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The future of 3D thrifty producer and they’ve looked me in the eyes slyly just said, ‘Don’t worry, we’ll just convert the 2D to 3D in post,’ with the certainty that they are the first film makers with the cunning to hit upon such an idea. Just about every producer when looking at purchasing post production equipment will ask to see the ‘2D to 3D’ button with the absolute conviction in their heart that of course this system will have such a thing and that’s all that’s done in a 2D to 3D conversion. And in some ways they are correct. There are many boxes out there that claim to convert 2D to 3D; what is debatable though is how well they achieve this. Every major post production house in LA that bills for 2D to 3D conversion work is looking for a way to fully automate the conversion process, which is what the conversion boxes claim to do. The problems with automation though are obvious as soon as one delves into the topic, a topic I don’t have time for today. Suffice to say that 2D to 3D conversion done well is no mean thing – you get exactly what you pay for and there are very few short cuts that meet with favourable results. One further caution on conversion – a 2D to 3D conversion is not magic. Considerations still need to be made in pre-production for how the film will be shot. To make the most of 3D you must shoot with 3D in mind. Over the shoulder shots are not your friend, nor is shallow focus. Jump cuts aren’t usually a good idea either, and the lighting definitely needs to be considered with 3D in mind during the shoot. Long story short - you still need to shoot for the 3D that you plan on creating in post if you want to make the most of the medium, and make something that people will want to see. Always remember that roughly 20% of people are extremely sensitive to 3D. That’s 20% of your possible audience. Which is why Sky have such high quality control standards for the material that they broadcast, standards that I agree with. If someone’s first 3D experience is a bad one, if they get a headache for instance, they will remember that and likely avoid 3D for good. That’s future viewers that you’ve lost for good due to a lack of technical pride. Fortunately this is happening less and less as 3D literacy expands and film makers become more confident with the medium. With the right additions to your team and the right kit used making extremely good 3D is easily achievable. The financial pros certainly outweigh the financial cons if you have an eye for it and are savvy in your planning. Talent helps too of course. In the end 3D is a tool available for you to use. If you think that 3D will suit your project then I highly encourage you to use it. With the right subject matter the results created by this extra dimension to your film can be spectacular. A film maker should never avoid a tool out of fear, and there’s nothing to fear about 3D anymore. Sam Sheppard is an international film consultant specialising in script to screen workflows, post production supervision and stereo 3D with a minor in film-making in general. Sam was originally trained in New Zealand where he worked in post at Peter Jackson’s Park Road Post Production and on set for such films as The Lovely Bones and Avatar. As well as working internationally as a technical specialist for SGO’s Mistika, training and advising in digital workflows for 2D and 3D production, Sam is also a founding partner of Silverscreen Pictures. 54 | TV-BAY MAGAZINE TV-BAY072DEC12.indd 54 07/12/2012 15:14