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EFA Master Class 2010

STEREOSCOPIC STORYTELLING Creating stories and images for 3D film with Alain Derobe in co-operation with Florian Maier


EFA Master Class 2010

STEREOSCOPIC STORYTELLING Creating stories and images for 3D film with Alain Derobe in co-operation with Florian Maier

CONTENTS: Foreword A New Dimension .......................................... The Tutors Alain Derobe ........................................................ Florian Maier ......................................................... The Experts Wim Wenders ....................................................... Jacques Delacoux ................................................. The Participants ............................................................ Organisation & Crew ....................................................

EUROPEAN FILM ACADEMY e.V. Kurfürstendamm 225 10719 Berlin GERMANY tel. +49 - 30 - 887 167 - 0 fax +49 - 30 - 887 167 - 77 www.europeanfilmacademy.org www.europeanfilmawards.eu

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IMPRINT European Film Academy e.V., Pascal Edelmann (editor) * graphic design: Andrés Castoldi * pictures: unless otherwise indicated, all pictures appear courtesy of EFA: © 2010 European Film Academy / Franca Wohlt; p. 7, 10 & back cover: EFA / Bettina Schwarz


FOREWORD A New Dimension When the European Film Academy (EFA) was founded more than twenty years ago, 3D feature filmmaking wasn’t something on its agenda. But from the beginning on, it has been one of EFA’s express aims to create platforms that allow filmmakers to learn from one another and to exchange ideas. One way of pursuing this aim is by organising EFA Master Classes where a small group of filmmakers gets together for one week and works intensively on a given subject, in this case the creative use of 3D technology and its implications in the various arts and crafts involved in filmmaking. We were surprised at the amount of interest and the number of high-profile applications and had to go through a difficult selection procedure to keep the size of the project manageable and effective. With Alain Derobe and Florian Maier we were extremely lucky to win two established experts in stereoscopic film to tutor this Master Class. Both at the forefront of 3D filmmaking, they were enthusiastic about sharing their expertise and experience. During the EFA Master Class they did so in lectures, hands-on training sessions, and by inviting friends and colleagues: director Wim Wenders talked with Alain Derobe about their collaboration on the documentary DANCE, OR WE ARE LOST, Jacques Delacoux introduced his Transvideo system, 3D producer Erwin M. Schmidt shared his experiences, and Stefan Albertz held a lecture on dimensioning. Together they spread an enthusiasm for the possibilities of 3D filmmaking that soon united the participants of the Master Class in a unique atmosphere of complicity, curiosity and the will to experiment. Another important element of the EFA Master Class was the friendly and open atmosphere at PICTORION das werk Berlin and the hands-on support by the people who work there under Wolf Bosse: Christian Tröger and Sven Heck introduced the post-production software Mistika, Philipp Orgassa talked about colour grading and Philipp Fehling explained the Flame programme. With the support of all these experts, each of the participants had collected some practical 3D experiences by the end of the week. You will find some of this material on the accompanying DVD. On behalf of the European Film Academy I would like to use this opportunity to thank our tutors Alain Derobe and Florian Maier, Wolf Bosse from das werk, and all the other people who have invested time and energy to make this EFA Master Class possible as well as the MEDIA Programme of the EU and the Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg for funding it. I hope that this DVD documentation carries with it a glimpse of the special atmosphere of this year’s EFA Master Class. Marion Döring Director European Film Academy e.V. 1


