a Van Gogh. And there are many more people out there making films who are more than that.

I enjoy all of James Cameron’s movies, just like millions of people who pay to see them, but perhaps the best way to symbolize the way I feel about his films is also to say that the only one I own is Aliens.

31. John Whorfin - December 20, 2011


32. Kevin - December 20, 2011

SO GLAD it will be shot in 2D. 3D is a terrible looking gimmic for kids and exhausted parents.

I just want a great looking film!


33. Jonboc - December 20, 2011

Cool. Now JJ can focus on the movie instead of clever camera moves and blocking to sell the 3D. IMAX is as good as it gets. Put it there and I’m happy.

34. cleverclogs - December 20, 2011

I will be seeing this film SOLELY in 2D.

35. chrisfawkes.net - December 20, 2011

All 3D is rubbish. I would not bother shooting in 3D either.

The 3D fad may well have passed by 2013, it’s on it’s death bed now.

36. chrisfawkes.net - December 20, 2011

And no 3D film no matter how it is shot makes up for the stop less light you get from wearing the glasses. All those films look too dark.

37. rm10019 - December 20, 2011

37 – After seeing Hugo, a film by a master, i can’t agree that all 3D is rubbish. The use of 3D is a new art form.

38. Cygnus-X1 - December 20, 2011

Not having seen a 3D movie since the early 80s, I have no opinion on this. But the news of 2D to 3D conversion seems to be going over like a lead zeppelin.

39. Dr. Image - December 20, 2011

70mm with a HIGH FRAMERATE would be as good as it gets. (Ask Doug Trumbull.)
I’d take that any day over IMAX. But we’ll get what we get…
And 3D is here to stay. Period.

40. Basement Blogger - December 20, 2011

J.J. Abrams should not be applauded for shooting in 2D and converting as courageous or noble. As I have seen many 3D conversions from 2D, it’s likely the 3D version will be inferior to a film shot in 3D such as Avatar or Hugo. In essence, Trekkers are being treated like second class citizens. Abrams should have fought to film Star Trek in 3D. And remember movies shot in 3D would be released in 2D also. Regardless, filmmakers agree that a conversion is not as good as a movie shot in 3D.

A bad conversion can hurt a film. I liked Thor. But the conversion to 3D created a very dark movie. The fight between Thor and the Frost Giants was absolute mud. Why? Because it was on a dark planet with little light. The director Kenneth Brannagh should have adjusted the lighting. But I’m guessing he wasn’t thinking 3D. This visual mud hurt a good movie.

41. braxus - December 20, 2011

Do the film with IMAX. Shoot some scenes in IMAX and do the exterior effects shots in IMAX. Its about time a space movie would use this format. Watch the star destroyer sequence in the IMAX film Special Effects to get my drift.

42. CarlG - December 20, 2011

The only 3D film I thought looked good was Toy Story 3, and they planned that one out as a 3D film from the start. Coincidence? I think not…

43. CarlG - December 20, 2011

@26: The 3D conversion was the least of The Last Airbender’s problems, and that’s REALLY saying something. :P

44. BeatleJWOL - December 20, 2011

On the upside, it’ll make the Hobbit in 3D look VERY good. Check out this link (the fourth Hobbit “production diary”) for a look at how 3D films SHOULD be approached:

Abrams clearly doesn’t give a crap about making his film in 3D and is letting the studio foot the bill for the problem. Good for him, let them deal with it!

45. NCM - December 20, 2011

Not a fan of 3D. Glad JJ’s going with what he knows.

46. FarStrider - December 20, 2011

@40 Trekkers are not being treated as second class citizens. . . as the comments seem to indicate, a majority of us didn’t want it in 3D. Plus, I don’t think that JJ wanted to shoot the film in 3D to begin with (3D sounded like a top-down mandate from Paramount to boost overseas sales — not something that JJ wanted to artistically do). . . he LIKES shooting on film. . .he likes real locations, and real action, which is why we got budgineering instead of something cooked up by ILM. . . plus. . . do you REALLY think that given all the lens flares in the first movie that this next one is going to be “muddy” and dark??? Think about it. . ..


47. Ahmed Abdo - December 20, 2011

Until they come out with a new way to present movies in 3D that won’t cause people headache, I will stick to watch movies in 2D.

48. DeShonn Steinblatt - December 20, 2011

Looks like a compromise was reached. Abrams gets his 2D version for posterity and Paramount gets their 3D version for the moment.

49. dmduncan - December 20, 2011

I think JJ should be applauded for shooting the sequel on film the way that he wants to, and letting those who want a 3D version to then convert his vision into something else (3D) to fill the seats.

If JJ had decided to shoot it in 3D to appease someone else, then I think he should not be applauded.

50. Allen Williams - December 20, 2011

screw 3d. it only makes it worse and its going to be fake 3d which is even worse.

51. Keachick - rose pinenut - December 20, 2011

Harry Potter:The Deathly Hallows Parts 1 and 2 were dark films in story and look. If converting to 3D causes the picture to look even darker, why convert that type of movie?

I hope that the Star Trek sequel is a lighter, brighter film, where the interior of the ship or ships are (mostly) well lit, we see planets during their day times and where vast majority of scenes aren’t given a dark, dull, dim, dismal look and feel. You can still tell a powerful and touching story.

Frankly, I would rather have one or two lens flares than have a movie that looks muddy and dark. I think there are more than enough of those around already. I always feel a bit cheated when I have to struggle to see the characters or hear them because the actors don’t enunciate their words properly, they mumble. Not that this was the case with the last Star Trek, but I am just commenting in general. It makes the film feel cheap and nasty.

Anyway, I am quite happy that JJ Abrams plans to make an amazing Star Trek in 2D, in spite of what Paramount may want!

52. moauvian waoul - aka: seymour hiney - December 20, 2011

So I guess scratch n sniff is out of the question.

53. Red Dead Ryan - December 20, 2011

I knew that the sequel would be converted into 3D. J.J Abrams prefers shooting with traditional film, and Paramount wants to grab as much cash as possible to keep up with rival studios and their own blockbusters.

And Paramount knows that Trekkies will see the sequel regardless of whether its in 2D or converted into 3D. Fans will still go see the movie in 3D, even if their local theatre isn’t giving them a 2D option. Paramount knows this so all of this whining is moot.

At the end of the day though, I have been proven right once again. I knew that the sequel would be postponed until summer 2013. I predicted that it would be in 3D. And now I have had my predictions about 3D conversion verified. I also knew Shatner wouldn’t be in the sequel.

Still waiting on the Khan/no Khan news though.

54. Red Dead Ryan - December 20, 2011


“So I guess scratch n sniff is out of the question.”

What difference does that make? Most Trekkies do that with themselves at home anyway!

55. dmduncan - December 20, 2011

51. Keachick – rose pinenut – December 20, 2011

Harry Potter:The Deathly Hallows Parts 1 and 2 were dark films in story and look. If converting to 3D causes the picture to look even darker, why convert that type of movie?



56. MvRojo - December 20, 2011

Harry Potter’s converted 3-D was alright, but it certainly shouldn’t be the standard to base anything against.

I wish he had gone wi IMAX. It’s much more impressive. Both Chris Nolan and Brad Bird have given interviews where they discuss the benefits of IMAX vs 3-D.

57. MJ - December 20, 2011

After seeing MI4 in IMAX last night, I am fully supportive of the move to go 2D IMAX. IMAX is better than 3D — hands down!!!!!

