Popular rollercoaster news and review website CoasterForce has been gradually increasing their video view count with immersive 3D point-of-view rollercoaster videos.
Boasting a staggering 60 million YouTube views, CoasterForce specialises in high quality POV, off-ride and feature videos about rollercoasters and theme parks around the globe.
In this exclusive interview, 3D Focus talks to CoasterForce Manager Ian Bell, just before his latest trip to Thorpe Park.
3D Focus: When did you film your first POV in 3D and what video was it?
Ian Bell: The first rollercoaster 3D POV I filmed was on The Ultimate at Lightwater Valley in September 2011. The ride is renowned for being rather brutal – I could not watch the attached camera as it hurtled around the track. I thought I was going to lose it!
3D Focus: Do you notice any increase or decrease in views for your 3D videos?
Ian Bell: CoasterForce has dedicated followers who enjoy the 3D POVs. A 2D version of the same 3D video will often achieve more views. This is down to the availability of technology and 3D glasses in the viewer’s home. 3D videos are another way we can encourage viewers to explore the world’s rollercoasters and theme parks.
3D Focus: Do you ever intend to release a CoasterForce 3D Blu-ray?
Ian Bell: Once we have accumulated enough suitable, class footage then a CoasterForce Blu-ray is a possibility. However, at the moment, we believe that short two-three minute videos of rollercoasters are easier to watch online, especially as 1080 HD is supported.
3D Focus: What 3D camera do you use?
Ian Bell: We use a GoPro 3D camera system although we are considering using other models that are lighter and easier to use.
3D Focus: Have you ever been impressed with a rollercoaster simulator? (or do you think nothing will come close to the real thing)
Ian Bell: A simulator can be a great way to experience a rollercoaster, but nothing beats the adrenaline filled lift hill climb, the first drop, the speed and g-force through the turns and inversions. Real is the deal!
3D Focus: Do you intend to release 3D rollercoaster clips on 3D smart TV apps such as LG's Explore 3D?
Ian Bell: CoasterForce videos are best suited to online viewing – and I’ve just purchased a 3D Smart television! We are are investigating new ways of achieving views and promoting theme parks.
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3D Focus: How do you lock the camera to the train?
Ian Bell: The beauty of the GoPro system is all of attachments and mounts. Where possible and if it doesn’t interrupt park operations, attaching the camera to the coaster train is preferable. However, some people think that handheld videos better demonstrates the coaster’s motion compared to a mounted video.
3D Focus: What was your reaction to the recent Paramount Park London announcement?
Ian Bell: It would be fantastic if a large new park opened in southern England; it would certainly give the existing London parks a shake up! Call me cynical, but I take these announcements with a pinch of salt. Not only does the UK have a lengthy and laborious planning process, Paramount also promised parks in Dubai, Japan and Korea; none of which ever materialised. When groundwork on Paramount Park London begins, then I’ll get excited!
3D Focus: 4D cinema appears to have made a big return – do you expect future coasters to combine other physical elements in the future? (such as head mounted displays or glasses that augment different realities).
Ian Bell: Theme is becoming increasingly important to new rollercoasters. This could be anything from having a themed station and trains with a backstory, to on-board audio in the headrests, to special lighting effects, parks are trying their best to extend the ride experience beyond the actual ride. It’s inevitable that new reality-changing technology will be used on a rollercoaster one day soon!
3D Focus: Do you like the trend towards 'beyond vertical' drops and what would your dream elements be for the new rollercoaster due to open at Alton Towers next year?
Ian Bell: Coaster trends come and go in phases. We had inverted coasters (where the coaster hangs beneath the track) in the 90’s, then came the flying ‘Superman’ coasters, the launch coasters were popular in the 00’s and nowadays the “wing” coaster is must-have attraction. I’ve always viewed beyond vertical drops as a bit of a gimmick, the sensation is too brief to really enjoy. They’re great fun, but give me a loop or a corkscrew element over a beyond drop any day. The best aspect about a beyond vertical drop is the coaster requires a small footprint area so they can cram a coaster in virtually any space! Alton Towers hasn’t built a world-changing amazing rollercoaster since Oblivion. I’m trying my best to avoid the speculation so SW7 really surprises me when I ride it in March 2013. As long as it doesn’t spin and is something unique or ground-breaking, I’ll be a happy man!
The following is the latest 3D POV rolercoaster video produced by CoasterForce. In the 3D settings, you may need to 'swap left and right'.
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