From 22 – 31 July 2013, the Cross Channel Film Lab is offering a free programme of online Open Sessions recorded at our UK labs.  To join all or any of these sessions, you’ll need to first register here. You can find  information on individual sessions via the calendar.

The online lab features a diverse programme of expert speakers from the UK and France, and explores different aspects of VFX, animation, Stereo 3D and screenwriting for low to medium budget feature films.  Speakers explore audience expectations and impact, opportunities for experimentation, cinema history, scientific research, career paths, film and TV case studies, and the implications of creative choices on budgeting and scheduling.

Featured speakers include writer/director Marc Caro (Delicatessen), François Garnier and Joséphine Derobe (Wim Wenders’ Stereo 3D team), cameraman Pierre Souchar, VFX specialists Paddy Eason (VFX supervisor, Grabbers) and Peter Bailey (senior VFX artist), producers Fabienne Tsaï (A Droite de la Lune) and Huberta Von Liel (Vertigo Films), representatives of  Film Four, Creative England, the BFI and BBC Films, and script consultants Pippa Best and Antoine Le Bos.

Sessions will be conducted in English and you are welcome to join in from wherever you are in the world. Each session will include a recording of a talk from the Cross Channel Film Lab followed by a chance to ask questions of some of the speakers featured in the videos – see detailed info on who will be available to chat after the sessions in the full programme below.

From an introduction to the basics to more in-depth discussion, there is a session to suit every level of experience and interest.  Recreate the lab experience and watch them all, or just join us for one session, whatever suits you best.

Course content

Monday 22 July: 7.30pm start (UK time)

CCFL: The Distributor, Financier and Developer’s Perspective

  • Part 1:
  • Distribution and Exhibition Executive at the BFI, Alex Stolz, gives an overview of the Stereo 3D audience in the UK and shares his thoughts on future trends.
  • Part 2:
  • Panel discussion: Tom Leggett (Film4), Wendy Bevan-Mogg (Creative England), Huberta Von Liel (Vertigo Films) and Charlotte Lee (BBC Films) discuss what they’re currently developing and why: what kind of budgets and talent do they want to work with, and where are the opportunities for new film-makers?  What does the future hold for low budget film?  The panel also discuss what they look for in a Stereo 3D film and what kind of supporting material can help illustrate the potential of Stereo 3D or VFX.  Listen in on questions from the Cross Channel Film Lab project teams, VFX Supervisor Paddy Eason, and others.
  • Followed by live chat: Q & A with Huberta Von Liel and Charlotte Lee

Tuesday 23 July: 7.30 pm start (UK time)

  • An Introduction to 3D cinema with François Garnier
  • François Garnier takes us on a journey through the history of stereoscopy: from Leonardo Da Vinci and Sir Charles Wheatstone  to the 3D cinema we experience  now.  François goes on to explore our spatial and visual perception – how do our brains and bodies sense the world around us, understand perspective and motion, and thus Stereo 3D cinema?
  • An introduction to Optics with Pierre Souchar
  • Followed by live chat: Q & A with Pierre Souchar

Wednesday 24 July: 7.30 pm start (UK time)

  • An Introduction to Stereo 3D Sound
  • A presentation by Etienne Hendrickx (Doctorate at Université de Bretagne Occidentale – Brest): Etienne details the impact of stereo sound on cinema experience – from 5.1 to Dolby Atmos and research models beyond that.  Should cinema attempt to recreate reality?  Can fixed sound interact with relative Stereo 3D imagery?  How do the approaches of science and cinema creative differ? Followed by a general discussion amongst CCFL participants including Marc Caro, François Garnier, Joséphine Derobe and others.
  • A European Perspective on Shooting Stereo 3D – budgeting and scheduling implications with Joséphine Derobe, Fabienne Tsaï
  • Joséphine Derobe and Fabienne Tsaï share practical examples, including screen test material, of the range of possible approaches to shooting Stereo 3D.
  • Followed by live chat: Q & A with Fabienne Tsaï

Thursday 25 July: 7.30 pm start (UK time)