58. craprica - December 20, 2011

PLEASE shoot in imax!!!! And imax 2d > imax 3d – The 3d illusion destroys the imax effect because if the objects appear closer to you, they dont seem as big. Compare Harry Potter 5 and 6’s 3d scenes to the awesome Mission Impossible 4, whose scenes shot in imax were extremely powerful

59. somethoughts - December 21, 2011

What a big letdown! They have a chance to make a movie for the ages and they choose to half ass 3D, God I hope this doesnt suck, It would be the nail in the coffin. I dont want to even see it in 3D now, this comes across as real lazy and not being able to deliver cutting edge technology or use it.

60. MJ - December 21, 2011

@3 “Hey JJ, take this from someone who’s worked as a projectionist for several years, 2d converted to 3d NEVER looks good, no matter how much time is spent on it.”

With all due respect, you need to see the trailer for the Phanton Menace 3D and Titanic 3D. With enough time and money, post conversion can look extremely good, as we are about to find out with these two movies in which a shitload of time and money was spent to do it the right way.

61. Keachick - rose pinenut - December 21, 2011

My point in my previous post is that if JJ Abrams makes a good, well lit movie with not too many dark scenes, as opposed to possibly dark emotions etc being expressed, then a good 3D conversion might be possible. It does seem that darkly lit scenes can look quite bad in 3D.

I have never watched a movie in 3D actually. My kids have and they prefer 2D. It is cheaper and they don’t have to wear the really annoying glasses.

Paramount should be very careful how it handles this golden goose called Star Trek. Sometimes the studio has appeared disrespectful but I really hope that some genuine care is taken with the 3D conversion so that everyone wins.

I don’t think Abrams is being lazy. He is working to his strengths and passion and generally those two elements tend to bring about good results.

62. madtrekfanuk - December 21, 2011

Until someone comes up with a real working holographic projector i.e. something that is physically projected and I can actually walk around (not stupid glasses that give you headaches) I wish the movie industry would ditch 3D! Spend the money on improving both digital and analogue formats into cripser, higher resolutions with improved motion flow, clarity etc – if this means faster frame rates, super high definition etc then so be it!

63. Simpleton - December 21, 2011

Really pissed about it been converted, won’t be wasting the extra pounds for 3d

64. Basement Blogger - December 21, 2011

@ 46

First, I haven’t seen Star Trek 2013 yet so I can’t tell if it will be too dark. My point is that directors filming in 2D don’t think about the polarization effect of 3D. Link. But know this. It’s a simple fact. A 3D conversion does not look as good as a movie shot in 3D if you’re going to release it in 3D. I like movies shot in film. There’s a warmth to it. But if you’re going to release a movie in 3D, there’s a big difference in 3D quality between a conversion and native 3D.
I think you give too little power to Abrams. There is nothing reported that indicate the suits forced a 3D conversion down his throat. After all, Paramount let the production wait for him so he could finish Super 8 and produce other projects. If he were such a courageous artist, he could decline directing Star Trek and just produce it. . It was never foregone conclusion he would. The stories on this site indicate that the writers wanted Abrams. And I don’t dislike Abrams. I think he is a fine director.

A Star Trek movie released in 3D should have the same quality as Avatar. Why should Trekkers take an inferior product? You won’t find one filmmaker who will say a 3D conversion is a good as movie shot in 3D.


65. Jannek - December 21, 2011

But the 3d conversion of harry potter worked very well!

66. Groucho - December 21, 2011

The only good 3D movie I’ve seen is Hugo which was conceived, planned and shot in 3D, where the 3D intentionally added to the imagery and story of the movie.
ST 12, shot in 2D with a conversion? Not interested. For a truly immersive experience, shoot key sequences in IMAX.

67. allister gourlay - December 21, 2011

…and this time lets say disruptor or phaser rather than gun!
that really bugged me when i saw the 2009 film again the other night on Film 4 here in the UK!

68. Basement Blogger - December 21, 2011

@ 65

I liked Harry Potter but the 3D did nothing to add to the film. The reason? Live action scenes did not pop. If the director was shooting in 3D just think how good Bellatrix’s vault scene would have looked. The battle of Hogwarts would have looked like it was right before you. if shot in 3D. The best 3D shots in that movie were the CGI shots which could be manipulated by virtual cameras. Live action cannot if not shot in 3D.

Converting a 2D film is not as good as shooting it in 3D. The 3D cameras catch the light and shadow thereby giving it the 3D effect. The conversion product is inferior to native 3D.

69. Dom - December 21, 2011

Older directors whose careers are dwindling – Scorcese, Spielberg, Ridley Scott – are embracing stereoscopic 3D as it means they can artificially resuscitate their box office for a few more years until they die. James Cameron’s always existed outside the business, being effectively a geek making fancy gadgets.

Up-and-coming younger directors such as Christopher Nolan and JJ Abrams love proper cinema, so they’re not interested in gimmickry, preferring the likes of proper IMAX. The great thing is that the 2D iterations of Star Trek 2 will have nice composition and depth of field and no random items being thrown at the foreground, designed to fly out of the screen or create a headache-inducing faux-depth. Simple fact is, most 3D films look pretty awful in 2D, so this is good news all round.

Still, I’ll be interested in seeing what Peter Jackson’s Hobbit films look like, although, at 60fps, I can’t see the point in using 3D: at 60fps, shot properly, a 2D film could comfortably give the impression of 3D without glasses. My dream for the future would be for more epic movies to be shot in IMAX-HD!

70. James Cannon Runcorn Trekkie UK - December 21, 2011

“I should have done that, that was a mistake, more of this, less of that.”

ie PLEASE less lens flares and no Budgineering…..

71. DD - December 21, 2011

IMAX-HD yes. 3D NO. I’ve had enough of the way the 3D format is being imposed on us, without giving us a choice. My local cinema only ever seems to show 3D films these days. If they do with Star Trek, then I will wait for the 2D DVD / Bluray release to watch it on my 2D HD tv at home.

72. VZX - December 21, 2011

Shooting in IMAX: Awesome sauce!!! I really hope he does, it is the best format!

Converting to 3D in post: Sucks!!!! I will hope I can see it in a non-3D IMAX theatre. But, to give Abrams the benefit of the doubt, I bet the studio is pressuring him for 3D. I wonder if he is even a fan of it.

73. T'Cal - December 21, 2011

I won’t be wasting my time or money on 3D but there are those who will. As long as I have the option, I’m fine with this decision. If this is a good film, I’ll take my family multiple times to see it on the big screen.

74. Mark Lynch - December 21, 2011

Shot in 2D and converted… What a crock.

75. T'Cal - December 21, 2011

I’ll pay extra for IMAX, though.

76. Damian - December 21, 2011

My guess is that JJ Abrams is not all that enthusiastic about a 3-D film. He has said so in the past. I would say that he wants to shoot the film the way he likes to film, and let the studio worry about the 3-D conversion. This basically tells me that JJ Abrams doesn’t really care about the 3-D part of it all that much.

I have to agree with others, 3-D conversions usually are of a poorer quality. Of course, we can always find exceptions (there are exceptions to every rule), but unless I read reviews that state the conversion worked exceptionally well, I’ll save my money and see it in 2-D. That’s likely the version JJ Abrams will care more about anyway, judging from past comments he had about 3-D.

77. Jeyl - December 21, 2011

Not shooting in 3D
– Well, there goes my hope for a nice steady looking film. Bang away on those cameras JJ. I cannot wait to not focus on what’s going on.

Possibly shooting in IMAX
– If you do shoot this film on IMAX JJ, I have only one request. Please don’t bang on the IMAX cameras. Please don’t bang on the IMAX cameras. If Star Trek is shown in the IMAX format, I would like to see it the way every special effects person has ever labeled how Star Trek is shot. Nice and steady. No documentary style hand held shakes, no self-aware camera techniques (“You can hear debris hit the camera!”) and no zooming to make the ships look flat. Too demanding? Sure, but hey. I like that visual identity that Star Trek had.

