Yesterday, the producer of The Hunger Games franchise Nina Jacobson took part in a very interesting panel event as part of the Milken Institute Global Conference, talking about
'Trends in Global Entertainment', together with other powerful entertainment industry personalities including Sony Pictures CEO Michael Lynton.
When conversation turned to 3D and its appeal and the need for it to attract audiences to theatres in markets such as China and Russia, Nina stepped up to talk about her thoughts on the technology, and the process and the rationale behind the 3D conversion of Mockingjay - Part 1 for China (and the subsequent conversion of Part 2 for worldwide release this November):
I think 3D has certainly come a long way...now it's much more about feeling [that] you're inside the experience. We did Mockingjay - Part 1 in 3D in China...and we were really unsure about it, about how it would feel with subject matter that has the potential to feel exploitative when it's always meant to be exploring the violence and never exploiting it. And I was really struck, even in this first foray into it, how much the performances were dimensionalised by getting to see these wonderful actors in 3D. And it wasn't about feeling that things are coming at you, it was really about feeling that you were coming at it - you were getting to be inside of it. And I think that immersive quality is really powerful and that the 3D has gotten so much more sophisticated that it was. But the...big factor is that it's a viewing option that you can choose - do I wanna watch this on my iPad, do I wanna watch it on my television, do I wanna watch it on my phone - do I wanna watch it in 3D or not. I think forced 3D really aggravates people, there's still plenty of people that don't like it, that don't wanna pay for it or just don't like it. But it's an option, and having it as a consumer's option is really important for the right kind of story and certainly in certain markets it's exceptionally important.
(To note - while Mockingjay - Part 2 will be available in regular 2D and 3D formats, as with other IMAX 3D releases, we expect the IMAX version to be only in 3D, although we are hoping IMAX will make a 2D version available as an option too.)
Nina also, when talking about the balance of movies being promoted either by big brands or popular movie stars, mentioned how paramount Jennifer Lawrence is to the franchise:
I can't imagine Hunger Games, even with its very popular books, being nearly a success that it's been without Jen Lawrence being the perfect person to play that role - a very modern celebrity, a very down-to-earth, accessible, celebrity.
Watch the full panel below (starts at the 40-minute mark, the Jen Lawrence soundbite is at 1:15:45 and the 3D part is at 1:28:45)