3D Blog Post (1): Will 2013 be the Year of 3D?

3D event panel


On December 8th 2012 we held a 3D event in partnership with the BFI Future Film and BoldFace Productions called Visionaries:Youth in 3D. We were lucky to secure world class 3D experts for a panel discussion that followed the screening of TT3D. As a result of this event Alison Wright, director of VividEcho has been invited to be a panellist at the first 3D Creative Summit at the British Film Institute on the 27th and 28th March 2013 (www.3dcreativesummit.com). We have transcribed the panel discussion in our next three, 3D Blog Posts. The panellists were (in alphabetical order):

Adam May: Head of Production for Vision3 who have worked on Jack The Giant Slayer, BBC’s Mr Stink, Horrid Henry, Pirates of the Caribbean and Flying Monsters with David Attenborough. Adam is also current Co-Chair of the UK Committee of the International 3D Society.

Jacquie Pepall: freelance Writer, Director, Producer and founder of Great Lake Films. She has created content in 2D and 3D across a wide range of genres. In 2009, Jacquie managed the launch of Sky’s dedicated 3D channel, acting as a Producer, Director, and/or Production Consultant on over 15 hours of 3D programming. Credits include 3D Producer for David Attenborough’s natural history series, Kingdom of Plants 3D.

Adam Sculthorp: Creative Director and Senior Stereographer for Dimension Media which he launched in 2010. In 2009 Adam became closely involved with the development and subsequent launch of the Sky 3D channel in the UK. His recent credits include Ridley Scott’s latest feature film, Prometheus and stereoscopic consultant on Atlantic Production’s Kew 3D.

Host: Iyare Igiehon

HOST: In terms of the stuff that we have seen over the last few years with 3D coming through and making this big commercial come-back, it has gone from that cheesy thing in the early 80’s to now being considered a serious cinematic tool. Of the work that you have seen in the last few years what is the stand-out stuff to you guys where you have thought they have nailed it?

ADAM MAY: I think it is about to come. I think Life of Pi and Hobbit are going to be two really big shows and the Great Gatsby. I guess it is just the time delay. Whilst Avatar took seven years to make that inspired another generation. I think there was a huge rush after Avatar to try to capture something that had been in pre-production for seven years and it has taken that time now for people to take their foot off the gas a little bit and think “how do we do it right?” So, over the next twelve months there is some really exciting stuff coming through. It was a bit premature to pronounce its death. There have been some quite obvious cynical releases that were really rushed to market. When a film makes as much as Avatar you can’t blame the studios for trying to push stuff but I think that was really detrimental to the art form as a whole. Now what’s happening is I think some really good directors are getting their hands on it. I guess it began with Hugo but I think Life of Pi is going to be really cracking, The Hobbit is really cracking and there is some really good stuff coming through.

HOST: I don’t know how far to geek out on this but from a technical point of view what is the difference in terms of working with 2D and 3D?

ADAM SCULTHORP: Looking at 3D and the way it is being used the thing that really comes across is that you can engage the viewer. You can really use this added dimension of depth that we see and experience in life and use that to help from a directorial point of view to actually engage the viewer and pull the viewer and give them that emotional link to what is going on. You can play tricks with 3D that can be very subtle which the viewer will subconsciously pick up on. Using that as a way to really engage the audience and bring across this sense of attachment.

HOST: With a standard movie you get your one shot with your one camera in order to achieve that in 3D you need two cameras right?


HOST: So does it make everything twice as expensive?

ADAM SCULTHORP: It makes things very much more difficult on a technical level. You go back to just four years ago when I started getting my teeth into it and technology was very limiting and it was very difficult to do very well because you were trying to get across so many technical hurdles before you could even get to the point of using the 3D. Now you look at all of the camera manufacturers, you look at the specialist technical providers that supply equipment for 3D shows – all that technology has had an opportunity to evolve and now we are in a place where, and we will see later on this afternoon, where it is becoming a tool that people can use outside of these massive budgets.

HOST: So how do you do 3D on a budget?

ADAM MAY: It is probably true at this stage that it is not as widely accessible as 2D cameras, a single camera, at this stage. There are probably about 6 main suppliers in the country that have really gone through the process and could be considered an authority on 3D.  Where you save the money is less in the daily hire but more in how you plan it and what you get for the day.

JAQUIE PEPALL: I think that is a really good point. The best thing to do if you are new to shooting 3D or you are trying to save money shooting 3D, planning is probably the most important thing because sometimes you are dealing with two cameras sometimes you are dealing with a 3D camera that is all-in-one and it is really essential to plan your shots and be really efficient because you don’t have the flexibility that you do in 2D.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Can you take two cameras together?

ADAM SCULTHORP: There are some very, very basic, still in the thousands range, but a rig you can buy for £2-3,000 that you can then put your cameras on. These things do exist. They are not going to be hundreds at the moment, maybe they will be one day who knows? Top end rigs are $100,000 to buy. There is a whole range out there but it is not in Comet just yet.

Coming Soon

3D Blog Post (2) ‘Why use 3D?’


There are 75% student discounts for this event here: http://bit.ly/WLw38F



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  • Posted by rachael

    Hi, thank you for your comment. We do indeed need experts. If you are based in the UK why not come along to the first 3D Creative Summit, on the 27th and 28th March at the British Film Institute in London

  • Posted by Vincent Armstead

    Its great news that panel of experts sharing their views regarding 3D effects. As it is the latest technology but to bring this technology to a higher level some expertise is required.

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