78. chrisfawkes.net - December 21, 2011

What you 3D lovers should realize is that you guys are a small segment of the market. Most people think 3D sucks.

Having said that those who do like it are a market and enough of them out there that would probably not go see trek otherwise.

So the 3D is only to pull a few extra people in in certain countries If 3D were hugely popular then the film would be shot that way.

They have been trying to get audiences interested in 3D since 1917 and it last for a couple of years then it’s dead. It will be the same this time because it is only a gimmick.

But JJ is it possible to adjust for the lost stop of light caused by the glasses for the 3D audience?

79. Basement Blogger - December 21, 2011

@ 77

I don’t know how much J.J. Abrams will focus on that the movie is being converted to 3D The more he does, the better the conversion will be though it still won’t be as good as native 3D. My point is that you can’t have a lot of camera gymnastics if you release a movie in 3D. it makes the audience seeing it in 3D nauseous. He may have to forgo swirling hand held camera shots, and whip pans. I liked his Super 8 and felt that movie didn’t need the camera gymnastics. It was very good without them.

80. TonyD - December 21, 2011

Very disappointed to read that they’ll be doing a 2D>3D post-conversion as that almost never works well no matter how much time and effort you put into it.

I’ve seen a bunch of post-conversions and the only one that really worked well was Alice in Wonderland, and even that would have never been mistaken for a native 3D presentation.

Hopefully they will at least keep 3D in mind when composing the shots as the placement of characters and objects in the frame is integral to getting a good sense of depth.

The one saving grace is much of a movie like Trek will be created post-production using CGI so that should make the management of 3D a little easier (though effects heavy releases like Thor and Green Lantern show that you can still screw that up too).

81. kozmikg - December 21, 2011

IMAX but be great – esp for the action scenes. 3D I can do without for the most part.

82. Anthony Thompson - December 21, 2011

Yay! Maybe JJ can keep his flares after all! : )

83. Kirk, James T. - December 21, 2011

Technology these days does allow for conversion to look amazing – for example, THOR was shot in 2D and then converted and that looked great in 3D.

I really hope that they shoot the whole lot in IMAX, that would be insane. 3D is just another option for audiences so it’s not as if we can’t see it in 2D.

Star Trek 2 is gonna be huge, I can feel it becoming TDK of Trek…

84. Keachick - rose pinenut - December 21, 2011

#64 – “If he were such a courageous artist, he could decline directing Star Trek and just produce it.”

What’s courage got to do with anything? I thought that JJ Abrams is a director, first and foremost. That is what he likes to do most. As director he has a lot of creative leeway, but also bears a lot of the responsibility as well…seems pretty courageous to me.

85. Aurore - December 21, 2011

82. Anthony Thompson – December 21, 2011
Yay! Maybe JJ can keep his flares after all! : )


86. They call me Stasiu - December 21, 2011

Send a clear message to Paramount: go to a theater showing the 2D version. If they see they’re not getting the expected returns from the 3D version, maybe that would convince execs not to push an inferior process on the consuming public.

87. DS9 IN PRIME TIME - December 21, 2011

I really do not like 3D I probably wont see it in 3D

88. Basement Blogger - December 21, 2011

@ 83

I can’t agree with you Jim on Thor. The Frost Giant planet was just mud. it was a dark planet and with your polarized glasses, it was too dark. That’s because Director Branagh did not know the movie was going to be released in 3D. Link. If he had known, he would have probably used more light. that being said. CinemaBlend did like the 3D lighting But it gave it a cold 3D rating.

And 3D conversions are an inferior product to native 3D, but I will concede that Abrams knows Star Trek will be converted. So he can adjust the lighting and hopefully set up the scenes.


89. Aurore - December 21, 2011


…..And, let us not forget the “shaky cam”…


90. Damian - December 21, 2011

77–I do agree with you about the shaky cam, lens flares thing. I’m a bit old school in what I like. I like steady camera’s, crisp, clean visuals. I am not a big fan of movies that look like they were filmed by some news photographer in the field taking film from the Vietnam War. But that seems to be what the moviegoing public likes. It is also JJ Abrams filming style, so I think it likely the next film will have all the same effects as the last film.

A shame, because most Star Trek films I have gone to see 2 or 3 times. I left Star Trek (2009) with a serious migraine, so I only went to see it the one time. I can tolerate it better at home better on a smaller screen. It’s likely the next film, no matter how good, will do the same thing, so I probably will only sit through it at the theater once as well.

91. Vultan - December 21, 2011

They’d be better off concentrating on traditional special effects that can have an actual lasting impression on the audience.

You know, like THE SCRIPT!!!

92. dmduncan - December 21, 2011

I’m only aware of IMAX as the alternative to shoot 3D in film, which would be costly, and I’d rather all that money went elsewhere in the production. Otherwise I think JJ would have to use video to shoot 3D natively, and JJ prefers the format of film to the format of video. I can’t blame him.

So once he decided to shoot on film it appears the 2D to 3D conversion followed as a consequence.

JJ made an artistic decision to master on film instead of tape. And I agree with him completely.

The more I watch Avatar the more fake it looks, and I don’t even care much for the look of the live actions scenes.

93. Keachick - rose pinenut - December 21, 2011

Funny, but I never really noticed the shaky camera effect that much. The movie moved at quite a pace though with quick scene changes. After second viewing though, I picked up what I thought I might have missed first time through. I did notice how overly bright the bridge seemed sometimes and the unnecessary lens flares. JJ Abrams might have to cut back on the lens flares, which wouldn’t be a bad idea anyway, keep the cameras a bit more steady, but keep the scenes well lit allowing for good visual clarity, especially if the film is to receive the 3D conversion treatment later on.

I still plan to see the 3D version once, just out of curiosity, but any other time I will only pay to see the 2D version. Nothing has changed about my plans in this regard, even after the announcement was made.

94. Lt. Bailey - December 21, 2011

I don’t think the 3D is such a smoking hot idea….. not with any lens flares and shakey cameras.

But I would like to see a TOS star or stars in the film somewhere, but that is just because I grew up with all them in the 60’s.

95. Battle-scarred Sciatica - December 21, 2011

As General Chang once mocked:

“2D…or not 2D…”


Nuff said

96. Luke Michalski - December 21, 2011

What’s with all the hate? Obviously 3D isn’t on top of JJ’s list, but either way, it’s going to be a fantastic movie. If you don’t care for conversions, just go see it in 2D. I personally don’t like 3D either so, 2D will be just fine for me.

97. Tanner Waterbury - December 21, 2011

Well thats good that he’s filming in 2D… I am a=getting sick of “3D” both figuratively, and literally. I do hope and wish that they make the movie compatible with DBox rumble seats though.

98. Mr Phil - December 21, 2011

Great to hear the team is sticking to film, presumably shooting in scope.
This is no compromise, it’s giving the movie a visual quality and realism that can’t be achieved digitally. And film still has a better dynamic range than digital, so more detail in shadows and highlights. Post converting doesn’t mean it’ll be darker, that depends on the grade and digital cinema master, along with dubious projection. The biggest issue is the display output when projected – 3d standards from polarised systems are set to display darker. Technology needs to improve to resolve that.
When Trek films start looking like a tv soap opera, I doubt I’ll have the same interest in watching it.
Anyway, good news!

99. ToMaHaKeR - December 21, 2011

2D was always the right choice for movies, IMO. Great news.

100. Shannon Nutt - December 21, 2011

I saw Harry Potter in IMAX 3D and it looked pretty good… I’m guessing it looked worse in Digital 3D.

101. moauvian waoul - aka: seymour hiney - December 21, 2011

54. “What difference does that make? Most Trekkies do that with themselves at home anyway!”