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EFA Master Class 2010

The Tutors

Alain Derobe Alain Derobe was the Director of Photography for more than 20 feature films and about 300 commercial films from 1966 to 1990. Since 1992, he has oriented his work to large frames and mostly to 3D images before starting to develop different systems for stereoscopic shots. Alain Derobe founded AFC, the French association of directors of photography, and he is now president of UP3D, the French stereographers’ association. As there was no equipment available, he decided to build his own tools needed to operate and promote Stereo 3D. He was the first 3D expert to use adjusting 3D cameras directly on a very wide screen and developed a path-breaking 3D stereo rig together with 3D technical expert Florian Maier. In recent years, Alain Derobe acted as stereographer on the feature films SAFARI 3D, CAMARGUE, CHARTREUX, IRRUPTION, HÉROS DE NIMES, LA R’VOLLE, LE RÉVEIL DES GÉANTS, D’AUVERGNE TIFFAUGES as well as many corporate films and films for entertainment parks or museums. His latest project was working on DANCE, OR WE ARE LOST, a 3D documentary on choreographer Pina Bausch, directed by Wim Wenders. Alain Derobe was the first to conduct independent training courses on 3D, and is well-known as an on-the-edge creative in this field. Currently, he works mainly as a stereo consultant, teaching stereoscopic crews at work on the shooting sets. As a 3D stereo expert, he advises on adaptations of themes to 3D, how to fit screenplays to the filmic dimension of depth, and how to manage shooting sets and equipment. He is also advisor for post production corrections and authoring, special effects and 3D computer work for cartoon work (Kaelou, Cirque Phenix).

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EFA Master Class 2010

The Tutors

Florian Maier Florian Maier, founder and CEO of Stereoscopic Technologies GmbH, is a stereographer and 3D pioneer himself. He had already been doing research on 3D when he founded his company in 1997 and he has been working in that field ever since. His first stereo rigs were born from his own passion for 3D and the fact that there were no reasonable tools available yet. After studying and graduating in engineering at the Institute for Media Technology of the TU Ilmenau, as well as attending classes at Munich Film School, he turned his passion for 3D technology into his profession. Having already earned a number of prizes, honours and scholarships with his indepth research, as well as preparing his dissertation on 3D workflows, he bridged the gap between scientific knowledge and practical application of 3D technology. He gives speeches at conferences and holds workshops for stereo 3D cinematographers in all parts of the world. An ardent stereographer himself, he is convinced that a stereographer should focus on creative decisions based on a completely new language for stereoscopic moviemaking. He has gained experience in many fields, such as 3D feature films, 3D short films, 3D commercials, 3D exhibition films and many more. He also designs his own tools. His experiences as a stereographer as well as the dialogue with filmmakers from all over the world led him to the development of his own series of 3D rigs which are available from his company. He is convinced that stereoscopic movie-making can be successful if it combines technological precision with knowledge about human physiology, practical experiences and a passion for filmmaking.

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EFA Master Class 2010

The Experts

Wim Wenders Wim Wenders was born in post-war Germany in 1945. One of the most influential figures of the New German Cinema in the 70s, his films – among them THE AMERICAN FRIEND (1978), PARIS, TEXAS (1984), WINGS OF DESIRE (1987) and BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB (1999) – have won numerous prestigious awards, among them the Palme d’Or in Cannes, the Golden Lion in Venice and an Academy Award nomination. He has made films in his native country, all over Europe, in the US, in Australia, and in Asia. Wim Wenders also made several music films, and some of his soundtracks have reached cult status. He also works as a photographer. A major survey of his photography, Pictures from the Surface of the Earth, has toured museums and art institutions worldwide since 2001. He has published numerous books of essays and photographs and teaches film as a professor at the Hamburg Art School. He is President of the European Film Academy and member of the order Pour le Mérite. Wim Wenders now lives in Berlin with his wife, photographer Donata Wenders, and is presently working on his first 3D film, DANCE, OR WE ARE LOST.

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EFA Master Class 2010

The Experts

Jacques Delacoux Jacques Delacoux created the company Transvideo in 1985. After a few years of designing technical solutions for major companies as Bang & Olufsen, Bell+Howell, but also Panasonic, Sony or Toshiba, and devoted to the film industry, he invented the first flat panel monitor for professional use in 1990. Today, Transvideo is a leading and award-winning company in film and digital cinematography equipment with the CineMonitorHD family, state of the art monitoring and decision tool for HD filmmakers, as well as with the TitanHD, a 10bits lossless and latency-free, wireless HD transmission solution. In 2007, Jacques Delacoux created the CineMonitorHD 3DView, a revolutionary camera adjust足ment tool for stereographers. The CineMonitorHD is used worldwide with major 3D rigs and received an enthusiastic welcome by 3D consultants as Alain Derobe, AFC or Florian Maier. In February 2009, he received the prestigious Scientific and Technical Award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

