My 3D Picture Experience had been limited to books, research, 3D Film Festival, and peripherally to a 3D film project in the 80s. This is why I was so enthused and eagerly awaited attending Sony’s 3D Master Class.
Over the past two days, a group of thirteen of us received professional training in the tools and techniques for making 3D content at Sony Pictures in Culver City, CA. Not only does the ICG Sony 3D Master Class feature in-classroom training, we got “hands on” to expand our language of stereo pictures on Stage 7 at Sony Studios. We did practical work with a 3ality Camera Rig including: stage exercises, camera tests with different Interaxial distances, varying convergent points, lighting and our aptly named “contravergent” effect experiments (we think we actually coined this new 3D term today). We realized that some of the 3D “rules” of yesteryear can be bent, broken, and even ignored, if we understood certain visual perceptive concepts and brain cognitive aspects while utilizing a strong storytelling modus operandi.
As a bonus, for me, it was fun to see the Element Technica Sony PMW-F3 3D Rig on Stage 7, which i am considering using on a 3D project since i shot earlier this year in 2D with three Sony F3 camera rigs for our Beckstrand Cancer Foundation PSA series Campaign with National Spokesperson & friend Eva La Rue (i directed/produced/wrote) called «The Butterfly AFFECT» (see below).
I hope to be able to attend the Sony 3D Master Class for Directors some day, too, as i am told it further extends the 3D cinematic language for storytelling.
Interestingly, I have a lot of 3D surround sound production experience. 25 years ago this year, i started working in the nascent 3D Audio business with the prototype 5point1 surround audio company Spherical Sound, owned by Grammy Award winning Fleetwood Mac Producer Ken Caillat. We were the first 3D digital audio recording company in the world. We wanted to start recording symphonies at first because we figured DDD CD recorded in 3D could be sold for more money, but the company ultimately connected and worked with rock/pop musicians and bands we knew: Mick Fleetwood, Pink Floyd, Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie; plus a special 3D mulitmedia Art / Sound experience exhibit for a museum with a, then, unknown director Brett Leonard (who went on to direct T-REX in Imax 3D) and his producer Gimel Everett. Then we recorded original 3D sounds for television – episode of original Miami Vice, and re-recorded music in 3D for some big feature films – John Frankenheimer’s 52 PICKUP, as well as an “amusement” project – Michael Jackson’s 3D Captain EO film that played at Disneyland. We dabbled in recording 3D audio for kid’s games, too.
I really love SONY cameras and perhaps it’s because i have been given three accommodations over the last decade.
1st, I was an early recipient of a grant for a full camera package in 2002 from Panavision to use their newfangled Sony CineAlta 24p HD900 camera & lenses for my directorial debut project THE MARRIAGE UNDONE. This later became an official and established program called the “Panavision New Filmmakers Grant.”
2nd, we (Helicon Arts Cooperative) submitted a project and we were chosen to be the recipient of another CineAlta camera package from Panavision in 2006 under the actual PNFG program for the metaphysical neo-noir film i co-executive produced YESTERDAY WAS A LIE, which we shot in color on the Sony CineAlta 24p HD900 and then desaturated to glorious Black & White. It was released domestically last year by E1/Koch.
3rd, the 2011 National & Regional PSA Campaign series, to Help Kids & Families with Cancer, was given three Sony F3s (with Schneider-Kreuznach Cine-Xenar II, Cooke PL Mount Primes lenses on the F3s connected to 3 AJA KiPros) and three awesom Sony BVM-L231 23 inch Critical Evaluation Trimaster LCD Professional Master Monitors in our video village) use for the shoot.
Tremendous thanks to Chris Fisher, Sony Electronics, and Sony 3D Technology Lab! ~ sb
Element Technica Sony F3 Rig (iPhone photo)
SONY PICTURES 2010-0629 PRESS RELEASE
Publicity Release Posted: June 29, 2011 16:43:29 EST
DGA and Editors Guild Join the International Cinematographers Guild and Sony in Effort to Spread the Creation of High-Quality 3D
Culver City, CA, June 29, 2011 | SHOOT Publicity Wire | — Sony 3D Technology Center today announced that it is expanding its 3D Master Class, which offers professional training in the tools and techniques for making 3D content, in collaboration with the Directors Guild of America and the Motion Pictures Editors Guild. The two guilds join the International Cinematographers Guild in offering member training opportunities at the Sony Pictures Studios facility, which is run by Sony Corporation of America.
The new courses run in two tracks: one designed for directors of feature films and editors of feature films and television shows and one with a continuing focus on cinematographers, camera operators, stereographers and convergence assistants. Courses are taught by noted 3D professionals Grant Anderson and Matthew Blute (stereographic supervisors) and Buzz Hays (3D producer) and feature in-classroom and “hands on” training elements for both tracks. Working guild members who match program parameters are invited to take the course.
“We appreciate Sony’s efforts to provide special training for DGA members who are working in 3D,” said Jay D. Roth, National Executive Director of the Directors Guild of America. “The course being offered by the Sony 3D Technology Center has been specifically tailored to the needs of directors – providing a firm background in all the technical details of working in 3D while still orienting the course to meet the creative needs of directors.”
“Sony’s 3D class has been a gift for us as we learn the language of stereo pictures. We’re looking forward to working side-by-side with our fellow guild members in the new session,” said Steven Poster, ASC, National President, International Cinematographers Guild, Local 600. “The cameras are evolving, the rigs are evolving, and what I’m seeing now is a move away from the idea of relying on 3D, for 3D’s sake, and on the use of 3D to tell a story, which is very exciting.”
“We are extremely pleased to offer this opportunity to train our members who will be working in 3D as this exciting format takes hold in our industry,” said Daniel T. Cahn, A.C.E., President of the Motion Picture Editors Guild. “Editors play an integral role in fulfilling the vision of any production, and it is imperative that they remain at the forefront of state-of-the-art post-production technology, including stereographic filmmaking.”
“It is our privilege to work with this industry’s respected guilds to offer this comprehensive professional 3D training program,” said Chris Cookson, President of Technologies, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Chief Officer, Sony 3D Technology Center. “Despite the skeptics, we have seen incredible stories told in 3D and firmly believe there are endless more yet to come. We are honored to see the artists and craftsmen in our classes embrace this new medium with passion, dignity and creative force more and more each day.”
Sony Pictures has been at the forefront of the modern 3D revolution and continues to lead in 3D content development and delivery across its business. Sony Pictures’ visual effects and digital productions group, Imageworks, has worked in modern 3D longer than anyone else in Hollywood. Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Animation and Screen Gems have all produced films in 3D release by Sony Pictures Releasing International. Sony Pictures Home Entertainment released the first Blu-ray 3D™ available at retail.
About Sony Corporation of America
Sony Corporation of America, based in New York, NY, is the U.S. subsidiary of Sony Corporation, headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. Sony is a leading manufacturer of audio, video, communications, and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets. Its motion picture, television, computer entertainment, music and online businesses make Sony one of the most comprehensive entertainment and technology companies in the world. Sony’s principal U.S. businesses include Sony Electronics Inc., Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC, Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc., and Sony Music Entertainment. Sony recorded consolidated annual sales of approximately $87 million for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2011, and it employs 168,200 people worldwide.
Sony Pictures Entertainment