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Wednesday, 25 July 2012 06:00

3D Brings Scorsese Back to the Origins of Moviemaking

Written by  Margie Barron
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“Happy endings only happen in the movies,” says the melancholy shopkeeper Georges (Ben Kingsley) in Martin Scorsese’s blockbuster film Hugo. This visually stunning 3D adventure honors Georges Méliès, the pioneer filmmaker behind the 1902 fantasy film A Trip to the Moon. Nominated for a total of 11 Academy Awards, Hugo won big by taking home Oscar gold in five categories: Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing and Best Visual Effects.

All of the winners who took the stage to pick up their Oscars for Hugo praised Scorsese as a passionate leader who took them on a wonderful journey. “We wouldn’t be here without the genius of Martin Scorsese,” said the film’s visual effects team at the ceremony. Scorsese was also honored at the AARP’s Movies for Grownups Awards for his “Breakthrough Achievement” of making a movie in 3D, a feat that gives the groundbreaking director enormous pride. “Any film that’s worth doing is nerve-racking, scary and exciting because the picture, at least in the beginning stages, is going to take you into very unknown territories because it has to,” says Scorsese. “You have to discover it, to surprise yourself. And there were lots of surprises for us in this picture. And along with surprising yourself, you hope you surprise the audience. It gives them something to discover too.”pre_scorsse_175_tiohc_07905

Scorsese relates his experience of doing Hugo, his first film in 3D, to the beginning of moviemaking. “Doing a picture like this is like new technology, yet moving back to the origins of moviemaking itself, and we’re back to where the filmmaking pioneer Georges Méliès started,” he explains. “We are paying tribute to the great filmmakers of the past and the stars of the past. This picture is my first film in 3D and high-def. It should be seen in 3D. This is a 3D film as you can see, and not a gimmick. People who have seen the film two or three times have told me that. To me, it’s a giant new technology…. The truth is, in making this film you begin to learn so much more every day about what is possible in creating cinema.”

While Scorsese is well known for his prolific career as a master filmmaker, he also enjoys keeping busy with television projects. He’s currently the executive producer of the acclaimed HBO series “Boardwalk Empire,” the Golden Globe- and Emmy-winning show that focuses on gangsters and bootlegging in Atlantic City. Scorsese directed the pilot and hopes to do more episodes for upcoming seasons. “I shot [the pilot] quickly, and it was an energizing experience,” he recalls. “I visualized the show just like it’s a feature film.” Scorsese’s other television projects include documentaries, such as History Channel’s “Lady by the Seas: The Statue of Liberty,” “The Blues” for PBS, and several episodes of the PBS series “American Masters,” including “No Direction Home: Bob Dylan.” The director’s next feature to hit theaters will be The Wolf of Wall Street, a crime drama starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Scorsese also has many film projects in development, including Silence, a drama (starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Benicio Del Toro) about Jesuit priests in 17th-century Japan, and a biopic about the legendary singer Frank Sinatra.

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