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EFA Master Class 2010

The Participants Geir Hartly Andreassen, DoP, Norway Olly Blackburn, director/screenwriter, UK Pepe Danquart, director, Germany Mathias Dombrink, editor, Germany Dániel Erdélyi, director/screenwriter, Hungary Uli Gaulke, director, Germany Stefan Grandinetti, cinematographer, Italy Jaap van Heusden, screenwriter/director, the Netherlands Sylwester Kaźmierczak, DoP, Poland Elen Lotman, cinematographer, Estonia Franco de Pena, director/writer, Poland Alexei Popogrebsky, director, Russia Matti Poutanen, cinematographer, Finland Jurate Samulionyte, director, Lithuania Jarmila Seflova, film compositor, Czech Republic Sebastian Thümler, editor, Germany Tommaso Valente, director/editor, Italy Jasmila Žbanić, director/screenwriter, Bosnia&Herzegovina

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Elen Lotman & Jaap van Heusden 10


EFA Master Class 2010

The Participants

Almost fifteen years ago I met Per Anderman, a writer and a gentleman. Ever since I’ve been trying to capture his struggles with life. Between more elaborate fiction films, I come back again and again to capturing Per in short documentaries composed of still images with his biting and humorous remarks in voice-over. For the next episode, about his psychosis, we knew we had to find a different way to tell the story. We wanted to visualise his distorted perception of reality. We both thought: 3D. But how to shoot a documentary in stereoscopic 3D? And would the 3D work in a meaningful way? Most 3D films in cinema seem to use the ‘third dimension’ primarily to enhance the thrilling effect of action and depth. A lot of filmmakers from the ‘serious genres’ have therefore labelled the stereoscopic medium as superficial and even childish. Was there anybody out there thinking about meaningful 3D? Enter the EFA Master Class. After quite some hours of internet research I was ready for a coherent vision on stereoscopic 3D. Enter French connaisseur Alain Derobe who started the week with an introduction on the working of the human vision and he explained from there the possibilities and limitations of stereoscopy. In the week that followed it was very enlightening to experiment hands-on with the 3D rigs. Florian Maier – enter another 3D guru – would explain from his experience what works and what doesn’t. And he’d back this up with theory and freshly shot material. But, of course, if the masters said NO, a lot of us participants said AND YET… I was very sceptical about the ban on shallow depth of field and on longer lenses. But when I could try it hands-on, I saw that it just didn’t work and that I must re-think my cinematography when working in 3D. Two of the highlights of the week were surely the preview of DANCE, OR WE ARE LOST and a great evening with Wim Wenders and Alain. During the week I was again and again confronted with the fact that, after almost a century, 3D is still in its infancy. That many of the solutions have yet to be found. But in Wenders’ film there was one shot, a close-up, of a woman looking into the camera. Her face coming out of the screen just a little bit. A very emotional shot. WOW! This brief moment convinced me that beautiful things CAN be done in 3D. It’s a struggle, with a lot of overweight gear, but a struggle that will get us somewhere. I had a hunch that there is something about this extra dimension that hasn’t been touched upon very often. So it was quite special to hear Wim Wenders that night as he talked about his love for the newly discovered medium and about the moral dimensions of 3D filmmaking... “In 2D the actor or subject is in a different space. In 3D we share the same space. I can’t lock them into my storyboards any more. 3D gives them more dignity.” [continued] 11


