DreamWorks to make ‘Ghost in The Shell’ / James Cameron on 3D moviemaking

According to Variety, DreamWorks is going to turn ‘Ghost In The Shell’ into a 3-D live-action movie. Steven Spielberg was involved in the deal. Presumably they’re adapting the movie by Mamoru Oshii, not the comic by Masamune Shirow.

I am a big GITS fan. I like the comic, the sequel of the comic, the movie, the sequel of the movie, the two TV series, even though they are all quite different. GITS was the first time that I really, really liked a movie adapted from a story that I really, really liked. The comic is cheerfully upbeat about the cruelty and inhumanity of the future, whereas the movie is much more serious and melancholic. Both Ghost In The Shell 2: Man-Machine Interface (the sequel to the comic) and Ghost In The Shell 2: Innocence (the sequel to the movie) are less comprehensible than their predecessors, but both definitely have their charms. Man-Machine Interface is almost dreamlike in its opaqueness (and this is saying something when the original comic has footnotes from the author saying ‘I have no idea what is meant here’). I remember reading Man-Machine Interface for the first time, then having certain memories of the story and its events… then rereading it about a year later and finding a completely different story. It is highly impressive in that it is this close to becoming ridiculous – characters are constantly floating in cyberspace and saying things like ‘Activate defense barriers AX-4E on ports 5, 6 and 19 and seed the attack lines with viruses’ – for hundreds of pages. At least, that is how I currently remember the comic… who knows which story I will find next time I read it? In any case, given that I have enjoyed GITS in so many incarnations, I am not as anxious about a Hollywood adaptation as I might be if some other favorite story were involved. Which reminds me that Ghibli Studio’s Earthsee adaptation apparently went straight to DVD in Austria and Germany… I should have a look at that.

In related news, there was a fascinating interview, again in Variety, with James Cameron about HD and 3-D moviemaking.

Other than that, for digital 3-D, would you rather see energy going into moving from 2K to 4K, or into moving from 24 fps to 48 or 72 fps, and why?

4K is a concept born in fear. When the studios were looking at converting to digital cinemas, they were afraid of change, and searched for reasons not to do it. One reason they hit upon was that if people were buying HD monitors for the home, with 1080×1920 resolution, and that was virtually the same as the 2K standard being proposed, then why would people go to the cinema? Which ignores the fact that the social situation is entirely different, and that the cinema screen is 100 times larger in area. So they somehow hit on 4K, which people should remember is not twice the amount of picture data, it is four times the data. Meaning servers need to be four times the capacity, as does the delivery pipe to the theater, etc.

But 4K doesn’t solve the curse of 24 frames per second. In fact it tends to stand in the way of the solutions to that more fundamental problem. The NBA execs made a bold decision to do the All Star Game 3-D simulcast at 60 frames per second, because they didn’t like the judder. The effect of the high-frame-rate 3-D was visually astonishing, a huge crowdpleaser.

And much more interesting stuf.

(James Cameron interview via Boing Boing.)

Comments 4

  1. Jurie wrote:

    So much for deferred blog posting… that wasn’t supposed to appear till tomorrow. Or did I set the date wrong? Meh.

    Posted 17 Apr 2008 at 11:58
  2. fluffy wrote:

    The dark side of higher framerates is that it actually makes things look very cheap. A big part of the cinematic experience is the 24fps feel. On things like Sony MotionFlow, cinematic movies suddenly look like cheap soap operas, and the best animated films turn into either video games (if they’re CG) or cheap Flash animation (if they’re 2D).

    When I saw Ratatouille on MotionFlow, it looked impressively silky-smooth, and as a result it also looked very “cheap.” I’m sure it’s fine for sporting events (which I don’t care about one way or the other) but for cinema it just makes everything feel like it came from the uncanny valley.

    Posted 17 Apr 2008 at 15:46
  3. Jurie wrote:

    Oh, interesting. I think I have never seen a movie in a digital cinema, let alone MotionFlow. There are cinemas like that in Vienna, but they only show dubbed movies. In Frankfurt I am glad to see movies in the original language at all…

    Posted 17 Apr 2008 at 22:06
  4. GitS Anime wrote:

    Laeta Kalogridis who writes for DreamWorks GitS live adaptation, was executuive producer of James Cameron’s Avatar. There is hope that Ghost in the Shell live action 3D will be a great experience.

    Posted 02 Aug 2010 at 11:40