Last week’s inaugural 3D Creative Summit saw 3D professionals from around the globe descend on London’s BFI for two days of exclusive seminars and screenings. A wide variety of topics were covered including a presentation from Ang Lee on his 3D success-story Life of Pi, DreamWorks Animation’s Phil ‘Captain 3D’ McNally talking about their latest hit The Croods and Sky3D’s John Cassy discussing the future of his 3D channel.
But the highlight of the Summit was a presentation from Wildscreen Festival patron Sir David Attenborough. Speaking to a packed auditorium Attenborough used his experiences with filming Natural History in the 3D format to talk about the advancements in the technology.
Attenborough’s first foray into 3D was with Bafta wining Flying Monsters where his approach was to figure out “What can we shoot that won’t run away” to deal with the, at the time, cumbersome 3D camera and rig systems.
The inability to use long telephoto lenses in 3D filmmaking led Attenborough to his next subject matter; “We had to think of something that was going to be real animals but you could get close to them. Penguins don’t give a damn, they just stand there” and Penguin King 3D was born.
Anthony Geffen from Atlantic Productions explained how Attenborough really helped them push forward the 3D technology “David had thrown us a curve ball asking us to film underwater (in 3D) … we had to relearn the grammar for underwater filming”.
Kew Gardens brought its own complications and the production used over nine different systems to capture the beauty and depth of the variety of plants existing within Kew. Attenborough enthused over the learning process that he and the production teams involved in all these projects had gone through; “Close ups are the really exciting things in 3D, and we’d learnt how to do time-lapse in 3D … we learnt especially about macro 3D photography”.
Attenborough and Geffen, explained everything they had learnt from previous productions all came together for Galapagos; CGI, macro, time-lapse and underwater. It also helped the two units who filmed over a five month period that the animals were incredibly tame “You can have a crew of ten people and they’ll just continue their mating ritual”.
An obvious convert to 3D wildlife photography Attenborough commented that “The essence of 3D is that it is of mind blowing quality” but also noted “It’s the story that matters and not the 3D … if you make a film that’s boring in 2D it’s going to be boring in 3D”.
Attendees to the session were treated to a sneak peak of Attenborough’s next 3D programme Micro Monsters, a three part series which uses pioneering macro technology to discover the delicacy and drama of the insect world.
3D&2D Factual Producer / AP