I think 3D could make the audience experience something new about psychosis. Per Anderman sees things that are very real, but at the same time a product of his mind. In the same way the audience will be able to see things in a 3D theatre that are visceral, but at the same time ‘just’ a product of their mind. The workshop was so practical that it allowed me to start shooting right away. With a very modest set-up: a (too big) mirror rig and two synced Nikon cameras hooked up to a Macbook. Per and I are experimenting and slowly we’re getting the hang of it. Jaap van Heusden screenwriter/director the Netherlands I am a cinematographer and, to be honest, despite my young age compared to the masters in my field, I have been feeling very old school for some time. Ever since studying cinematography I have loved film stock and tried to shoot as much as possible on celluloid. The digital revolution got me confused a little bit. All around me there was a lot of pixel-talk and I started feeling that there is a growing expectation towards resolution numbers to do the story-telling work. So there I was, trying to develop content-wise in the middle of a form-centred technology boom. And then, suddenly, stereo 3D came into my world. I plunged into it, gasping in awe, during the EFA Master Class. I felt that finally a new technological aspect has emerged into my toolbox that has a profound impact to the content, not only the form, of what I do. I felt like how it must feel when you have slowly become bored of walking, running, driving and skating and you have just started thinking, “hey, there must be more to life than just different nuances of roaming the earth!” And then suddenly someone shows you how to fly. But beware, Icarus! Your teacher is of utmost importance when you are learning to fly. Without right guidance you might fall, with fatal consequences. In the hands of Alain and Florian it felt really safe to learn. I think all the participants felt the same - S3D is bewildering, yet fathomable. There was an almost palpable excitement in the air, history was being made, and we were part of it. We peeked into the future when Wim Wenders admitted, while talking about DANCE, OR WE ARE LOST, that the only thing he is afraid of is that, after this, he won’t want to shoot 2D any more. I will say no more, because I am already on the verge of wordiness here. I feel I am ready to fly! Elen Lotman cinematographer Estonia 12


I am a 27-year-old Finnish cinematographer. My credits include a bunch of short films, music videos and the latest season of the award-winning Finnish TV drama KARJALAN KUNNAILLA, accompanied by working in camera and electric crews in multiple feature films. Currently I am prepping my first feature film as a cinematographer, which will also be the first thing I’ve shot in 3D. Which makes things a little more interesting... Right from the first day I was floored by our two mentors, Alain and Florian. Their completely open attitude and willingness to share decades of 3D filmmaking experience was just out of this world. This amazing attitude was present in every single person at the Master Class: the participants, the EFA and das werk. To sum it up, I think that the Master Class had a massive impact on the quality of the 3D film which will be my “debut� as a feature film cinematographer. It gave me the essential groundwork on 3D filmmaking, and getting this kind of information and experience in such a tight time frame would not have been possible in any other way. The sheer artistry, talent and ideas that were present there, from Alain and Florian to all the participants, was something that I will carry with me in my work as a cinematographer. It was one of those rare opportunities where you could experiment and play your ideas around with cutting-edge camera equipment and people and do all the things you will probably never do in an actual production. Matti Poutanen cinematographer Finland 13


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Born in East Germany, I came to Berlin in 1989, studied physics, informatics, and film, and worked on the side as projectionist and cinema operator. When I started studying at the film school in Potsdam-Babelsberg I realised that I wanted to make films for the rest of my life. I am fascinated by the stories life tells. So I came to documentary films and to Cuba where I shot my graduation film HAVANNA MI AMOR, a film that was successful in cinema and at festivals and won the German film award Lola (Gold) for Best Documentary 2001. Following were films like MARRY ME and COMRADES IN DREAMS which were invited to various festivals in more than 50 countries, among them Sundance. My films deal with the emotional view of the other, across borders and cultures. I am interested in what unites people in their pursuit of happiness. And I describe their lives as projection surfaces of their dreams and longings, with all the light, the colours, movement, and vibration. And suddenly there is the possibility in cinema to see the world in three dimensions. The screen seems to open up to reveal endless spaces. When I was accepted into the EFA Master Class I was curious to take the first practical step into a new universe, to be not just a spectator but also a creator. During the entire week with Alain and Florian the feeling never left me that we were working on something magnificent. Alain seemed like a child which discovers the world anew with every day. With everything he did he radiated a joy and enthusiasm that was contagious and we were all infected with this virus, ending in a feverish 3D delirium, addicted and completely bewildered once it was over. Alain and Florian gave us the feeling that we too can make it and just for that they deserve our gratitude. They took from us the fear of technology and fuelled our ambition. They encouraged us to jump into cold water. And they did all that in a wonderfully gentle and discrete way that will be remembered for a long time. The combination of charming theory classes by both of these masters and practical exercises created an atmosphere of concentrated thought and understanding, seasoned with the loving care by EFA (Bettina!) and the nice colleagues of das werk. Rarely have I experienced such a discrete, perfect organisation, with enough freedom to experiment, to understand and to be creative yourself. Sure, the technology is big and complicated. But Alain and Florian kept emphasising the importance of individual solutions. And this put us into a state of suspense that left us with only one wish: now we want to do this, too! That has formed a team, in a wondrous way different experiences, personalities and characters from Tallinn to Rome were united for a couple of days, a feeling of European unity developed and fired our imagination. And what could be a better ending of this mere week than this feeling of euphoria that lifted all of us up, this vibration in body and soul that gets the ideas flowing? As far as I’m concerned, I will now give my project of a 3D documentary opera in Berlin the necessary drive with the experiences and contacts from the master class. And a new project in Havana is also coming into being, the morbid beauty of the city seems tailor-made for a 3D film. Cinema will continue to enchant spectators, let’s be at the very fore to elicit a maximum of poetry and magic from the third dimension! Uli Gaulke director Germany

