This week we present Rachael Wilson, from New Zealand, who together with Emmy award-winning Cinematograper Michael Single just added a beautifully shot documentary, Yakel3D, to our catalogue.
> What is your background and how did you come into the 3D
I’ve spent more than 15 years as freelance
camerawoman/director producing documentaries for National
Geographic, Discovery Channel and TLC among many others. My
subject interest tends towards people and places on the edge
of existence. Documenting the devastation Chinese families
suffered in the aftermath of Sichuan’s 2008 violent
earthquake to filming with the crew of the US naval
icebreaker Bright Star carving the frozen waters of McMurdo
Sound in Antarctica, I have filmed on all the world’s
continents and in doing so, have had the opportunity to
experience the most diverse range of people and landscapes
on our incredible planet. I’m always discovering how best
to engage an audience in the story I’m telling. I loved the
opportunities 3D presented in terms immersive storytelling,
taking an audience into a new world without them actually
// What 3D projects are you working on? Tell us more about
I Produced and Directed YAKEL 3D – a 74 minute feature
length stereoscopic documentary shot over a three year
period in a tribal village on a small island in Vanuatu.
The film follows the tribe’s charismatic 108-year-old chief
in the last three years of his life as he worries for the
future of his people when he’s no longer there to guide
them. Shooting YAKEL in 3D, we hoped our
‘hungry-for-a-tourist-experience’ audience would feel like
there and disrupting their daily lives, a problem revealed
in the film.
To add to the challenges faced by our early adoption of 3D,
Vanuatu is a third world country. The tribe have no money,
no clothes – and NO electricity. We had to treat this shoot
like an expedition and take all we needed to be up and
running for 2-3 weeks shooting each time. And then remember
that a lot of gear we needed doubled because we were
shooting stereo 3D. Shooting high tech cinematic 3D in a
primitive tribe environment is a great contradiction!
> in the market, what did you do to ensure highest quality
We shot YAKEL 3D using a pair of Panasonic HVX202’s.
Filming started in 2007 – before this latest craze on 3D had
begun. The Old Chief’s story couldn’t wait, he was already
105 when we started – but we knew we wanted to replicate his
magical world and chose 3D to do so. We had to be
incredibly careful how we did this as there was no “off the
shelf ” 3D camera system on offer back then. We spent a lot
of time researching what had caused early attempts at 3D
production to fail. When we started out, our
cinematographer Mike Single knew a lot more about what not
to do when shooting 3D than how to shoot really good 3D
pictures. Over time he embraced this tricky craft the old
fashioned way, by trial and error, with great sympathy to
the composition of a successful 3D frame while giving as
much thought to the limitations of the medium. Of course,
there are many preferable (much easier to operate!!) systems
on offer today but there is no replacement for an
exceptionally dedicated, Emmy award-winning cameraman.
Any other upcoming projects?
I’m currently shooting a 3D promo to pitch a lifestyle show
set in the beautiful, mountain region of Queenstown, New
Zealand. Should be a little easier to shoot than third
world tribal life!
The film was ideally shot to be shown on the big screen. It
lends itself to a cinematic experience, stunningly composed
3D pictures, compelling storyline and beautifully scored
music. That’s not to say 3D home viewers won’t enjoy being
thrown into a world that is as removed from their own as it
So we are looking for theatrical release and TV/VOD deals.
We want to retain the 3D-blu-ray rights.
> Who is your distributor?
We work with Global Media Consult