JANUARY 1, 2012
GOLIATH GOES 3D!
Hello and Happy New Year everyone!
I’m betting my heat ray blaster that 2012 is going to be the Year of Goliath! Forget the Mayan calendar!
At this moment, our movie has entered post-production with a completion target of June 2012 … and hopefully soon after, on a screen near you.
So we thought we’d start off the New Year with an announcement. Something we had to keep under our hats until all the pieces of the puzzle finally came together:
“War of the Worlds: Goliath” will be in stereoscopic 3D.
And here’s the poster to prove it! :)
But before we continue, let’s backtrack a little …
‹cue shimmering waves and flashback music›
It was early February in 2010, Los Angeles. We were up to our eyeballs in “Goliath” production, yet we found ourselves in a massive corner office of a certain well-known studio lot, listening to a business pitch and watching some pretty amazing footage of movie clips converted to stereoscopic 3D.
James Cameron’s “Avatar” was less than two months’ old, and conquering the world with an old camera trick now reinvented as a whole new movie experience for the digital era.
Everyone was talking 3D, and in the heart of Hollywood, it was hitting fever pitch.
So there we were, knee deep in the hoopla, and two words crossed my mind:
“What if …?”
That night, we sent an email to Scott Inglis, head of BaseCamp Films in Kuala Lumpur and tasked with handling all post-production requirements for “Goliath”.
BaseCamp’s post-production portfolio includes colour correction and grading, digital cinema encoding and film output supervision, with another unit for visual effects, compositing and CG animation – and stereoscopic 3D work for TV commercials out of India and Europe.
Always the intrepid Aussie, Scott was up for the challenge – the prospect of massive animated tripod battle sequences in 3D on the big screen was too hard to pass up. :)
By March, the hunt for a digital stereoscopic 3D solution for “Goliath” was on. Scott was reviewing candidate studios in Mumbai, Chennai and Seoul, and I was knocking on the doors of funding groups, talking to anyone who would listen.
Interest started to percolate, and the initial question of “What if?” evolved into “Why not?”.
Then, a second epiphany hit us. Why scour the world for a studio, when we have BaseCamp Films right in our backyard? “Why not”, indeed.
There were many unknowns. This wasn’t about stereoscoping a mere commercial. Only a handful of movies, mostly CG animated, had gone 3D.
What would a traditional 2D animated feature look like in digital stereoscopic 3D? We were going to find out!
It was the right moment to make the call to go 3D. There was still time to integrate stereo 3D requirements into the production. Market demand for 3D movies was heating up. We were excited about “Goliath” being a whole new experience in 3D. And we had BaseCamp and Scott. The stars seemed aligned.
Fast forward to June of the same year, and I found myself in a cinema hall in Kuala Lumpur. In attendance were “Goliath”’s current investors, potential investors … and some very nervous Tripod and BaseCamp people.
We were about to show a one-minute test clip of “Goliath”, produced by Scott’s team over a three-week period.
I have to say, it was an indescribable moment seeing “Goliath” for the first time on a 40-foot screen in a darkened cinema hall, in gorgeous 5.1 surround audio, and in stereoscopic 3D. It was a work-in-progress, sure, and it was just 60 seconds long … but it was magical.
Good thing I wasn’t alone in feeling this way! A few months later, we got funding approval for the 3D conversion! The game was a-foot.
As several months wore on to ink the deal, we took the time to find ways of maximising the potential of stereo 3D in the production of “Goliath”.
Joe added in more scenes and effects and, together with our Korean studio Sun Min Image Pictures, took many of the scenes to a whole new cinematic level.
BaseCamp designed the stereoscopic 3D pipeline, process and resources for “Goliath”, including trips to Seoul to synchronise delivery with Sun Min.
On the distribution side, there was a whole new angle to play with. A steampunk sci-fi action-adventure stereoscopic 3D animated movie was a unique and intriguing proposition, and this led Epic Pictures to sign up as our global sales agent at the recent American Film Market in Santa Monica.
If all goes well, we will have stereoscopic 3D versions of “War of the Worlds: Goliath” for 3D digital theatrical, 3D Blu Ray and future 3D HD broadcast.
At this time, over 1,000 of the 1,600+ shots of the movie are being rotoscoped and dimensionalised. Simultaneously, Scott is constructing a cinema-sized hall in Kuala Lumpur, designed for stereoscopic projection and quality control review. Movie nights at BaseCamp will never be the same again!
Does this mean we’re neglecting good ol’ 2D? Nope! “Goliath” will also be available in standard 2D on several formats, including theatrical. It was part of the original plan and we’re not deviating from it. So, you’ll get both options!
Are we excited? Yes. Are we terrified? Yes. Is it fun? Hell, yeah.
Stay tuned for more adventures in 3D (and 2D). And here’s hoping it will all work out, and that you’ll enjoy the show!
Best wishes from the Tripod family, and here’s to an awesome 2012!