In 2011 we saw the dawn of the arts embracing 3D; ballet with Giselle, opera with Carmen and modern dance with Pina. The allure is obvious – 3D opens up a new and compelling viewing experience; drawing audiences deep into the dancers’ movements, giving a powerful sense of the space, breath and dimensionality.
Now ‘URBANATIX – Welcome to the Machine 3D’, takes this trend further – capturing live a unique and multi-dimensional dance show that combines modern dance elements with acrobatics and street dance.Director, Frank Döhmann, shares his experience of filming live in 3D and his future projects.
How did you get the idea for URBANATIX – Welcome to the Machine? And was this your first 3D production?
We’ve been producing feature films for many years, but since 2009 we’ve been really keen on developing 3D content. When we met the ‘Urbanatix’ crew, we knew immediately that this is the 3D content that we’d been waiting for and started the feature film project with them. We were happy to have had the opportunity to film their live show this summer – URBANATIX – Welcome to the Machine.
What equipment did you use?
We used RED Scarlett Cameras in a P+S Freestyle rig on a Super Techno 50 Crane. Cameras and lenses were adjusted by remote control, including the stereo base.
For 3D-alignment and recording we used a STAN (stereoscopic analyser by the Fraunhofer Institute) in a DVS Venice system.
What were the most challenging parts about producing in 3d versus 2d?
First of all it is always a challenge to record a live-show with a huge audience (in this case 10.000 people) with no room for mistakes or second takes. Further, we were not able to install additional lights, which were much needed especially since we were filming in 3D. So we had to contend with the light they were using for the show, with a lot of light sources pointed directly towards the camera which made shooting several positions a great challenge. Lense flares are ok in 2D but can cause a lot of ghosting effects when shooting in 3D.
Is it difficult to finance 3d productions? How did you manage to get the funding?
We were able to win over all our financial partners with this project by showing them just one part of the show. Thus we were able to get the most experienced 3D technicians for 3D live show, and secured the technical support by the Hamburg based company Chroma.
What’s your plan to monetize and distribute the film?
“Urbanatix – Welcome to the Machine” has dancing, singing and artistic performance – and luckily no dialogue. So we do not have to translate or dub any parts of the show, and therefore we are quite sure the show could travel around the world. Plus, music and dance are universal. One of our distributors is 3D Content Hub.
What are your future 3d plans?
We are planning to record the new show of Urbantix in 3D (“URBANATIX – CLOSE UP”) with several camera systems simultaneously and extra shots like close-ups and special details in the near future.
In summer next year we will shoot a 3D fiction feature film provisionally entitled “URBANATIX – BASIX OF LIFE” about street dance and artists, using parts of the Urbanatix live show. We are also planning two big live 3D-transmissions of a live show and a live music event directly to the cinemas in 2014. Right now we are testing a 3D installation for a show with music and artists including augmented reality.
Which 3d films inspired you to do this project? And in your view what is the best 3d film to date?
Pina by Wim Wenders is a film which shows how much 3D can help to show the beauty of movement and dance. 3D helps a lot if a group of people is acting on stage due to the depth of field. The camera image shows much more details and gives you a much more detailed view and vivid impression of the scene.
We tested a lot of best camera angles during the live-3D-transmission of the music concert of “Die fantastischen Vier” in September 2010, which was transmitted live to 91 cinemas in five countries. Before shooting URBANATIX this year, we further prepared by analyzing this concert on BluRay again.
My choice for the best 3D film to date is CIRQUE DU SOLEIL in 3D by James Cameron.
Interview by Brinda Paul, 3D Content Hub. Pictures courtesy of Ingo Otto. For enquiries regarding licensing opportunities please contact www.3DContentHub.com