Now Ryan. . . :)

102. Bucky - December 21, 2011

I’ll 2D Trek probably for the first run but check out the IMAX 3D version for a 2nd viewing. Sorry, JJ, shoot it in 3D or not at all.

103. AJ - December 21, 2011

Many have expressed concern that George Lucas has decided to convert all six SW films to 3-D as the medium may be dead by the time ROTJ is released.

This is because the general quality of conversions is awful. While launching “Phantom Menace” and “Attack of the Clones” in 3D will do nothing to halt the decline, as they are dreadful films, it seems like a waste when Peter Jackson is trying to go to the next level with his ‘Hobbit’ films.

JJ should reconsider his decision.

104. Jannek - December 21, 2011

@ 68

Yes, probably you’re right, but the last potter movie was so impressive to me that i thought it was real 3d. Till i read this thread… It was at least much better than tim burton’s “alice’s adventures“ for example…

105. Basement Blogger - December 21, 2011

@ 96
Luke says,

“What’s with all the hate? Obviously 3D isn’t on top of JJ’s list, but either way, it’s going to be a fantastic movie.”

Huh? Did you travel to the future and see Star Trek 2013? I’m guessing the answer is no. So how can you say it’s going to be a fantastic movie? Star Trek 2013 might stink. Until it comes out we don’t know if it will be a fantastic movie. So you know, I’m looking forward to the Supreme Court’s deeper Star Trek. But I’m not going to predict it’s greatness until I’ve seen the film.

As far as the “hate”‘ for a a conversion, 3D conversion is an inferior product compared to a movie shot in 3D. I think Trekkers deserve the same quality that James Cameron used in Avatar.. Trekkers deserve the same quality of 3D as we saw in Martin Scorsese’s masterpiece “Hugo.” If I may quote Captain Pike, I say to J.J. Abrams, “I DARE YOU TO DO BETTER..”

106. Luke Michalski - December 21, 2011


I guess I just have faith in those guys. Don’t be hatin’.

107. David Jones - December 21, 2011

Its those that would rather not see this in 3d, but go anyway that keep 3d alive.

You have the power to vote for 3d. Sadly this franchise is dead but the war against 3d rages on.
Watch this in protest and the studio doesn’t care if you like it or not, you just voted to see more 3d films.

108. Basement Blogger - December 21, 2011

@ 106

“Don’t be hatin'”

I’m going to interpret that the usual way not the urban dictionary version. Because if I did, I would quickly say I”m not jealous or dislike people not like me.

But if you’ve seen as many 3D conversions as I have, you would be annoyed. Conversions add nothing to the film. I can’t recommend one. Okay the new Transformers might count but it’s a hybrid, i.e. shot in 3D and also converted 2D footage. The bad of the conversion process is that the picture is too dark due to polarization and the live action doesn’t look 3D. How could it? It wasn’t shot in 3D.

I’ll let Roger Ebert tell you why he “hates” 3D. Link. I don’t hate 3D, I just hate the conversion process which is a ripoff. In the article Dreamworks Jeffrey Katzenberg said this of the 3d conversion, “Clash of the Titans”, “You just snookered the movie audience.”

So if Peter Jackson, James Cameron and Martin Scorsese can film in 3D for a movie that they plan to release in 3D, why can’t J.J. Abrams? As much as I admire his talent, perhaps he’s not as good as those guys? I’ll say it again. I dare J.J. Abrams to do better.

Roger Ebert on why he “hates” 3D.

109. somethoughts - December 21, 2011


Well said, I was so hoping for Imax or true 3D film scenes.

As long as the film stands on its own in 2D and story is awesome, that would be redemption but this is still a wasted opportunity not to think BIG and use the best technology available and do a truely awesome space movie and hang with the Nolans or Camerons.

Why cant STARTREK get a christopher nolan or james cameron…

110. somethoughts - December 21, 2011

I am hoping they shoot in Imax at least, MI4 was great, cruise just seems to stay forever young

111. Red Dead Ryan - December 21, 2011

There is NO WAY Paramount will gamble tens of millions more dollars on top of an already (presumably) huge budget to film in IMAX or 3D. Paramount understands that Trek will NEVER pull in the revenue that “Avatar”, or “The Dark Knight” have, so they are doing the sensible business decision by converting it instead. Trekkies will still see a Trek movie even if the conversion is crappy but the movie is great. Paramount knows this. Given a choice between skipping the movie, or seeing it in converted form, many more Trekkies than not would definitely pay to see the film.

A lot of theatres still show 2D versions of movies, but some others only show 3D movies in 3D. It’s just the way it is. Unless the whiners decide to stop whining and put their money where their mouths are, studios will continue to film in 3D, or convert to 3D, and theatres will still accommodate that.

112. Cervantes - December 21, 2011

I guess the only truly 3D ‘space exploring epic’ that’ll be available to us next year will be Ridley Scott’s PROMETHEUS then…

Bad move on the ‘conversion’ thing guys, as you should have pushed for and embraced the full-blown filmed effect for maximum impact.

Oh well, hopefully the script is as good as J.J. reckons it is…

113. Keachick - rose pinenut - December 21, 2011

I think it is clear that JJ Abrams does not like the 3D technology as it stands at present. He probably fought hard to be allowed to do a 2D version, which it appears that most people here prefer anyway. I don’t see what the problem is. All we can do and wait and see and hope for the best.

114. Keachick - rose pinenut - December 21, 2011

Edit: “and wait and…” should read “is wait and…”

115. dmduncan - December 21, 2011

108: “So if Peter Jackson, James Cameron and Martin Scorsese can film in 3D for a movie that they plan to release in 3D, why can’t J.J. Abrams?”

Easy. JJ wants to shoot on film. 3D is just something he has to do to appease the studio who wants to market a 3D version.

Just as Cameron released a 2D version of a movie he conceived as 3D, so now will JJ release a 3D version of a movie he conceived in 2D.

Same thing.

116. WillH85 - December 21, 2011

I’ve hated the 3D conversions I’ve seen so far. Avatar looked amazing, the latest Pirates, not so much. I say if you’re going to do 3D, do it right at least. I hope by learning from mistakes he included the brewgineering and such.

117. MJ - December 22, 2011

Sorry BB, after seeing MI4 in IMAX, I want ST 2013 in IMAX. The only way I would support Trek in 3d now is if they were to go balls-out 48FPS 3d like on the Hobbit, but that is obviously not even an option here with the traditionalist JJ.

MI4 is the best example of IMAX I have seen to date.

118. Basement Blogger - December 22, 2011

@ 115, 114

Dmduncan says,
“Just as Cameron released a 2D version of a movie he conceived as 3D, so now will JJ release a 3D version of a movie he conceived in 2D.”

Keachick says,
” I don’t see what the problem is.”

Dmduncan, that’s not the same thing. Assuming we’re talking about Avatar. Studios release 3D movies in 2D partly for profit but they also know that not every theater in the world is equipped with 3D equipment. Avatar did not suffer as a 2D movie. A bad 3D conversion hurts a 2D movie primarily because of darkness issues. For example, I liked Thor but was very upset with the conversion becuase of darkness issues. See Thor’s battle with the Frost Giants. . .

I think Abrams is a talented director. But I won’t worship him for this debacle. I have yet to hear any filmmaker say that a 3D conversion is as good as native 3D. That’s because it’s not.. I will acknowledge that Abrams knows his movie will be released in 3D so maybe he can improve on the conversion process. But conversions are still not as good as native 3D. And that’s for various reasons, for example look at the live action shots, meshing special effects and darkness issues.

