Film Art and Cinematography : Why don't 3D films use deep focus all the time?

Why don't 3D films use deep focus all the time?

To let our eyes do the work at focusing on what we want to see. Wouldn't that emulate the functions of our eyes better? It's weird watching 3d films that still use shallow focus to direct our attention.

I was hoping 3D would usher in a new age of less closeups and more wide composition . But nope.

Re: Why don't 3D films use deep focus all the time?

I find that 3D has a tendency to make movies look small. Star Wars TFA and Guardians of the Galaxy both had scenes with star ships that looked like small cardboard cutouts instead of large ships, watching in 2D or at home and the scenes looked much more impressive.

Re: Why don't 3D films use deep focus all the time?

True.

Re: Why don't 3D films use deep focus all the time?


...to direct our attention.
That's the key phrase.

Whether in 3D or not, focus is as much a matter of directing viewers' attention where and on who/what as are camera placement, framing and editing. No matter what's on the screen or how it's focused, you're seeing just as much, or as little, as the director - placing emphasis where it's important and most meaningful - intends you to see at any given moment.


I was hoping 3D would usher in a new age of less closeups and more wide composition .
When widescreen processes like Cinerama and CinemaScope were introduced in the early '50s, that's very much what happened, and a static staginess became evident in many films, as directors unaccustomed to composing in a radically different frame were either unsure how to use it, or believed that such wide composition enhanced an "epic" feel that was an early selling point of those processes.

And in the first flirtation with 3D (some would say "fad") at roughly the same time, some directors working in that medium deliberately arranged and moved both props and players to suit a greater depth of field in order to emphasize the 3D effect, resulting in shots that soon gave the impression of being both cluttered and gimmicky.

Adaptation to more artistic and effective composition, focus, camera movement and cutting were soon developed by those working in the wide aspect ratios, allowing them endurance and audience acceptance, but the gimmicky impression of early 3D films led to its first wave dying out after not much more than a year, with some later 3D films being seen only "flat" by the time of their releases.



Poe! You are...avenged!

Re: Why don't 3D films use deep focus all the time?

A lot of the time, 3D is just something the studio forced the director to use, in order to draw people towards those 3D tickets. And many times, these directors don't have the care or concern to actually take advantage of the 3D because they may not have ever really considered what the 3D does to people's viewing experience.

Re: Why don't 3D films use deep focus all the time?

A lot of the time, 3D is just something the studio forced the director to use, in order to draw people towards those 3D tickets. And many times, these directors don't have the care or concern to actually take advantage of the 3D because they may not have ever really considered what the 3D does to people's viewing experience.

Re: Why don't 3D films use deep focus all the time?

Um, low-light? Low-light necessitates large lens apertures, which means shallow focus.

Long telephoto lenses too. Not all closeups can or should be shot with a wide-angle lens. A wide-angle lens makes faces look like fishbowls with bulging noses.
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