Sunday, August 14, 2011

Topanga Film Festival 3D Day

Hi everyone, Tim Buttner here. I've decided that my first post will be about my recent visit to the Topanga Film Festival that ran July 28-31. Saturday July 30 marked the Festival’s “3D Day” where they screened several 3D short films, some trailers from upcoming 3D films, and had a panel discussion from industry professionals.

It was a beautiful sunny day deep in the Topanga Canyon hills, held in the main auditorium near the Topanga Elementary School, where RealD had provided a screen for the day’s event while Christie provided the projector that had the RealD polarizing lens in front of it. Max Penner of Paradise FX was on hand to set up the projector along with Eric Kurland, President of the LA 3D Club. Max also took part in the panel later in the day. Ray “3D” Zone was also in attendance. Mr. Kurland provided a number of 3D shorts from the LA 3D Club’s Movie Fest, including the winners from previous years. Mr. Penner showed trailers from Dolphin Tale and Fright Night, and as well a 6-minute single take of a turtle 50 feet below the surface in the coral reef of the Cayman Islands. Everyone really enjoyed the cool underwater 3D footage.

The icing on the day though was a panel discussion consisting of Mr. Penner, Wayan Palmieri (Digital Revolution Studios), Ted Kenny (3ality Digital Systems), Michael Page (3D StereoLab), Erik Spicard (3D Filmmaker), and neuroscientist Dr. Alan Horsager, Ph.D. Dr. Horsager started it off with a brief overview of how we perceive 3D in real life and his thoughts on why we gravitate towards 3D films. Each panelist introduced themselves and explained how they got into 3D filmmaking, and as well what projects they have worked on. They voiced their thoughts on where the technology is going and how its becoming more accessible to the public. They commented that the format has yet to have its Michelangelo’s or Da Vinci’s and that we’ve yet to see what some people can do with it.

Afterwards I caught Wayan Palmieri to inquire about what editing software DRS would be switching to after the disastrous release of Final Cut Pro X, and he told me that they were moving to Avid. It seems Apple has pushed a number of professionals back into Avid’s hands, but Mr. Palmieri informed me that he is on the BETA team for Avid to integrate 3D tools in Media Composer 6.

Topanga’s first inclusion of 3D in the festival went well and it should become a staple of the festival. Next year I’m sure they’ll have more projects to show and the attendance will be twice as large, possibly even larger.

For more info on the festival and to perhaps attend next year, check out

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