Keachick, here’s the problem. If you’re a Trekker and want to see Star Trek 2013 in 3D, you will get an inferior 3D product. One that is not as good as a movie shot in 3D. Instead of Avatar or Hugo like effects, you may get junk.

I will quote Jeffrey Katzenberg of Dreamworks when he saw the conversion of “Clash of the Titalss.” (2010) “You just snookered the movie audience.” (See post 108) Hee’s a quote from CinemaBlend on Thor 3D that could be applied to many conversions. “It seems clear that Thor has only been converted into 3D as a cynical cash grab, a blatant move to charge higher prices for movie tickets.” Link below.

Trekkers shouldn’t be snookered with an inferior 3D product. They saved the franchise. They wateched the TV shows. They buy the movie tickes and DVDs. If Paramount wants a 3D release, Trekkers deserve the best effort from the filmmakers and the studio. I again say to J.J. Abrams, “I dare you to do better. ”


119. captain_neill - December 22, 2011

If being converted from 2D then I would rather just watch it in 2D.

120. The Unknown Poster - December 22, 2011

As far as the 3D conversion it really comes down to quality. We can certainly assume that Cameron’s conversion of Titanic and Lucas’ conversion of Star Wars will be industry leading.

If Paramount goes cheap, then so be it. But if they go quality, then all the better

121. Aurore - December 22, 2011

Mr. Abrams never seemed to be a huge fan of the 3-D technology. He never tried to deny it.

Going so far as to say that his brain had to adjust to it when he watched a movie, or something to that effect, a while back…

So, perhaps, he made the decision to shoot his movie the way he felt comfortable with, leaving “other people” deal with the 3-D version they wanted so much .

Hence the planned conversion.

122. Jeyl - December 22, 2011

Avatar may look fake, but between that and Trek09, it is Zoe Saldana’s better movie by a long shot.

123. chrisfawkes.net - December 22, 2011

I thought avatar was crap. Dances with wolves in space only not near as good.

Of course the ticket buyers don’t all agree with me.

124. chrisfawkes.net - December 22, 2011

MI4 was very good. So much that was well thought out.

Obviously MI2 was a mistake and the lessons have well and truly been learnt from that one.

125. Mr Phil - December 22, 2011

I don’t think Clash of the Titans should be used as a comparison for the Trek 3d comparison. For Clash, 3d wasn’t even in the production schedule during the shoot. It was a rushed job after the success of Avatar that even the post house working on the conversion weren’t happy with. Given the lengthy post schedule Trek 2013 has, and given the reputation that Clash has within the industry, I think it’s a safe bet a thorough conversion job would be done.
And this will be the first Trek film offered in 3d, let’s wait and see what they can do with it.
Bear in mind, there’ll be no difference for the complete vfx shots with no live elements which makes up a moderate percentage of the film.

126. dmduncan - December 22, 2011

118: “Dmduncan, that’s not the same thing.”

It IS the same thing. These movies aren’t getting made by robots. But by people who make the choices that satisfy them so that they are proud to put their name on what they’ve done, and that’s what JJ did here.

You can’t criticize JJ for not being James Cameron or for making the decision to not master on TAPE and to shoot in 3D which Cameron made.

What it comes down to is that quite a few of us are not impressed with 3D and do not believe it is the next evolution of the art form. While I appreciate a great film conceived in 3D and shot natively in 3D (Hugo is the best example yet), it is simply not the case that 3D is now a requirement for all films.

To use it or not to use it is an individual choice reflecting the conception the filmmaker has for his project, and 3D does not, apparently, figure into JJs way of thinking about Star Trek.

127. dmduncan - December 22, 2011

To me, it would be much better to shoot Star Trek in IMAX at a higher framerate. JJ mentioned IMAX; I hope he can afford it, and the cost of shooting film at a higher framerate in IMAX. That I would much rather see than 3D.

I remember watching Transformers ROTF in IMAX and how sketchy the action was — almost impossible to distinguish details clearly. So I am very enthusiastic about an increase in framerates, particularly for high speed action movies on bigger than average screens.

128. NuFan - December 22, 2011

I will watch it in both and compare for myself.

129. Aurore - December 22, 2011

(For those who might be interested in reading, or, re-reading some of Mr. Abrams’ thoughts on 3-D) :

“When you put the glasses on, everything gets dimmer. It all gets a little gray and muted. You get into it, my brain adjusts to it after a while, but for the first few minutes, it seems less than the experience…I’m not totally on board.”


130. Basement Blogger - December 22, 2011

@ 126

At the end of the day, J.J. Abrams will be responsible for the vision of the film. If the 3D conversion is bad and cynical grab for cash, Abrams won’t be able to run from it. And right away, there’s already a strike against the movie. 3D conversions are an inferior product to a 3D movie shot with 3D cameras. So Star Trek 3D (2013) will be an inferior product compared to a 3D movie filmed in 3D

Now before you say I hate the movie already, I haven’t seen it. It could be a great film but right now the 3D version will not be as good as a 3D movie shot with 3D cameras. I do hope that Star Trek 2013 in 2D will be the deeper Star Trek that the Supreme Court has promised and one that will be one of the best Star Treks ever.

131. Aurore - December 22, 2011

…That may also be the real reason behind the “delay” , as far as the sequel is concerned.

Who knows? He probably fought to shoot the sequel…his way.

132. Basement Blogger - December 22, 2011

@ 117

MJ, you wrote you would only support Star Trek 3D if it were filmed 48fos 3D like Peter Jackson is doing. I am not against that idea. That’s still a film shot in 3D NOT converted which is an inferior product. I look forward to seeing “The Hobbit” after seeing how much love Jackson put in the “Lord of the Rings” movies.

Yeah, I saw M:I -Ghost Protocol in IMAX and regular version. IMAX has the better picture. But don’t forget the improved sound. I could clearly hear Simon Pegg when he whisper his lines. See Kremliin scenes where he whispers some very funny lines as they walk to the file room. At the regular theater, it wasn’t so clear. At IMAX, the sound was balanced, crisp and clean. By the way, I liked the movie.

133. Basement Blogger - December 22, 2011

@ 129


Here’s a more recent article where J.J. Abrams says he’s not against 3-D. He says, “I have nothing against 3-D in theory.”


134. Aurore - December 22, 2011

@133. Basement Blogger – December 22, 2011

Absolutely, Bernie.

However, you’ll note that, in that more recent article, he was clear in stating that shooting in 3-D might prove to be problematic for his directing style…

He did say he had nothing against 3-D, but, he did not seem overly enthusiastic about it, as far as I can tell.

To tell you the truth, I think he was merely being polite.
That is just my opinion, naturally.

135. dmduncan - December 22, 2011

130: “At the end of the day, J.J. Abrams will be responsible for the vision of the film. If the 3D conversion is bad and cynical grab for cash, Abrams won’t be able to run from it.”

I disagree. At the end of the day the Star Trek sequel and JJ Abrams will be remembered for the 2D film it was designed to be, not for the ad hoc 3D version that was thrown in to please the marketplace — just as James Cameron will be remembered, with Avatar, for making a groundbreaking 3D movie, and not for the 2D versions of the same film that were also released.

When James Cameron released Avatar in 2D simultaneously, he released what you would call an “inferior product,” i.e., one that was not his true vision, and one that did not reproduce the experience of his true vision. JJ will be doing the same to keep faithful to his own vision of having a film actually mastered on film.

I would do the same thing. And I can’t emphasize enough exactly what a huge personal decision that was for JJ to make. Choosing film, JJ will be able to say: “I did it MY way.”

CUE the Sinatra!

Remember, JJ could very easily have followed the herd, and there must have been some pressure to consider doing so; shooting video is, after all, much more convenient. He chose the more difficult — and more costly — medium to work in: celluloid.

