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Kylie in 3D: The stereographer’s approach

Kylie Minogue’s Aphrodite – Les Folies tour 2011 was shot in 3D at the O2 for Sky. Vision3 stereographer Melissa Byers was brought on board to bring a creative approach to the 3D and here she explains how.

Kylie Minogue’s Aphrodite – Les Folies tour 2011 was shot in 3D at the O2 for Sky. Vision3 stereographer Melissa Byers was brought on board to bring a creative approach to the 3D and here she explains how. Production company Blink enlisted Vision3 to provide creative input to the 3D with Telegenic supplying equipment and convergence ops. “The show was shot over two nights at the O2 to cover as much of the performance as possible,” Byers explained. “I was aware from watching previous live and as-live 3D shows that after a while you get into a routine of camera shots, whereas I wanted to provide a greater variation of camera work and shots so that we didn’t settle into a routine. We worked hard with the venue and Kylie’s tour directors to make this possible and, since the O2 is a massive venue, to get as close to the action as we could.” P2 cameras on a technocrane, P+S Freestyle steadicam and 3ality Digital TS2s and TS4 rigs were positioned around the stage and further back in the arena. Recording was made to HDCAMSR in the OB truck. “One of the challenges with Kylie was to take a live concert environment and approach it in the same way as Vision3 might approach a 3D film or commercial,” Byers said. “My approach is be involved from the outset and work on ideas with director (in this case directors Marcus Viner and William Baker) about which angles and lenses would work and which would compromise the 3D, in much the same way as a cinematographer would liaise about lighting and editing to craft a film.” Byers devised a depth script to reflect the high points and slower moments of the show. For some tracks where the pace of editing needed to be faster, or “to give the audience a bit of a break” she relaxed the 3D. With some higher energy numbers, “involving acrobats and men with shields,” Byers “pushed the 3D a bit more and played with screenplane.” The basic depth budget was set with a positive parallax of 1.5% and a negative of .5% but Byers gave herself room to wriggle depending on the action. “When the shields come forward, for example, we went to 2-3% negative parallax momentarily and we also reduced the positive parallax down to .5% at times to keep with the ebb and flow of the performance. “We didn’t necessarily have to pull convergence for all cameras because we knew we could finesse the shots in post. That freedom allowed me to call changes in the depth script for each song rather than keep the depth at a flat range as you might do for a live to air show.” Byers also supervised the 3D post and depth grading on Mistika at Preditors. “It’s quite unique with a live 3D project to have one person responsible for the 3D all the way through from pre-production and scripting into post,” she added. Blink produced the screen visuals for the tour projected onto seven screens with a total canvas spanning more than 7000 pixels. Content included a two-day underwater shoot with male models and Olympics-standard synchronised swimmers. There was a RedCam shoot at Black Island Studios, with director of photography Will Bex. The filmed content was edited, composited with Blink-produced graphics and VFX. Around 50% of the show was original graphics, created and designed by Blink’s in-house team.
 The project will air on Sky and will also be given a theatrical release.