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The sheer scope and depth of information I received at the EFA Stereography and Storytelling Master Class exceeded my expectation. No wonder: we had an opportunity to learn from the world-class experts working on the forefront of 3D development. However, at a certain point I felt frustration rising. It seemed we were not offered enough specifics in terms of universal guidelines for storytelling in 3D. Yet, sometimes frustration transforms into inspiration. This was exactly the case. Over the decades, the basic rules of filmmaking were established, to be stretched and broken, and to be re-established and broken again. These days it sometimes seems that nothing new can happen any more in the vocabulary of cinema. Meanwhile, in 3D we are dealing with a new layer of cinematic language, where conventions are yet to be formed. This ground still feels fresh, and as we learn the craft we are free to explore and play, establishing, stretching and breaking whatever rules there might be along the way. This is exactly the experience we had. Learning, watching, discussing, filming and editing, trying things, sometimes revelatory, sometimes plain silly. Knowledge means little without inspiration. I think we were lucky to get both. Alexei Popogrebsky director Russia

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Organisation & Crew EUROPEAN FILM ACADEMY Director ......................................... Project Manager ............................. Finances ........................................ Accounting .................................... Executive Producer ....................... Production Assistants ....................

Marion Döring Bettina Schwarz Rainer Pyls Klaudia Matschoß Volker Ullrich Elena Murasso, Sandra Eule

PICTORION das werk Berlin CEO ............................................... Inhouse Producer .......................... Mistika Operator ............................ Inhouse Administrator ................... Colourgrading ................................ Flame Operator ............................. Inhouse Technician ........................

Wolf Bosse Patrizia Jendrzej, Sarah Keller Christian Tröger, Sven Heck Alexander Falk Philipp Orgassa Philipp Fehling Jacob Blut, Gary Feuerhake

Team D.I.T. ............................................. Technical Assistants .......................

Driver ............................................

Christian Meyer Patrick Protz Uli Eidemüller, Thomas Keller (Pille Filmgeräteverleih) Ben Bernhard Elena Fichtner, Kristian Justus, Stefan Ziegler Mathias Langwich

Making Of Interviews ...................................... Editing ........................................... Stills ..............................................

Susanna Salonen Patrick Protz Franca Wohlt

Rig Assistant ................................. Stand-ins .......................................

Equipment and Post-Production Stereoscopic Technologies GmbH FGV Schmidle GmbH Pille Filmgeräteverleih GmbH TRANSVIDEO Camelot Broadcast Services GmbH DVS Digital Video Systems AG Studio Berlin Adlershof GmbH Wige Media AG Supported by MEDIA Plus Programme of the European Union Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg GmbH and PICTORION das werk Berlin 17


Founded in 1988, the European Film Academy (EFA) now unites more than 2,300 European film professionals with the common aim of promoting European film culture. Throughout the year, the EFA initiates and participates in a series of activities dealing with film politics as well as economic, artistic, and training aspects. The programme includes conferences, seminars and workshops, and a common goal is to build a bridge between creativity and the industry. These activities culminate in the annual presentation of the European Film Awards. EFA Master Classes are courses on continuous training. They are held by highly acclaimed and internationally successful filmmakers who dedicate one week of intensive training to young talents coming from all over Europe, passing on their individual knowledge and personal experience. Rather than bare lecturing, the courses concentrate on the practical side of learning with at least half of the time spent with hands-on training. Š 2010 European Film Academy e.V.


EFA Masterclass 2010