Saturday, April 18, 2009

'My Bloody Valentine 3D' Director Inspired by . . . Hannah Montana?

Patrick Lussier gets a kick out of making horror films. He edited all three "Scream" movies and has worked with scare master Wes Craven for over 15 years. This year, Lussier directed "My Bloody Valentine 3D," his first foray into 3D film making, featuring a relentlessly graphic display of in-your-face, blood-spurting, bone-crushing attacks by a psychotic miner with a pick axe. Oh, and did I mention the full-frontal nudity?

So what inspired Lussier to give "My Bloody Valentine 3D" just the right look?

Hannah Montana.

Come again?

I know Miley Cyrus could motivate some of you to go on a violent rampage, but I'm not sure sharp implements upside the head are what you had in mind.

Hannah/Miley and Red: The similarities are frightening

Seriously, Lussier gives major props to last year's "Best of Both World's Concert Tour" from Disney. Not so much for the musical content, mind you, but for the slick 3D production. Speaking at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) convention in Las Vegas Saturday, Lussier said, "With 'Hannah Montana,' watching that movie, you're like 'holy shit, this is amazing!' It was beautiful to watch. I'd never seen anything like it . . . It was inspiring to think of all the possibilities that were available."

Keep in mind the last 3D movie Lussier saw before "Hannah" was the long-forgotten 1983 sci-fier "Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone."

Ohhhkayyyy. Moving on . . .

Lussier's talk was part of a two-day "Digital Cinema Summit" at NAB. No longer just about radio and television, NAB in recent years has reached out to a broader spectrum of entertainment media. This week, 3D is getting its due at NAB, just like it did in Las Vegas earlier this year at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and Showest. Digital technology is putting eye-popping 3D movies on the big screen clearer than ever (see "Bolt," "Monsters vs. Aliens," "Up"), and it's also bringing it to more HD screens at home. What's missing, though, is an open-source 3D standard for both movie theaters and home consumers, and it's this roadblock that could doom 3D to be no less of a fad now than it was in the 1950s. Various associations within the entertainment industry have said they are working on a non-proprietary standard, but it appears to be a long time coming.

Lussier sees the continued potential for 3D and would love to do another film in the format. He knows from experience, though, that it requires greater attention and care to pull off. "Until you get it right, (3D) is not a painless experience. But once you get it right, it is one of the most surprisingly beautiful and intoxicating formats to work in."

It's easy to be intoxicated, of course, when your $15 million movie grosses $51 million at the box office--and most of that on 3D screens. "We had a 3-week run," said Lussier. "And then 'Coraline' came in and we were asked to leave the theater. And then, of course, 'Coraline' was asked to leave by the Jonas Brothers . . . and the Jonas Brothers were asked to leave not soon enough."

Lussier gets the laugh he wants from the audience, and then offers a winking apology to the JoBros. "They're lovely, cute little boys. But they're no Hannah Montana."

"My Bloody Valentine 3D" comes out on DVD May 19th.


I'll be at NAB all this week, seeing what Disney and a few other entertainment big shots are up to. On Sunday, Mark Zoradi, president of the Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Group, will share his thoughts at the Digital Cinema Summit. If he says he's inspired by blood gushing at theater audiences in 3D, I'm outta there.

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