We spoke to our friends over at Prime Focus World last month, in conjunction with their completed work on the stereo conversion of Tim Burton’s stop motion comedy horror - Frankenweenie. PFW worked closely and moreover, exclusively, with Disney and Burton on the picture, and the opportunity to chat about the project was just too good to miss!
The guys at PFW kindly shared some of their key creative points with us, and the main priorities taken into consideration when transforming this film into mind blowing 3D.
The 3D was designed to be as immersive as possible to enhance the emotional impact of the film. As it is a stop-motion animation film, there was a huge opportunity to exaggerate scale and depth much more than would be done on a live action film, which allowed us to really heighten dramatic moments. Stop-motion animation naturally promotes long, lingering, locked off shots, leading to a slower-paced film that gives the audience a chance to absorb more detail in the scenes. This in turn demands more attention to detail in the 3D overall – particularly in the sculpting of the characters.
Being the exclusive partner on the film (with the one and only Walt Disney Pictures) senior PFW artists worked closely with Tim Burton, and another 2,000 artists in London and India collaborated to deliver 1,518 3D conversion shots. Quite a mammoth project!
MD of View-D™ (PFW’s industry leading 2D to 3D conversion process) in London, Matt Bristowe spoke to us about the importance of stereo conversion to modern day cinema, and about the skills required at entry level, for those considering this line of work…
The process of converting 2D images to stereo 3D is all about having creative talent… you have to be able to understand and translate the Director’s vision as well as being able to interpret creative instructions in stereo while viewing it on a flat plane like a computer monitor, which is a unique skill in itself.
We also asked Matt to elaborate on his experiences working with one of the most renowned and creative directors on the planet on such a forward thinking project...
...working with genre-defining creative visionaries is always a thrill, but working with Tim Burton on such a personal project gave that thrill an extra dimension - if you’ll pardon the pun. Frankenweenie is a good example of a film for which the 3D played a major part in realising the director’s vision. This film was a labour of love for Tim, based on one of his first short films, and there are knowing references throughout which show his passion for this kind of ‘B’ movie horror film tradition – 1950’s American cinema (usually starring Vincent Price!), that created a 3D film craze in the early 50’s. The 3D aspect of Frankenweenie really speaks to that style of filmmaking.
If you haven’t seen Frankenweenie yet, we highly recommend it, and if you have already seen it, we’d love to know your thoughts!