That resonates with me for a number of creative reasons.

136. dmduncan - December 22, 2011

134. Aurore – December 22, 2011

I agree. I think just JJ doesn’t want to knock 3D, and what he’s really saying is that it’s not his style. He’s resisting pressure to make him change his style.

He gets applause for that. For not conforming.

And Christopher Nolan doesn’t appear to be a fan, either.

So far it appears that the most enthusiastic proponent of 3D is James Cameron, and he’s a man whose creative choices I would not follow just about anywhere.

So, I bid James Cameron bon boyage. I watch his ships sail, but I never get on his boats.

(Go ahead, I left that wide open for a joke!)

137. Basement Blogger - December 22, 2011

@ 135


What I mean by inferior product relates to 3D conversions versus a movie shot in 3D. The comparison is meant to talk about 3D movies. i have not heard any filmmaker say that a 3D conversion is better than a 3D movie shot in 3D. That’s what I meant so don’t misconstrue my words. I’ve seen a bunch of conversions and I can’t recommend any except Transformers: DOTM but that was a hybrid.

I’m not going to worship J.J. Abrams. He’s a talented man but he is not the greatest director on the planet. If Star Trek 3D is a crappy conversion then we’ll see if Abrams says “I had nothing to do with it.” But if he really cares about all versions of Star Trek 2013, he’ll be thinking about the shots and how they will look in 3-D. If he doesn’t care for the 3-D version then I fear for that version.

138. Basement Blogger - December 22, 2011

Here’s a good short article on the 3-D conversion process. It also explains when it comes to 3-D movies, native 3-D is better than 3-D conversions. I’ll leave this post with James Cameron’s words criticizing “Alice in Wonderland.”

“t doesn’t make any sense to shoot in 2-D and convert to 3-D,”


139. Aurore - December 22, 2011

“(Go ahead, I left that wide open for a joke!)”

C’mon, man!

Where’s the fun in that…FOR ME, if you’re EXPECTING it ???!!!


140. dmduncan - December 22, 2011

137. Basement Blogger – December 22, 2011

I’m not worshipping JJ, I just want the man to have the power to make the movie he wants.

And I get where you are coming from, and I understand. I totally understand that as a huge fan of 3D you don’t want to see a 3D Star Trek that isn’t as good as it could be.

141. dmduncan - December 22, 2011

138. Basement Blogger – December 22, 2011

Yet Titanic (2D) is now converted to 3D! So much for Cameron’s integrity!

I don’t disagree with Cameron or you on which 3D process is better. If I was interested in shooting in 3D I would shoot natively in 3D. Now if I had the chance to direct a movie my way, I would choose to shoot on film and not in 3D; then I might be told that it’s necessary to have a 3D version, and I’d say whatever, you guys convert it to 3D, but this is the movie I want to make and I’m not going to shoot it that way. There’s no way I would use a process that interferes with how I want to shoot the movie, such that I’d have to restrict myself in doing something because I’m shooting in 3D. Again, that’s if I had the clout to make a film my way and I wasn’t just a hired gun.

And I expect Cameron to try and pull everyone along with him on 3D anyway, because he’s got a huge ego and he thinks he’s a Moses leading the film industry out of the desert.

142. Red Dead Ryan - December 22, 2011

I don’t blame Paramount for wanting the Trek sequel converted into 3D. The studio is under pressure to increase the return-on-investment and total box office revenue to keep up with other blockbusters brought out by rival studios, most of whom still convert films into 3D as opposed to filming it that way because of the huge expense. Filming it in 3D was NOT an option for J.J Abrams, not because he didn’t want to, which he didn’t, but because Paramount is not going to gamble more money on an already expensive film that may or may not pull in more money than the first one did. But converting it will pretty much guarantee more revenue without a big increase in the budget.

Most fans on this site, including Basement Blogger (despite his protests against conversions) will go see the movie multiple times, even if the 2D option isn’t available. Even if the conversion is of cheap quality, I predict that Paramount will be vindicated in its decision.

And finally, the 3D decision was always Paramount’s, never J.J Abrams’. Even if J.J Abrams wanted to film in 3D, Paramount would have rejected his request. It was destined going to be converted. Which doesn’t matter to J.J because he prefers shooting on film anyway.

143. Basement Blogger - December 22, 2011

The More Space Scenes the Better the 3-D.

First, I don’t love 3-D or hate it. I judge 3-D this way. Does it make the film better? Is it worth my extra bucks? And does 3-D hurt the movie?

That being said, and not being an expert, I guessing space scenes will look pretty good in 3-D, real or converted. Why? Well, we know the space ships will be CGI. And that means virtual camera. With the computer’s help, light shadow and details can be drawn in. See the space battle in Transformers: Dark of the Moon, a movie I hated but recommend to fans of the series, the 3-D version.

144. Red Dead Ryan - December 22, 2011


“It was destined going to be converted.”

No, that should read: “It was destined to be converted.”


145. Basement Blogger - December 22, 2011

@ 144

RDR, You keep talking about it being a gamble for Paramount to shell out more money for a native 3-D movie. But Star Trek has a built in audience. They know Trekkers will see this movie that makes up for the costs.

You are correct about me seeing Star Trek multiple times. I saw Star Trek 2009 three times and many times on DVD. And I merely like the movie. If I have the dough and am alive, I’ll try to see Star Trek 2013 in its multiple versions and write about it. Now if the Mayan Prophecy is correct, none of us will see Star Trek.

146. Aurore - December 22, 2011

“And I expect Cameron to try and pull everyone along with him on 3D anyway, because he’s got a huge ego and he thinks he’s a Moses leading the film industry out of the desert.”

…I’d say he thinks he’s a Pharaoh.
And, Mr. Abrams, in the nicest way possible, recently just said ; ” Let my people go…”

147. Basement Blogger - December 22, 2011

Here’s a good site that lists 3D movies as real or fake (converted). Note the financial risks that some studios are willing to take to shoot in 3-D for a 3-D released movie. For example see “Journey to the Center of the Earth” (2008) and “Jack the Giant Killer” (2012)


148. Red Dead Ryan - December 22, 2011


First of all, there aren’t enough Trekkies to support a big-budgeted Trek film by themselves. That’s why the previous nine movies (minus TMP, it had a relatively huge budget for its time) were made on the cheap.

The reason the last movie made the most in the series and did so well was that it brought in the mainstream. Of course, most Trekkies who saw the movie saw it multiple times, if the polls are to be believed. But without the mainstream, the movie would have only made about $175 million, tops.

Secondly, let’s do hope the Mayan prophecy doesn’t come true.

149. Basement Blogger - December 22, 2011

@ 148

But the built in audience helps bring down the costs of production. And I’m talking merely about filming in 3-D. If Star Trek 3D (2013) goes the way of Thor, (link) or Clash of the Titans, then it will be viewed as a cheap, cynical cash grab. In essence as Dreamworks Jeffrey Katezenberg said about Clash, the audience will be snookered.

Trekkers who want to pay for the 3-D experience deserve the best effort that the filmmakers can produce. I have not heard one filmmaker say that when it comes to 3-D movies that a conversion is better than native 3-D film. That’s because it’s not. When it comes to his 3-D movie, I say again to J.J. Abrams, “I dare you to do better.”


Conversions, 3D conversions are not as good as movies shot in 3D.


150. dmduncan - December 22, 2011

146. Aurore – December 22, 2011

Pharaoh it is then!

151. Vultan - December 22, 2011

3D is to cinema what pop-up books are to literature.

And the fact that the new adaptation of “The Great Gatsby” will be in 3D—I KID YOU NOT—THE GREAT GATSBY IN 3D—could mean… well, all those 2012 predictions are true.

