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  • 3D or Not 3D?

    2nd June 11

    Posted by Jeremy Ettinghausen

    Posted in animation, Film

    Last Saturday during coverage of the Champions League Final, BBH released our first 3D advert for Audi. Guest author Davud Karbasssioun, BBH Head of Film explains why this was the right technology for the right brand.

    Over the last two years you would have had to be holed up on Pandora not to know that 3D was making a serious comeback.  Some experts insist that film’s transition to 3D is as pivotal as the adoption of sound or the move to full colour.  I’m not sure it really is that ‘black and white’…

    More recently 3D has been used as a gimmick to add novelty to films rather than enhance their storytelling power, which hasn’t done the 3D brand any favours. Cynics would argue 3D is Hollywood’s answer to piracy, their way of ensuring bums on seats in an age of free sharing and piracy.

    Either way the platform is here for all advertisers to embrace.  Channels are desperately trying to get everyone to watch everything in 3D and all the electronics brands are falling over themselves to convince us that those brand new HD LCD’s we’d just invested in needed to be replaced with new 3D TVs.

    But if brands are going to embrace 3D they must learn from the mistakes Hollywood is making and do it by respecting the technology.  To me, Audi’s recent 2 ½ minute Le Mans film is a good example.

    (The video above requires red/blue 3d glasses – for other options including plain old 2d, click on the 3D options button)

    The ad features Audi Le Mans driver Allan McNish describing what it takes to win the legendary Le Mans 24-hour race. BBH Creative Directors Kevin Stark & Nick Kidney conceived the concept for the film after viewing a presentation by the charismatic McNish, describing the intensity, precision & endurance required to succeed in the race.  From that moment on the brief was to dramatise that experience of the race as best they could using Allan’s own improvised narrative.

    3D was never in the brief, in fact the guys specifically wanted to use 2D hand drawn art to give the film a simple, personal charm that matched the drivers personality.  The idea of shooting Allan and making the film in 3D came later with Passion Pictures when it was clear that viewing the film though a stereoscopic lens would only further enhance the viewer’s engagement.   Using both the Sky 3D broadcast of the Champions League final and the launch of the final Harry Potter installment in 3D are the perfect events to share it.

    Anything that increases the creative spectrum is a great thing.  3D, if used appropriately and well, enhances the story.  3D, used badly, is terrible.   Unfortunately, Hollywood is so desperate to generate hype to sell tickets that there is inevitably going to be overwhelming pressure from movie studios to push 3D in the hope that this will rescue the basic shortcoming of the film itself.  That is the fundamental problem right now.

    Wim Wenders’ film Pina is for me a rare example of 3D used beautifully.  Here the 3D technology is used to open up a stage to give the Pina Bausch Dance Group the space to perform on,  The results are as effective as they are beautiful (not sure it will challenge Hangover 2 at the Box office though).

    Like Pina this Audi film is a rare example of helping dramatise an experience for the viewer that wouldn’t be as full an experience as in simple 2D.  To me that’s how 3D technology should be used and how it will be most respected by the viewers,  a win-win for brands.

    Essentially the way I see it Audi are simply taking advantage of the 3D technology, or in German ‘Vorsprung durch 3D Technik.’