Why Every One of Your Clients Needs to See 'Gravity' in 3D
You know you've made a staggeringly good film when the commercial director sitting in the audience sits slack jawed for almost the entirety of the thing.
That's Gravity, Alfonso Cuaron's 91-minute space blockbuster that everyone in the ad business needs to see, like, right now.
Like any good director, I've experienced hundreds of films in cinema, but as I sat in the 3D IMAX theatre, I struggled for a way to accurately and fully describe Gravity. "Spectacle" didn't quite cover the exceptional narrative tension. "Experience" just sounded understated.
In the end, I landed on "3D Cinematic Symphony."
A powerful symphony is the meshing of so many elements to create something that can be both explosive and moving. Gravity is that, starting with the director's "instruments" - sound and visual. The visuals are really something special, and that's saying a lot in a world where we've experienced everything from The Matrix's "bullet time" to Avatar's forests. I always find it immensely satisfying when I find a film that can overwhelm me visually. For the creatives like me, there is a visual playground that reminds you to consider the whole frame as you put the story in the foreground and background.
Then there's the sound design. Gravity feels like a love letter to directors who think "what if we played with silence for awhile." The sound isn't an add on, it's the catalyst for the film itself, creating a pace unlike anything I've seen since 2001: A Space Odyssey. The drop outs juxtaposed against big explosions gave me a half dozen new ideas for commercial pitches in the coming weeks.
Now, I'm a director who loves to work in cinema, so I need to talk about how impressive the 3D is here. Like the sound and visual effects, 3D is used to add to an entire experience. It's used effectively to convey a sense of motion and terror as shrapnel whooshes toward Sandra Bullock. The 3D is subtle, it's right, and ultimately it makes seeing the film in 3D a much more satisfying time than if I'd simply seen it in 2D.
Gravity is also one of those films that shouldn't just be seen on the big screen, it begs to be seen on the BIGGEST screen. Like the best cinema spots, it needs to be in a captive, immersive, bright environment with 3D and massive surround sound. This is the best excuse for visual storytelling (and 3D advertising) since Avatar and the box office is showing it. Gravity is a film that is tailor made for the big screen, saturating the frame with stunning imagery. I found my eyes darting everywhere in the frame to drink it all in and was glad I had a notebook with me to scribble down idea after idea for new projects.
Still not sold? Check out the second trailer - it's here - for a taste of what this 3D cinematic symphony's all about. This is about as close to the actual experience of being in space that I will likely ever get. As a case for 3D cinema advertising, this is as close as movie goers are likely to get to a brand - without buying it!
Go. Go now. And make sure ALL your clients see it. Pitching visual storytelling as an immersive experience - with big picture, big sound and 3D - just got a lot easier.
This contributed article was written by James Stewart, a director and founder of Geneva Film Co. who is repped by TateUSA. His new award winning film FOXED! is playing the film festivals this fall. When not creating commercials in 2D and 3D, he can be found watching movies the way they were meant to be seen - in cinema. Follow him on Twitter @jamesstewart3D