Top Gun has always been, for me, one of those films that simply screams out for big screen presentation. The epic aerial photography, the over-the-top action, the pounding soundtrack — unless you have a truly monumental home theater with a >100-inch 4K screen and gigawatts of power behind your sound system, you just can’t do justice to all of those elements at home. That’s one reason I could not wait for Top Gun‘s recent IMAX revival; the other reason, of course, was the film’s 3D conversion.
But a curious thing happened to Top Gun on its journey into the third dimension. Parked in the money seat of my local IMAX theater, I found the 3D effect rather reserved. By comparison, the Blu-ray positively pops! At home, the film is everything I expected its 3D presentation to be on the big screen.
To find out why Top Gun 3D feels more dimensional on a smaller scale, I chatted with Barry Sandrew, founder, CCO and CTO of Legend3D, which did the conversion on Top Gun and other recent standouts like Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Sandrew was kind enough to give me some insight into the differences between 3D on large and small screens, as well as the challenges involved in converting an older 2D film into 3D.