The Filming of Carmen 3D – a case study

By Julian Napier, 3D Director and Consultant

Prior to Carmen I had had to rely heavily on US crews, equipment and post production; working with amazing 3D specialists such as the likes of stereographer Sean Macleod Phillips, Tim Sassoon at Sassoon Film Design and Max Penner at Paradise FX. We still flew Sean over to supervise the stereography on Carmen and of course we were using 3ality rigs so we were not entirely UK self reliant, but a sea change was happening in terms of the skill base here. Avatar released while we were still in post production and 3D fast became the new buzz word. SKY had just launched it’s 3D channel and commissioned a second 3D OB truck from Telegenic, which we hired and used as our vision suit. Telegenic had a team of stereo technicians and pullers who were 3ality trained and by this time had had about 6 months practice at shooting premiership football and rugby in 3D. We were also using a small boutique post house called Mytherapy, founded and run by colourist Dado Valentic, whom myself and Phil were able to guide and get up to speed on 3D geometry correction and depth grading.

I had a great camera crew, hugely talented and experienced but possibly split fifty fifty, in terms of being open minded about the 3D grammar I was trying to impress upon them. Luckily my producer, Phil Streather, backed me up, as he always does and budgeted for creating a DCP of some rehearsal footage, which we ran on a big screen and with which I was able to show the crew meaningful examples of why I was asking for certain filming practices. They were all able to get it after that! UK crews have since had a lot more experience working in 3D. On Madam Butterfly, half my crew had just returned from filming the 3D Cirque film in the US with James Cameron. It’s great not to have to give the 3D hard sell anymore and just concentrate on the creative instead.

We shot the bulk of the film with a four camera set up over two main performances and I directed from the Telegenic/SKY 3D truck outside. This was all live and uninterrupted and in front of a packed house at Royal Opera House. We used beam splitters throughout; 3ality T3s on the Technocranes and on the Steadicam and Furio dolly we used freestyle rigs. In the main we used Sony1500 cameras with the exception of Sony P1s on the Steadicam assembly and used Canon J22 zoom lenses. [more...]

Source: Julian Napier

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