At least, I hope the “great changing event” will be the end of this fad.

152. dmduncan - December 22, 2011

149: When it comes to his 3-D movie, I say again to J.J. Abrams, “I dare you to do better.”

Well I think he is doing better by choosing to shoot on film.

I think you’re getting bothered because you think of this as a 3D movie, and you’ll be getting a cut rate version of 3D.

So you’re thinking of it the wrong way.

You are getting a 2D movie that’s going to be bumped up to 3D in the same way that Titanic is a 2D movie being bumped up to 3D. So the choice is yours whether you see it in the cut rate 3D version, or the version that JJ wants to make and which is consistent with his personal style, which is the 2D version.

I’ll be going to the 2D version. Exclusively.

What JJ is doing is no different than what Cameron did by making two versions of Avatar available. The difference is you won’t be getting the perfect 3D experience because JJ is not going to shoot on tape.

That can’t be helped.

151. Vultan – December 22, 2011

No. The “great changing event” ushered in by the 2012 end-times date will be that in addition to 3D, and Scratch -n- sniff, Hollywood will also add Sip -n- Spit.

153. dmduncan - December 22, 2011

I can’t wait for 2018 when the plan is to introduce real thugs into the theaters who will give audience members a genuine ass beating in sync with the violence on screen.

154. captainkirk - December 22, 2011

I’m disappointed that it won’t be shot in 3-D but I’m sure it will be done well.

155. Vultan - December 22, 2011


In the words of Jose Jimenez:
“Oooh, I hope not.”

Dmduncan, I know we’ve had our share of arguments, but I want use this opportunity to wish you happy holidays.

Peace, man.

156. dmduncan - December 22, 2011

155. Vultan – December 22, 2011

Ha! Thanks. Happy holidays and peace to you also, my friend.

157. MJ - December 22, 2011

@132 “MJ, you wrote you would only support Star Trek 3D if it were filmed 48fos 3D like Peter Jackson is doing. I am not against that idea. That’s still a film shot in 3D NOT converted which is an inferior product. I look forward to seeing “The Hobbit” after seeing how much love Jackson put in the “Lord of the Rings” movies.”

Yea, I doubt I will pay to see Trek in 3D. However, technology-wise, the point I was trying to make is that if you spend gobbs of money and time like Lucas and Cameron are doing with Titanic and the Star Wars to post-convert them to 3D, that I think the technology is there to do something that approaches original filming quality 3D — I saw both 3D trailers for Titanic and The Phantom Menace in 3D int the theater where we saw Hugo in 3D, and I must say that the scenes int the Titanic 3D and The Phantom Menace 3D looked nearly as good as Avatar and Tron in terms of believable 3D.

158. MJ - December 22, 2011

Just to clarify, as a paying Trek fan, I would pay to see Trek in 3D multiple times if it was shot in original 3D cameras with the new 48 FPS technology that Peter Jackson is paying for. That would be worth me budgeting a couple hundred dollars for for multiple viewings with my family. However, I will not pay a single dollar to see a run of the mill typical 3D conversion of the Trek sequel…perhaps if they made the point to go all out on it and spend significant budget on doing the post-conversion at the level that Lucas and Cameron are doing on their older films, I might be entices, but it seems pretty evident here that JJ and Paramount aren’t going to do anything special with the 3D.

I will however pay extra for IMAX — that is a slam-dunk for me!!!

159. MJ - December 22, 2011

“That being said, and not being an expert, I guessing space scenes will look pretty good in 3-D, real or converted. Why? Well, we know the space ships will be CGI. And that means virtual camera. With the computer’s help, light shadow and details can be drawn in. See the space battle in Transformers: Dark of the Moon, a movie I hated but recommend to fans of the series, the 3-D version.”

I’d forgotten about that film. Because that was shot originally in 3D, I did pay the extra for my sons and I to see it, and it did deliver awesome 3d special effects, right up there with Avatar, Hugo and Tron. I think that those are the only 4 movies I have paid for 3D on. Saw Tin Tin yesterday in 2D — didn’t see the need to pay for the 3D (BTW, it is a delightful little film).

160. somethoughts - December 22, 2011



161. Basement Blogger - December 22, 2011

@ 152

Dmduncan, I am not thinking about this the wrong way. I am talking about 3D cinema. You can worship J.J.’s 2D vision. Does that mean the 3D version of Star Trek 2013 should have a different director’s credit?

I am going to type this without caps and say it again. No filmmaker has ever said that a 3D movie which is a conversion in 3D is better than a movie shot in 3D, Period. There will be Trekkers who will pay extra bucks for the 3D experience. Do you tell them to expect a bad conversion and they should have seen J.J.’s 2D version? They deserve the best effort that the studio and the director can put out in 3D. If I were to follow your logic then Star Trek 2013 is best in 2D and the 3D version is inferior. I feel bad for those poor Trekkers who pay extra money for the 3D version.

When it comes to 3D cinema, converting a movie that could be shot in 3D is not doing better. Captain Pike would be ashamed.

Link. The conversion process and why 3D conversions are not as good as movies shot in 3D when it comes to 3D cinema.


162. Basement Blogger - December 22, 2011

@ 158

MJ, I will argue that conversions are not as good as a film shot in 3D. :-) The movies you cited Titanic and Star Wars are lovingly converted. Cameron and and Lucas are going to really try to do it well. I must have 15 3D glasses around the house and office. I don’t hate 3D or all conversions. It’s just that the conversions I’ve seen weren’t worth the extra money. We all love Star Trek. We just don’t want to see it accused of a 3D version as a cynical cash grab.

163. Red Dead Ryan - December 22, 2011


Yeah, I hope though, that the beatings will be restricted to the morons who insist on yapping or texting during the movie!

164. dmduncan - December 22, 2011

161: “I am going to type this without caps and say it again. No filmmaker has ever said that a 3D movie which is a conversion in 3D is better than a movie shot in 3D, Period.”

I’m not sure to whom you are attributing the opposite claim, but it isn’t to me, even though it feels like it, so I have to leave that where it is.

As for fans who shelve out the bucks for the 3D version, caveat emptor! Chances are if you are that finnicky about which version of 3D the movie was made with, you’ll look into that before going to see the movie. But most people are probably like me: They probably think the difference is marginal if they even think about it at all. For the few conversions I did choose to see in 3D, I did not run to the box office later asking for my money back because the experience could have been better. It’s just not a monumental difference to me. I didn’t feel ripped off.

If you don’t like it that it’s in converted 3D you have the same ability as anyone else to refuse to see it in 3D.

In fact, I feel more ripped off by the attachment of the IMAX name to screens which are only slightly larger than normal.

“Dmduncan, I am not thinking about this the wrong way. I am talking about 3D cinema. You can worship J.J.’s 2D vision. Does that mean the 3D version of Star Trek 2013 should have a different director’s credit?”

Yes YOU are talking about 3D cinema, and I am not. I am talking about the man making the film he wants to make, in the medium (film) that he wants to make it. Should someone else get the director credit for the 3D conversion?

Should the 2D version of Avatar get a different director’s credit?

No. And yet one version is the director’s total vision and the other is not.

JJ is making a FILM movie in 2D which will get a 3D conversion because, let’s face it, you have to have a 3D version of this type of movie, just like you have to have a 2D version. Difference is the 2D version will reflect JJ’s vision whereas, for example, the 3D version of Avatar reflects Cameron’s vision, even though it was also released in 2D.

And it’s not worshipping JJ’s vision — it’s respecting JJs vision. The same way I respected Cameron by seeing Avatar in 3D.

