As shooting wraps up, 3ality Technica CEO Steve Schklair talks about Russia’s first big budget 3D film, Stalingrad 3D and why the take up of 3D TV has been slow in America
Due for an October 2013 release, Stalingrad is the first Russian made entirely in 3D and will cost a reported $30,000,000. Steve Schklair, who's company 3ality Technica is supplying 3D rigs for the London Olympics 3D coverage, was the 3D Producer for the picture.
Shooting wrapped up recently in a small village outside St Petersburg and commenced in Autumn 2011, with the bulk of the filming being conducted between May and July 2012.
The film, loosely based on the World War II Battle of Stalingrad, is being produced by Ukrainian Alexander Rodnyansky and directed by Russian Fyodor Bondarchuk.
Steve Schklair tells 3D Focus “I personally got involved with this project because it was one of the most brilliant scripts I have ever read. I fell in love with the script. The film was shot in two parts. The big battle sequences were done last Autumn in St Petersberg. Interestingly, the film is set at night but St Petersberg is virtually daylight 22 hours a day. At first, I thought that was a very strange decision. I then realised why it made perfect sense because those scenes were so big that if you were to do them at night, the amount of lighting and rigging you would have to bring in would break the budget, which was not huge. By relying on the sun, you can do a beautiful job turning day into night using CGI techniques. I’ve seen the footage in the tests now and they are absolutely beautiful. It looks like night but it has got a different feeling and look to something shot at night which matches the look of the film amazingly well.”
3ality Technica 3D equipment has been used on the sets of many major 3D movies including the upcoming The Hobbit and a dual 2D/3D workflow is something the company is keen to push.
“We have a different philosophy to CPG” said Schklair, referring to James Cameron’s 3D rig company. “CPG wants to come in and make your film for you. We offer support to whatever level is needed. For instance, Spiderman was always set to be a 2D movie until three or four weeks before production started. At that point, there was not enough time to fully train a crew, so we put the 3D crew onto the show. They did the entire movie. A slightly different model to that is The Hobbit. For The hobbit, we went there for the first two months of shooting with our crews until their crews were fully trained and then our guys pulled out. It can be expensive for an overseas film to utilise an American crew so Jack the Giant Killer, which was shot in the UK, was entirely produced by a local crew we had trained in the past".
Having worked with Sony Television to produce a 3D gameshow, an episodic comedy and 3D version of popular US soap, Days Of Our Lives, Schklair revealed that the experiment has led to Sony Picture setting up 3D filming of other Sony TV shows after the experiment proved that it is possible to shoot 3D on a 2D production without impacting the production schedule and crew.
Finally, Schklair spoke of his frustration about the short-termist approach taken by 3D entertainment channels and platforms, resulting in a stagnation of the 3D TV market in America.
“I think China is the growth market” he said “We are so deeply involved with china. I believe the 3D market in the UK is growing at a nice steady pace thanks to BSkyB taking the first jump. I believe the 3D television market in the US is going nowhere because everyone that launches channels don’t have any plans for content, so there are all these channels with nothing to see on them. There have been some mistakes made in the market over here”.
STUNNING PICTURES FROM THE SET OF STALINGRAD 3D
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