Producers are being encouraged to add in more extreme out of the screen shots after initially being discouraged from doing so by broadcasters.
The prevailing view is that a conservative approach to 3D, where the effects are subtle and immersive, will deliver a comfortable viewing experience, but it appears that viewers of 3D TV programming and prospective buyers of 3D TV sets would like to see more of the more obvious ‘gimmick’ 3D effects shots.
“Increasingly we are being asked to ‘pull’ the information slightly more toward the viewer, and in more instances during a 3D programme,” says David Pounds, Chief Executive of Electric Sky Productions, a significant producer of 3D documentaries for Discovery and Sky 3D including The Secret Life of the Rainforest (3D) for Sky 3D. (picture left courtesy of Brian Gratwicke).
“3D broadcasters need to make an offering to the viewer that encourages them to subscribe and which is therefore differentiated from the experience they would have from high quality HD,” he adds. “Over the past year everyone has been quite cautious about the stereography for 3D, but the trend we are seeing across all genres is to look at ways we can show the viewer what they expect of 3D when they put on glasses.
“It means selecting the right moments when the subject matter can be angled slightly more toward the viewer. This poses more of a challenge to the filmmaker because you don’t want to over emphasise at the risk of making for an uncomfortable experience, yet there are certain aspects in every story that if done well and in the right way, can be pushed.” Sky’s guidelines state that negative disparity should not exceed -1% for the majority of shots, but includes scope for up to 2.5% out of screen disparity for specific editorial need. Anthony Geffen, CEO and creative director at Atlantic Productions says: “We are definitely feeling that if people go to a 3D channel they have to experience something different. Broadcasters are trying to convince people the experience is different to HD and worth buying a 3DTV for. That doesn’t mean we pepper each project with random 3D moments, it just means picking subjects carefully that can really maximise the storytelling benefits that 3D brings.”