165. Basement Blogger - December 22, 2011

@ 164

I will agree that Cameron’s vision for Avatar was 3D. Steven Spielberg says that Avatar should be seen in 3D (Entertainment Weekly, 12-9-11. pg. 44.) But I’ve seen Avatar on in HDTV in 2D and in 3D twice, once in IMAX. The 2D version does not suffer. It still looks great in 2D and the story remains the same. Cameron does not have to apologize for the 2D version. It’s still excellent.

Yes, I get it . J.J. wants to film in 2D. And the 3D is the studio’s idea. So, that makes the 3D version a cynical cash grab.

But a Trekker who is going to pay extra for the 3D experience deserves the best effort for that 3D movie. When it comes to 3D cinema, we should aim higher. See Hugo. AGAIN, NO FILMMAKER HAS EVER SAID A 3D MOVIE CONVERTED FROM 2D IS BETTER THAN A MOVIE FILMED IN 3D. I’M TALKING ABOUT 3D CINEMA. LINK. Conversions are an inferior product. If a filmmaker says my vision is 2D and let the studios release it in 3D, then it becomes a cynical cash grab.and the audience gets snookered. Do we really want Star Trek to be known for that?

The conversion process and why 3D conversions are not as good as native 3D.

166. MJ - December 22, 2011

@165. BB, I have to agree with DM though that Avatar was meant by the director to be seen in 3D, as that was his vision, and it shows when watching the film. Avatar is a good movie, period, but it blew me away in the cinema in 3D, while watching it later in 2D, it was still a very good film, but the world immersion of Pandora was just not quite as good in 2D.

Also, someday, computers, money and time will be able to post process any movie into a 3D movie that will be indistinguisable from a film shot originally in 3D. It is just a matter of computing power, software development, artistic care, time and money. We are not there yet, but Lucas and Cameron are taking us there. Again, I ask you, have you actually seen, as I have, the 3D trailers in the theater and in 3D for Titanic and The Phantom Menace? I was shocked at how good they look — in fact, they looked darn near like they had been shot originally in 3D — they were that impressive.

167. Keachick - rose pinenut - December 23, 2011

Well, let’s hope that Paramount will give JJ Abrams’ Star Trek sequel 2D version the same treatment that Cameron and Lucas are giving to their films originally made in 2D. I dare you, Paramount. Make it so!

168. The Keeper - December 23, 2011

I am glad JJ is making this film in 2D…IMAX would be great also…wasn’t fond of 3D films any way myself.

169. Basement Blogger - December 23, 2011

@ 166

I have not seen the trailers for Star Wars or Titanic in 3D. I’m sure they look good. But I recall that the 3D trailer for Captain America looked good too. So when I saw it at the theater, there was nothing to write home about.

The problem with the conversion process is that it can’t fill in blanks the way a 3D camera can. That’s why it can come off as cut outs against background. I can’t recommend any conversion I’ve seen. But thinking back on the last Transformers movie, that was great looking because it was a hybrid, some scenes were shot in 3D.

My gut feeling, is that the more CGI for Star Trek, the better the conversion will look. The space scenes should look pretty good since that’s all CGI and the computer can account for the light, shadow and depth.

170. Admiral Archer's Prize Beagle - December 23, 2011

Not a big fan of 3D personally.

For a setting/storyline so intertwined with spacetime, this film should be shot in 4D (at the very minimum).

171. MJ - December 23, 2011

@169 “The problem with the conversion process is that it can’t fill in blanks the way a 3D camera can.”

It is all digital and computer processing, so it is only a matter of time before the conversion process, with artistic input, can fill in the blanks. It may be a few years away that, but I would bet you within 10-15 years that you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference anymore.

172. Ed in ATL - December 24, 2011

I gotta say I was impressed with the 3D effects in “The Green Hornet,” having already screened it in 2D. There was a sense of humor to the 3D rendering, with just enough quirks to keep you on your toes. The acid test for conversions will be all six “Star Wars” in cinemas, but as the software renders faster and cheaper, I look forward to a silent conversion (“Ben-Hur” ’25 or “Napoléon” ’27)!

173. MJ - December 24, 2011

@172. Yea, how about The Godfather in 3D. Can you imagine how cool it would be to see that cut off horses head in that guys bed in 3D! :-)

Casablana — in color and in 3D!

Lawrence of Arabia in 3D IMAX

174. Scott - December 25, 2011

As someone who works in visual effects, I think I can safely say that 90% of these responses on 3D conversion are bullocks.

175. MJ - December 26, 2011

@174. LOL. If you were really who you said you were then you would respond with the technical reasons why instead of some one liner with the word bullocks. LOL

176. spockatatic - December 28, 2011

I think one of the ‘mistakes’ JJ should focus on is those damn lense flares.
I mean, I loved the movie, and sometimes they did add to it, but most of the time they were annoying and in the way. While they were in the process of trying to make the movie look ‘real’, it came off looking so squeaky and futuristic it was nearly impossible to relate.

177. charles charles - December 28, 2011

jj abrams make a mistake… haha the day a galaxy class star ship warps out of my ass

178. MJ - December 29, 2011

@177 Memo to Charle’s nanny — he pooped in his diaper again!

179. Basement Blogger - December 29, 2011

A little excerpt from Entertainment Weekly, 5-7-10, page 32. In thiis interview with director Jon Favreau and Robert Downey Jr. about Iron Man 2, here the question:

EW: We’re reaching a point where every big event movie is being released in 3-D. Do you feel like you’ve left potential money on the table by not releasing Iron Man 2 in 3-D?

Downey: Yeah whether we think it or not, we have.

Favreau: I WOULD ONLY DO 3-D IF I SHOT IN 3-D. OTHERWISE YOU’RE CHARGING A PREMIUM AND UNTIL THAT (CONVERSION) TECHNOLOGY CATCHES UP, I WOULDN’T DO THAT. It would have been irresponsible to do it on this movie, although I love 3-D.

(Capital lettering added.)

180. Keachick - rose pinenut - January 1, 2012

I think we can safely assume that it is not JJ Abrams’ idea to make a 3D film. His bosses are insisting that his 2D version of the next Star Trek film be converted to 3D, and since Paramount own the film rights to the franchise, they can do what they want.

JJ Abrams is working with a medium he knows and loves, and probably hopes like hell that those 3D tech guys do muck up his hard work. I hope so too.

181. Basement Blogger - January 4, 2012

I can’t believe that J.J. Abrams has less power than Jon Favreau. Considering that Paramount considers Abrams the next Spielberg, why couldn’t he like Favreau force Paramount to not release Star Trek 2013 in 3-D?

The problem is this. And we’re talking about 3-D cinema. There will be Trekkers who will pay a premium for the 3D experience. What they will get is an inferior 3D product since the movie will be a conversion. Link. Abrams could have filmed in 3D and produced a movie as beautiful as Scorsese did in “Hugo.”

1. Paramount wanted Abrams and considers him to be the next Spielberg.

2. Slate article on the 3D conversion process and why it is inferior to native 3D filming.

182. Stephen - January 5, 2012

I work at Digital Domain Media Group in the stereo conversion division (formally In-Three) and our conversion is the best, by far, that I have ever seen. We did all of the “real world” shots on Alice in Wonderland, a few shots on the Smurfs, and about 50 shots on Transformers 3 (which Steven Spielburg said was the best 3D he had ever seen. And, in fact, was actually partially converted despite most of you thinking it was completely native). If we converted it, I promise it would be the best 3D movie you’ll see, but if he goes with one of the other companies, I cannot promise that the 3D is going to be good, and would have to agree with most of the comments.

183. Joshua J. Slone - January 6, 2012

This is the worst of both worlds. There’s still a 3D version for 2D purists to complain about, and 3D fans get fake 3D instead of the real thing. Hopefully at least the CG will be real 3D.

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