Mark L. Pederson
Offhollywood, New York City • www.offhollywoodny.com
By Christine Bunish
Markee: Your company was an early adopter of the RED ONE camera, and you've said Offhollywood is committing to stereoscopic 3D in the same way it embraced RED technology.
Mr. Pederson: "We made the commitment to 3D when we saw the new rigs Element Technica was developing last summer; we told them to call us when they were ready. In the meantime, we continued to research the 3D production and postproduction workflow, so when Element Technica released their production models in October we immediately started work on the (independent) feature, The Mortician 3D, an urban gangster film written and directed by Gareth Maxwell Roberts."
Markee: What was that experience like?
Mr. Pederson: "We learned a tremendous amount from that first film. We brought in Keith Collea as stereographer, and we did a substantial amount of prepro, testing and demos with DP Mike McDonough. It was a tough shoot in New Orleans because there were a lot of locations, and the film had a 2D budget and schedule but it got finished on time and on budget.
"We used a pair of RED cameras mounted on an early production version of the Quasar rig and two Silicon Imaging SI-2K mini cameras on a very early prototype rig by Element Technica for Steadicam and handheld shots. Element Technica has since released their compact Neutron rig for this purpose.
"Aesthetically and creatively, 3D is a whole other format with a fun, almost empowering vibe to it. You really need to dig into it and understand how convergence and interocular work, how to adjust and manipulate 3D space in production and post. To make something that stands out and excels takes commitment and play time.
"We found using RED cameras and SI-2Ks made for a very efficient system. I think we'll see a lot of RED/SI-2K 3D combos at least until the new, small form-factor RED Epic gets here. Epic should combine all the new technologies into one dangerous cocktail: shooting in extreme high-resolution and in 3D so you can get the same 2D deliverables plus stereo 3D motion and print elements. That technology will sell itself."
Markee: Does Offhollywood also offer stereo 3D postproduction?
Mr. Pederson: "We have established a post system that works extremely well using a DVS Clipster 3 and the new stereo tools in Assimilate's Scratch as our front-end tools. We also use The Foundry's Ocula 2, CineForm Neo3D and Tim Dashwood's Stereo 3D plug-in, and we continue to push RED's stereo tools and software utilities. There are still some features we want to see, and we'll be testing more tools."
Markee: Has Offhollywood done other 3D shoots since The Mortician 3D?
Mr. Pederson: "We've done a tremendous amount of presentations and demos evangelizing 3D. And people have asked us to staff their entire 3D camera crew for them, to create a turnkey 3D solution.
"We shot a number of fashion spots for Europe that are destined for all kinds of deliverables; they're definitely ahead of us over there in 3D production. We're doing a project with the Newseum in Washington, D.C. that's, in part, a proof of concept for a new lens technology. We're also talking to three countries — one of them is India — that want us to provide 3D services because no one there has embraced the technology yet."
Markee: What's the short-term potential for stereo 3D and what role will Offhollywood play in it?
Mr. Pederson: "We know there will be a huge opportunity in the next six to nine months to shoot content for 3D digital signage, cinema spots and the new cable channels that are launching. And now's the time to get that TV show transitioning from 2D to 3D: As a producer you want your content to have more value in the media marketplace. Some major cable networks are working aggressively to flip their shows to 3D.