TV-BAY December 2012
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stereo consultants in The World to advise first time 3D film makers. This leaves the financial considerations. As with most issues in film making though much of the expense and pain can be minimised through a bit of extra thought and planning in pre-production, and 3D is no exception. All of the common sense rules of 2D apply to 3D, the most obvious being to remove everyone from the planning process who regularly uses the phrase, ‘We’ll fix it in post.’ Certainly if you have the money there’s next to nothing that you can’t fix in post, particularly with the right tools; but if you want to come in under budget I would recommend thinking about your entire pipeline from the start and getting one or two 3D specialists in from day one. Those who have a ‘We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it,’ mentality are not the ones that you want hire, particularly since a great deal of the additional considerations for 3D aren’t rocket science - many are as simple as adding a depth script to the storyboard so that you know how ‘big’ you want your 3D to be from shot to shot. So how can we make 3D affordable? The initial cost that makes first time stereo producers go white at the thought of a 3D job is the extra cost for cameras and rigs. Granted, having to budget for at least twice the number of cameras (and the storage to go with) will always tickle in a budget meeting but, to be fair, it’s often a relatively small percentage of the budget in the grand scheme of a film over-all. No, the real cost here is in time. A single rig can take as long as half an hour to correctly calibrate and most rigs will require recalibration as often as the lenses are changed. Not good when the rest of the crew are charging by the hour to watch the camera department set up. A good crew can reduce this from 30 minutes down to 10 (Martin Scorsese’s Hugo and Ridley Scott’s Prometheus have done wonders for the professionalism of 3D camera teams in the UK) but that’s still time that piles up as the day goes on. This is where a savvy stereographer can save the day. Rig technicians are pedantic creatures, at least the good ones are. They want that rig perfect from shot to shot. The trick is knowing what is best to be done on set and what is faster (and cheaper) to do in post. If I’m on set and we’re fussing with a scaling error while the sun is setting then please do carry on shooting, it should take less than half a minute to fix in post. Most other simple geometry errors like rotation are also the same. The trick is to know when to take the extra TV-BAY MAGAZINE | 51 TV-BAY072DEC12.indd 51 07/12/2012 15:14