Hunting witches in 3D with STEREOTEC

Our good friend Florian Maier has been keeping busy with new and exciting projects.


STEREOTEC supported the Paramount production Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters with the latest 3D technology and on-set stereography

Munich/Los Angeles, March 2013 -It took only one weekend to make Tommy Wirkola‘s “Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters” become a box office hit. After five weeks, and even before being released in larger areas of Europe, the Paramount production has already grossed more than $163 Mio. worldwide. As most of it was earned in 3D screenings, it proves that 3D is still very popular and maybe more than ever before.


The German based company STEREOTEC was wholly responsible for the live action 3D shoot which took place in Germany, most of it was shot at Studio Babelsberg close to Berlin. STEREOTEC supplied two of their Mid Size Rigs and a crew headed by Lead Stereographer and STEREOTEC CEO Florian Maier.


The movie was originally planned to be shot in 2D and then to be converted to 3D. “The schedule was extremely tight. Jeremy Renner was between two other projects and there were only few weeks to shoot the part”, remembers Florian Maier. The assumption was that a 3D shoot would take much longer than a 2D shoot, so the production decided to shoot only the final action sequence in real 3D. STEREOTEC was invited to a test shoot, and also a competitor from the US. After half a day of testing with each candidate, STEREOTEC was chosen to film the 3D sequences. “The production was very pleased with our quick workflow and the 3D quality”, said Florian Maier. Another reason was that DoP Michael Bonvillain liked the stereography of the feature film “Vicky and the Treasure of the Gods” which STEREOTEC had just finished filming recently.


During the shoot it became clear that not only the quality of the live action 3D material was much better compared to a conversion, but also the pace of shooting on set could be kept First time in 3D: Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton as »Hansel & Gretel«within the timeframe. “We were originally planning to shoot only three scenes in 3D and convert the rest. When we saw how quickly we could move, I pushed to shoot as much as
possible in 3D and the finished film turned out to be about 50% native”, said DoP Michael Bonvillain (“Cloverfield”, “Zombieland”).


The producers were also very supportive. “I have to say the producers backed me all the way when they realized we’d get all the setups we wanted and still make our days”, he adds. The efficient workflow with the STEREOTEC rigs and the extremely experienced 3D crew helped a lot to
keep up with the schedule. “On the set, especially when working with Hollywood actors, time is very precious”, explains Florian Maier. He has created a rig system that is not only extremely precise but also very quick. “The rigs were well designed and stable, which allowed us to change lenses and calibrate pretty quickly”, said Michael Bonvillain.


For the 3D shoot two fully motorized STEREOTEC Mid Size Rigs equipped with ARRI Alexa cameras were used on a dolly and technocrane. Although most of the rest of the crew hadn‘t  done 3D before, the shooting went absolutely smoothly. “The rig was easy to work with. This was my first 3D film, and it was great to have the fully integrated experience of working with Arri, Stereotec and Florian as my stereographer”, said Michael Bonvillain.


After 60 days of shooting the post production took place in Los Angeles. STEREOTEC had used a special high quality mirror on their rigs which manages to have practically no polarisation or colour differences between the left-eye and right-eye image. In addition to the high stability of the shots, nearly nothing had to be corrected with the real 3D shots. “The people here in L.A. keep commenting on how well the material was prepared for post. Stereotec and Florian’s team was the most professional I’ve ever worked with”, said Visual Effects Supervisor Jon Farhat. As a large number of scenes were shot in front of a green screen frame based The STEREOTEC 3D Rigs were mostly mounted on Techno Cranes.


The STEREOTEC Mid Size Rigmetadata needed to be recorded. “Stereotec provided us with super accurate camera data and never did they make it difficult to extract the core information from their system”. But technology is not everything. “Basically it‘s all about enthusing people about 3D”, says Florian Maier. “It is really important to me to share my passion for creating 3D with the whole crew. This leads to a new level of creativity in the team”. Not only audiences appreciate the result, as the recent admissions prove. Also Executive Producer Denis Stewart (“Cowboys & Aliens”, “Iron Man 2”) is happy: “Stereotec was terrific. They exceeded our expectations and helped make a great 3D film!”.


STEREOTEC is one of the most renowned stereoscopic service providers worldwide – delivering the highest level of quality in the 3D area.
Their service includes 3D work for feature film (e.g. Russian Film Groups‘s »Viy – The Return«), broadcasts (e.g. German Bundesliga), commercials (e.g. Sony, VW) and documentaries (e.g. NASA Space Shuttle Start). STEREOTEC is also a leading 3D equipment manufacturer and provides all kinds of 3D rigs, developed and constantly improved by the company’s experience in their daily 3D work in film or broadcast. Founded by stereographer Florian Maier, STEREOTEC’s philosophy is to provide the most precise, reliable and easy–to–use 3D products for a workflow at 2D speed.



Source: Press Release



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