  • New narrative approaches to low budget VFX and Stereo 3D
  • A session for screenwriters interested in exploring how VFX or Stereo 3D might help them connect with audiences differently.
  • Script consultants and Cross Channel Film Lab Co-directors Pippa Best and Antoine Le Bos present examples of lower budget VFX techniques; explore spatial perception and philosophy as a route to understanding the narrative potential of Stereo 3D; and take a quick look at games engines as a development tool.  Including discussion between participants at the original open session, and an opportunity to share your own script ideas with other participants.
  • Including and followed by live chat with Pippa Best and Antoine Le Bos

Monday 29 July: 7.30 pm start (UK time)

  • Crossover Careers in VFX, Animation and Gaming
  • A discussion featuring Peter Bailey (modelling/lighting/animation specialist), Andy Wyatt (Falmouth University), Peter Comninos (Bournemouth University) and Mondo Ghulam (director/animation director) in which they discuss the relationship between the VFX, animation and game industries, and how it can be possible to work in more than one.
  • The speakers describe the development of different visual industries, their requirements, current trends, and their own experiences in switching between these industries and how this informs what they are doing now.  A wide-ranging overview for filmmakers either starting out or interested in career development.
  • Getting Creative Within Limitations: VFX and Animation
  • Panel discussion featuring Paddy Eason (VFX supervisor: Grabbers, I Give it a Year), Peter Bailey (modelling/lighting/animation specialist), Mondo Ghulam (animation director, formerly of Rockstar North), Andy Wyatt (Falmouth University) and Peter Comninos (Bournemouth University)
  • Hear how other industries such as television and games feed into feature film production and how the speakers have learned what to take on board from these other industries when working in low budget feature films, finding inventive solutions and saving money and time.  The speakers’ experiences range from creating sharks that will interact with a presenter in a dry environment, through telling new stories using game engine toolkits and creating visual effects that transform imperfect locations into exactly what the director wants.
  • Followed by live chat: Q & A with Peter Bailey, Andy Wyatt and Mondo Ghulam

Tuesday 30 July: 7.30 pm start (UK time)

  • The Fundamentals of 3D Grammar with Joséphine Derobe
  • Joséphine Derobe provides an overview of the basic grammar for shooting in Stereo 3D.
  • As an experienced stereographer whose work ranges from assisting established directors such as Wim Wenders achieve their artistic visions, to the last-minute challenges of working on a large-scale commercial movie, as well as making her own short films, Joséphine demonstrates how various types of shots are created, and the principles involved.
  • Pina: A Low Budget Stereo 3D Case Study with François Garnier
  • A presentation by François Garnier and Joséphine Derobe, (key members of the Stereo 3D team for the film Pina) about the use of Stereo 3D in the film, and how they approached the creative and budgetary restrictions.
  • With its combination of ensemble dance performances before a live audience over several nights, and sequences staged outdoors in stunning and unusual locations, Pina provided the stereographers with unique challenges.  Hear how the speakers worked with director Wim Wenders to present choreographer Pina Bausch’s work in a way that highlights the physicality of the human body and does justice to her legacy, creating a new cinematic and visual grammar for Stereo 3D in the process.
  • Followed by live chat: Q & A with Joséphine Derobe TBC

Wednesday 31 July 7.30 pm start (UK time)

  • Writing and Directing Stereo 3D: A New Frontier with Marc Caro, Joséphine Derobe, François Garnier
  • Marc Caro, Joséphine Derobe and François Garnier discuss the opportunities offered by Stereo 3D to innovate in story and direction.
  • With 3D, how do we deal with inhabiting space in a different way from in a 2D film?  Considering the movie theatre as a using a kind of magic to put the audience into an altered state of consciousness, Marc Caro, co-director and writer of the wildly inventive features Delicatessen and City of Lost Children, suggests that 3D gives us a much greater opportunity to bring the viewer inside the world of the film.  This celebrated writer-director and two experienced stereographers, who work with Wim Wenders, talk about how we can and should be more experimental in working with Stereo 3D.
  • Followed by live chat: Q & A with Antoine Le Bos and Joséphine Derobe TBC

These sessions are selected from the Open Sessions programme recorded in March 2013 at the first Cross Channel Film Lab workshop, supported by Creative Skillset Film Skills Fund as part of A Bigger Future 2, and INTERREG IV A France (Channel) – England, co-funded by the ERDF.