Set Visit: 3D Short Film

I was recently invited to a set of a short French film shooting in Stereo 3D. Since we often hear about big 3D movies, I thought I'd offer my photos of a low-budget 3D production.

The film was La troisième voie (The Third Way) a cop story with a twist directed by Jean-Michel Tari, with cinematography by Paul-Anthony Mille and stereography by Cédric-Alexandre Saudinos.

The 3D short was shot with a P+S Technik Freestyle Rig & Silicon Imaging SI-2K cameras connected to a 1 Beyond Wrangler Mini3D box recording Cineform RAW Quicktime.

The location: a warehouse complex outside Paris.

2nd AC & assistant stereographer Eloi Rimmelspacher watches over the compact P+S Technik Freestyle rig outfitted with 2 SI-2K cameras.

The film was mostly shot with 14mm Zeiss Digiprimes. The SI-2K camera, the black box with the orange band, really is tiny.

The L-shaped Freestyle rig is connected to a matte box assembly containing a half-silvered mirror that provides the same image to the horizontal and vertical cameras.

The Height knob is one of several used to align the 2 cameras, so that their 2 images overlap precisely.

Director of photography Paul-Anthony Mille signals to his gaffer Raphael Besson (off-screen)

The rig on an Atlas head. Here the follow-focus knob is used to adjust the IA (inter-axial distance) during the shot. The IA is the horizontal offset between the images from the 2 cameras. It is analogous to the distance between our 2 eyes.

The signals from the two SI-2K cameras were fed into a 1 Beyond Wrangler Mini3D recorder/monitor box (upper right), with recording done in the Cineform RAW Quicktime format.

A view of the back of the Wrangler Mini3D: 2 cameras inputs on bottom left. A finger points at the yellow eSATA port used for periodic back-ups to an external disk.

The camera crew from left to right: stereographer Cédric-Alexandre Saudinos, DP Paul-Anthony Mille, 1st AC Jimmy Bourcier pulling focus, 2nd AC Eloi Rimmelspacher pulling IA (inter-axial distance).

Video village: producer Alexandre Singer, stereographer Cédric-Alexandre Saudinos, director Jean-Michel Tari, 1st AD Johann Chapelan

The director and crew were able to previsualize the 3D effect by monitoring an anaglyph output of the Wrangler that required red-blue glasses.

Stereographer Cédric-Alexandre Saudinos explained that they chose to shoot with converging cameras (as opposed to parallel). They also changed the inter-axial distance as required by movement of the actors or the camera.

He added that shooting converged introduces some keystoning in the image, which may require correction in post.

Shooting parallel has no such keystoning problem, but does require cropping the edges of the image to allow for convergence in post (shooting converged doesn't).

Director Jean-Michel Tari speaks softly... but carries a big stick

In between set-ups...

The HMI lighting package for the day exterior consisted of a K5600 Alpha 4K, a 12K (not shown) and a 2.5/4K with a Chimera. This was supplemented with some Kino Flo fill.

The valiant actor Stéphane Metzger is strapped into a custom Snorricam by Stéphane Jegou. The SnorriCam is a device that attaches the camera to the actor to obtain a distinctive viewpoint: the actor is stationary in the frame while everything else moves.

The SnorriCam POV as seen on the Wrangler monitor during set-up.

Stéphane Jegou helps Stéphane Metzger travel to the set with his SnorriCam on.

A rusted car frame adds a gritty touch to the set

1st AC Jimmy Bourcier measures focus on actress Fanny Capretta

The before last set-up



About the film:

La 3eme Voie

Kafard Films

About the stereography:

Parallel Cinema

Convergence 3D

About the Grip & SnorriCam:

Visuel Mouvement

About SnorriCam

About the Gear:

P+S Technik Freestyle Rig

Zeiss DigiPrimes

Silicon Imaging SI-2K

1 Beyond Wrangler Mini3D


You can view a slideshow in HD of my photos

You can see more photos on my facebook page

All photos are by Benjamin B. Feel free to copy them as long you provide a credit and a link.


My thanks to Cédric-Alexandre Saudinos for his invitation, and to Jean-Michel Tari and the entire crew for welcoming me on the set.



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