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Alex Aja Defends Post 3-D ‘Piranha’, Talks Blood and Guts

When Dimension Films delayed Piranha 3D – Alex Aja’s remake of Joe Dante’s classic 80’s film – speculation ranged from the fact that Dimension wanted to avoid a box office battle with Lionsgate’s Kickass to the notion that the film needed a lot more work in FX department. While we wait until August for the massive attack, Aja talked with MTV about the post 3-D conversion, while also revealing a few scenes that he enjoyed shooting.
The conversation kicks off with a little Piranha hype.

Piranha 3DI understand why James Cameron in “Avatar” didn’t want to make the 3-D gimmicky, and he was right,” he tells MTV. “But we are making a piranha-attacking-spring-break movie, so we are going to go for the huge on-the-screen effects and fish attacking the audience.

Aja claims to have been skeptical of post-conversion 3-D until he saw footage of Star Wars and Titanic.

We were going to shoot with the camera system Cameron used, and we found out that, of course, we don’t have the same budget as an “Avatar” or as much time. And shooting on the water with a real 3-D camera brings some very big restrictions in terms of dealing with reflections. But I was very, very skeptical about the 3-D conversion, because it felt so unnatural to create 3-D when it’s flat at the beginning. And I saw a lot of demo reels, like some of the James Cameron “Titanic” conversion scenes, some of “Star Wars,” and 20 minutes of Peter Jackson’s “King Kong” fully converted into 3-D, and that was simply the best 3-D I’ve ever seen. Period.” That’s a bold statement. He’ll regret this after he sees Clash.

Speaking of Clash of the Titans, when you guys see that (or Alice in Wonderland), it will be quite apparent why post-3-D conversion is garbage. Aja defends his post-conversion process citing budget issues and the fact that all of the fish are CG.

I was sold. And in addition to that, because all of our piranha are CG, they are all real 3-D in the computer. Our movie is going to be completely converted, but a big chunk of it will be real 3-D as well.

For those of you who can’t wait until August, Aja explains just how blody the film is while also teasing one of his fav 3-D sequences.

I think everything involving the fish is going to be fantastic. The biggest thing for the fans is going to be the big spring-break wet T-shirt contest, where we have thousands of spring-break groups on the water, and the party has its climax when the piranhas come and start attacking everyone. It’s almost 25 minutes of a huge massacre, and it’s really insane. I think we broke all the records in the manner of blood used. I don’t remember the exact number, but we passed “Kill Bill.” You’ve never seen something like that before.

He continues, “Then there’s a more specific 3-D area, where at one point there’s a boat that’s sinking and they are rescued by another boat, and they cannot exit because there are a lot of rocks, and they are pulling a rope in between the two boats — like a ski rope — and they have to cross over, and the piranha are jumping, trying to get them. It’s a very, very big 3-D moment.

Piranha 3D arrives in theaters August 27.



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