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Test shoots for 3D projects Tro Fañch (France) and La Fille de l’Estuaire (UK) took place in Brittany from 1 – 4 March 2014.

Writer-director Giil Taws shares his thoughts on the experience of shooting in Stereo 3D.  Co-writer Christophe Briand acted in the tests and appears in some of the photos.

Though the testing process is not yet completed (we still have to go through colour and 3D grading, screening as well as feedback and analysis), I am writing down some thoughts after CCFL’s recent 3D test shooting.

The very nature of the 3D shot links space and time: time is embedded in space.

All “classical” means of creating the illusion of space (perspective, occlusion …) can be used in the composition of a 3D shot.  They can underline or soften space.

The various 3D settings applied by the stereographer have a deep impact on the meaning of the shot.

Tro Fanch - red dress

Choosing a red T-shirt for our actress created a true sense of space and time. In the case of this shot, I wanted to explore and test the notion of being in the now.  The composition of the shots and the soundscape creates a moment that is alive.

The 3D settings create a feeling of detachment as well as, I believe, a proximity to the audience.  To me this shot is interesting because it talks about the essence of Tro Fañch.

Another key element of making a 3D film is the audience’s health.  Misuse of 3D could lead to a bad experience that would have physical consequences for the audience and have a negative impact on his or her experience and therefore on his or her future experiences.

In 3D, movement and instant identification are key.  The mise-en-scene, composition and editing should be thought about in this context.  In two consecutive shots, the eyes will be foremost attracted by motion.

Tro Fanch - Armand and car Tro Fanch - car

In the two shots above, the eyes stay naturally on the cyclist who passes from the foreground to the background.  This works because his motion is faster than that of the car.  If we had changed the colour of his suit to a brighter colour, the effect would have even been more successful.

During the editing, we understood that for the dynamic of the film to work, intentions should be endogeneous (from the inside to the outside).  This means that it is the universe of the film that should guide the eyes and ears of the audience and not the opposite. 

Tro Fanch - Armand on ground Tro Fanch - boat on beach

We tried this in the last two shots of the tests.  The main character blows on the camera and the angle changes dramatically.  The cut is successful because it is triggered from within the shot.

This endogeneous motion creates an interesting set of ideas: the world is guiding our look upon it, on what we see.

A simple way to express this idea would be: the world is talking to us all the time.  Being schematic, I could say that it is not I who moves my eyes, but the world that does it for me.  From this standpoint, the relationship between me and the world I live in is different: what I see is NOT what is but what is being told to me.

Our movie tells the story of a man who rediscovers the world that surrounds him.  It is a story of a relationship that evolves.  Our main character learns to listen to the world again.  He does so through his senses: the world’s language is expressed with images, sounds, smells, textures, tastes …

We realised that sound will be a crucial element of the movie.  Its organic nature will play a central role in the evolution of the character.  For example, the sounds of the wheel on the various type of roads (concrete, earth, ponds, sand).  It also has the power to translate my presence to the world.  

3D is an illusion; the brain needs to reconstruct space.  Therefore time has a different meaning in the 3D sequence: for space to exist, shots need to be longer.

Our eyes travel into each shot, providing that the shots last long enough.  This journey in the shot’s space is something I would like to explore – a new kind of story telling.

Shooting and editing the tests enabled me to discover that one of the concepts of the movie, wonder, would be best filmed in 3D.  We would be able to expresscontemplation and wonder through the notion of detachment.  Using the various methods of 3D, there is a real possibility of demonstrating these ideas with a whole range of nuances.

I could also see that a stylised mise-en-scene would work and could be part of a comedy.

Tro Fanch beach

Tro Fanch beach - Armand lying

The shoot had many interesting moments.  I learned about the role of stereographers on the set, and the dynamic that can exist between them and the other members of the team (sound and image).  Their work starts at pre-production and ends at screening.


To apply for our new training scheme, CCFL Training 2015, head over here.

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