The dances in the final of Strictly Come Dancing will be choreographed to make the most of 3D camera positions with the entire show broadcast live in 3D on the BBC HD channel as well as transmitted live to cinemas, writes Adrian Pennington.
The Strictly final, broadcast from Blackpool’s Tower Ballroom on 17 December, will be transmitted live to about a dozen Odeon and Apollo cinemas and shown live in 3D on BBC HD. It will also be shown in HD on BBC One HD.
“All the dancing will be shot in true 3D while some positions, including those of the presenter [Bruce Forsyth - pictured below], which requires autocue, will be 3D converted," said BBC Innovation Executive, Rachel Joseph, who is overseeing the 3D production.
“The style of direction will very much follow the 2D script, but we will re-script the dances to use the 3D cameras as much as possible."
The 3D production, which will have separate direction under Marcus Viner, plans to use six or seven 3D camera positions. Four cameras will be positioned on the studio floor and use 3Ality Technica Quasar rigs with Sony P1 cameras.
NEP Visions has been contracted as the 3D outside broadcast supplier. A 3D title sequence has been created and 3D captions will be generated in support of the live presentation.
A number of cameras from the 2D presentation will also be shared and converted into 3D via Sony MPE 200 processors with 3D Box image analysis software.
The 2D presentation will also share feeds from the 3D cameras, by taking one eye into the main mix.
Testing is being conducted this week to see whether a Technocrane can be used to carry a Quasar rig and P1s placed below the crane head.
An additional P+S Freestyle rig will be used as Steadicam rig. It will use P1s with Fujinon lenses in a mirror rig and its pictures will be shared with the 2D transmission. The Steadicam will have a dual radio link including full rig and racking control. The left eye will be used for the 2D. A dual tally system will be used for both 2D and 3D – red for 2D and green for 3D.
Most rigs will be in mirror configuration (as opposed to side-by-side) and mounted with one camera under and one camera shooting through the mirror. One rig will be positioned close to the floor and have an over/through configuration.
All 3D positions will have matched Canon 22:1 lenses and HDFA adapters to allow both cameras to be transmitted down a single fibre to the truck. The pictures will be colour balanced using a ‘checkerboard’ display from the left and right eyes on Grade 1 glass tube displays.
The BBC experimented with a short 3D dance sequence of Strictly Come Dancing for last year’s Children in Need charity broadcast.