By Peter Cooper, Notebook, Science & Technology, The Independent
Sir David Attenborough continues to expand his incredible repertoire with his latest project, ‘The Penguin King 3D’, a dramatic tale of the incredible life lead by a male King Penguin on the island of South Georgia. I spoke with him ahead of the DVD release to discuss the new dimensions the documentary adds to the world of wildlife film-making.
So what does 3D bring to the wildlife documentary?
The added reality, the added impact, the added vision. I mean, if you saw something that was rather fuzzy and out of focus and said ‘what does it need to bring it into sharper focus?’, you wouldn’t have any doubt as to what that was. Whereas if you see it in 3D, you see it in even more detail than that. Similarly, if you’ve seen something in black-and-white you see more when it’s in colour, so in the same way 3D is a far greater perception of the reality from colour alone.
You and the rest of the creative team for this film were previously involved in making Flying Monsters 3D, which was a CGI production focused on Pterosaurs. Why were penguins chosen for the move towards a live-action 3D documentary?
Because if you work in 3D, you know that due to the size of the camera, it takes four people to carry it, and it takes another eight people to deal with all the related problems. They’re very temperamental machines. It takes three quarters of an hour to change a lens alone. So with all those complications, you can’t use long focus lens, you can’t creep up on things, you need animals that are not going to be put off by your presence. It means that you can’t just go up and make a natural history film in the way that you would with normal cameras. So you have to pick a subject that you can get close to and won’t be alarmed. The number of animals with which you can do that is quite small and penguins are one of them. [more…]
Source: The Independent