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3D filmmaking Photo by Brian Cassar - Demetri Portelli debut’s Arriflex’s Alexa M to shoot 3D with director Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Ang Lee has just given us ‘Life of Pi’ with a splendid rich 3D environment on the vast open ocean that is captivating and ferocious. It is an engrossing experience. We await Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit,’ Baz Lurhman’s “The Great Gatsby” and Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s “The Young and Prodigious Spivet.” I fondly look forward to introducing a new generation to a classic Samurai tale incorporating fantastical 3D splendor in the upcoming “47 Ronin.” cameras. I trust my two eyes to do this for me every day and I also trust that in recording the information with dual lenses in stereo we are respecting the audience with something physiologically accurate for brain recognition. We are just learning the language of 3D filmmaking at the same time as the industry has taken huge steps to incorporate the new digital language into all aspects of film production. 3D and digital have simultaneously enabled each other and created a new landscape for the next generation of filmmakers. Like Martin Scorsese said at the 2012 International 3D Awards in Los Angeles; “over a hundred years ago The Lumiere Bros. knew that they wanted sound for their pictures, they knew they wanted color, and they knew they wanted depth, and now I (Martin Scorsese) have all three.” Recently there has been much debate about ‘how much 3D’ is good 3D. It is a question like asking how much color or how much music, but if it is a color film should it always be a color film, if it is a sound film should it be a sound film… and like the film Tron, which went from a 2D World into a 3D World, you can use your 3D depth for creative interpretation. I really enjoy a ‘balanced’ 3D approach where depth makes a contribution to the film, like a good soundtrack does not distract or disappoint but adds something special. Primarily I celebrate filmmakers who have courage, the courage to embrace change, to embrace technology, to take risks. The courage to take the 3D rig on location, onto the film set and employ a new aesthetic. Hitchcock did this in 1954 shooting native 3D. Today The World’s great directors are picking up where he left off, finding motivated 3D moments that do not exploit the gimmick and that find a new language. When Martin Scorsese wanted more 3D depth on Hugo, I would hear him calling me from across the film set saying, ‘Demetri, more paté Demetri, give me more paté.” Ridley Scott has done it with ‘Promethius’ in another example of beautiful understated elegance. Wim Wenders showed that us with PINA 3D that it was only with the 3D capture that we could appreaciate the physicality of the dance performances of the famous Pina Bausch (check spelling), this tribute film is an achievement for the use of 3D outside fictional the storytelling as I expect David Attenborough’s documentary in the Gallapagos islands will be to educate us on creatures and life forms, such as giant turtles that we ourselves may never see up close in our own lifetimes. Why would you not want to witness these creatures in 3D? So many great filmmakers have had the courage to pick up a 3D rig and capture 3D live on set. This has put the 3D tools directly into the hands of the director and cinematographer as they define and create their film. I know there will be others and I am excited about the next generation as they are growing up becoming immersed in 3D space as it is explored. Recently many large companies have been advertising that converting a 2D film is cheaper. This is where I beg to differ. That is a rather bold statement. I recently spoke with a 3D friend involved with The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake. Not a big budget film, but a film that added 3D crew to their camera department and some 3D rigs and these costs came in well under a million dollars. Indeed, my personal passion this summer with Jean-Pierre Jeunet was to prove that exceptional quality 3D images could be created on a film under 35 million. I believe planning is essential and that success and efficiency can be found in professionals with quality technologies. I was very happy to hear Ridley Scott announce that shooting Promethius in 3D only added 8% to the budget of his film. Surely that was well worth it and I found it added an engrossing quality to the experience I would not have felt otherwise. “Risks not taken are missed opportunities.” Demetri Portelli is a freelance stereographer, stereo supervisor and 3D enthusiast. He can be contacted through Mike Ruby at United Talent in Los Angeles. 62 | TV-BAY MAGAZINE TV-BAY072DEC12.indd 62 07/12/2012 15:14