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February 3, 2012

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XVIII-century expedition in 3D

Sławomir Idziak, Detlev Buck
Picture by Holger Seidel

There was no more than one month of technical preparations. We came to Arri Berlin in september 2011 to test cameras and stereoscopic equipment from Europe and USA, incl. products of Stereotec, P+S Technik and Paradise FX. We were looking for rigs that would be both flexible (for handheld shots) and solid.
In most cases we found that 3D rigs are either to heavy for Ecuadorian conditions or not resistant enought. Week later we traveled to Munich, where we met Sebastian Cramer, co- founder of Screenplane company, that finally provides us with 3 rigs. After all, choosing Screenplane turned out to be accurate decision for this movie.

Second phase was choosing cameras. There was no doubt that we need cameras that will cope with equatorial contrasts. Our main camera was Arri Alexa, that was usualy used for wider shots. Next to Alexa, there were two rigs supported with much lighter Sony F3 with S-log update. We found out that duet of Alexa Log-C and F3 S-log gives a good match in color correction.

On the other hand we were looking for some freedom and flexibility. Arri just brought pair of prototype SinaCam cameras from NAB. Unfortunately, one of two prototype cams crashed and the manufacturer was unable to produce more camera bodies for october. So we end up with Panasonics HCK-10 recorded on Aja KiPro Mini through complicated synchronization system jokingly called “Al-Kaida”.
Also GoPro Hero 3D was used for some shots in Ecuador.

Each day was visually diverse and a bit unexpected. Althought production’s challenging 31 days shooting schedule, we manage to complete the movie in time. It was satisfactory experience seeing all that 3D, digital technology deep in a rainforest or on a wide jungle river.
After all we had imported 20 tons of camera equipment to Equador.

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