I consider myself a lifelong learner. I love learning new things, and I do my best to keep up on technology and filmmaking techniques. Our clients rely on us to be “the experts,” and the only way to do that is to continually seek out educational opportunities.
Over the last year, I’ve been tentatively dipping my toes into 3D production. However, I’ve found the learning curve to be daunting – and I’ve found it difficult to locate a good, fundamental 3D resource. That is, until I discovered NewMediaWebinars.com. For $25, I was able to download an on-demand seminar given by James Neihouse, a cinematographer on (among many other things), the 3D Hubble IMAX film.
Think this guy knows his stuff? Um – yeah. I think he does.
The specific seminar I watched was Stereo 3D Filmmaking Bootcamp. While I found the seminar to be a little dry at times (there’s a TON of technical information that he throws at you), this was one of the best primers on stereo cinematography I’ve ever seen. At the end, I not only understood the basic techniques, but also quite a bit of the “why” of stereo cinematography. James does a fantastic job of giving you visuals that illustrate not only how the 3D works, but also why!
I have to say the seminar wasn’t perfect. I tend to struggle a bit with the powerpoint/audio nature of most online seminars and this one is no different – there’s just something more engaging about seeing a person’s face while they’re presenting that I always miss with webinars. That, combined with the dry nature of some of the technical details, meant I wasn’t able to sit through the entire 90 minutes without getting up from my computer and grabbing some caffeine.
However, at the end of the seminar, I was fired up to go out and shoot some 3D and try his techniques. I’m probably not ready to have a paying client, but I’m confident I have enough of a foundation that I can learn what I need. Now we just need to get a 3D monitor… oh, and a stereo rig (or camera)… and a script that calls for 3D…
Finally, as part of the download, I got the entire slide deck, a bonus podcast with James Neihouse, a file with reference links, and some stereo footage to play around with in FCP.
Overall? Well worth the $25 – and absolutely satisfied my lifelong learner craving.
Full disclosure – after viewing the seminar, NewMediaWebinars.com and I began a dialogue about having me teach a future class. It now looks like I’ll be talking about asset management in Final Cut Pro in March. Hopefully I can avoid some of the presentation pitfalls I identified in the Stereo 3D Filmmaking Bootcamp. If not, feel free to call me out on it!
Written by Brent Altomare