A £4m British 3D feature adaptation of Oliver Twist featuring the street running craze parkour, is in pre-production with Vision3 as stereographic partner. Producer Ben Grass has dubbed it ‘Streetdance 3D meets Ocean’s 11’. Twist is produced by Pure Grass Films, the multi-platform production company part-owned by Endemol, and The Salt Company.
“The idea is that this is a classic tale that could be updated and made fresh for a new generation,” said Grass. “There’s an arthouse element in the storyline to which we’ve added a contemporary twist by using parkour.”
Fagin’s -gang use parkour for art theft. Even 19-year-old Nancy is a parkour expert. “Because of the decision to involve parkour as a core part of the story, we thought it would be interesting to shoot in 3D, to try to give the audience a sense of the incredible daring and skill of the athletes,” Grass explained. Director, Matthew Parkhill, recently made The Caller and this is his and Grass’ first 3D project.
“Because it is our first one we felt it prudent to partner with experts and chose Vision3,” said Grass. Vision3’s Melissa Byers will take the lead stereographer role.
“We have plans to release a number of multiplatform content elements around Twist and in doing so to bring sponsors on board,” he said. It has already launched an online casting call for members of Fagin’s gang via Facebook and Twitter, “and we will move from that to launch apps and games online and a community for the project.”
A recent test shoot used 3Ality Technica Pulsar rigs, a Technocrane, and Red Epics - a trio of technology likely to be used when principal photography begins in March.
“Cinema audiences have seen a number of 3D movies now and my sense is that one needs to be careful doing any project in 3D,” added Grass. "The 3D should add something to the story and give something more to the audience – since they are being charged more to view it. Not every film will benefit from 3D so we are being selective about it.”
That said, Pure Grass has several other 3D features at an early stage of development.