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by Jesse Gordon

Earlier this month, on December 4, the PGA produced an event in conjunction with 3DU, the International 3D Society University.  Entitled "Producing 3D Films: What Every Producer Should Know,” the day-long session brought together many of the true leading lights of the stereoscopic technology world, covering everything from pre-production planning, to capture methodologies, to conversion, to pipelines and workflow.

For a one-stop shop, this event was hard to beat, especially as it was completely FREE to PGA members.  (Outsiders paid $75 for the privilege.)  A sampling of some PGA members in attendance turned up some glowing reviews:

Vince Pace, CEO of PACE HD stands next to a 3D Camera
(photo by Alex Berliner)
"As someone who doesn't work in post, or VFX and has never worked on a 3D project, I found this seminar hugely valuable,” vouched AP Council member Carole Beams.  "The content gave lots of insight into the terminology, the concept of creating 3D and the pros and cons of various methods.  Often seminars of this nature are so heavy into the techno-speak that only hardcore techies can understand what's being said. However, each of the panelists and moderators on Saturday conveyed the information in such a way as to be comprehensible for someone like myself.” 

Those sentiments were echoed by Carole’s fellow AP Council member Melissa Brockman, who called the event, "a great primer on stereoscopic film making. It made the subject very easy to understand for a novice, but also good for those with some 3D knowledge.”

For Randal Kleiser (not only a Producers Council member, but also the director of the Disney Theme Parks’ "Honey I Shrunk the Audience” attraction), "the highlight of the presentations was Jon Karafin's demonstrations of conversion techniques.  He visually illustrated the effects of poor 3D conversion in a way I had not seen before, explaining what to look for to keep quality levels up.”

New Media Council member Charlotte Huggins likewise appreciated the broad scope and informed perspectives provided by the speakers.  "Just when I think I have the whole 3D production thing understood,” she shares, "I hear how the landscape is changing and how much I have to learn.  I am amazed how much the production and post-production tools are improving, and thrilled at how much us veterans are learning from 3D newcomers who are approaching the art and technology of 3D filmmaking with fresh ideas.  Hearing the real-world experiences of producers like Jeff Silver on the 3D set of TRON was inspirational.  His list of "Do's" and "Don'ts" was insightful, and will inform any production I do going forward. From practical technical and procedural updates to new creative production approaches, the PGA/I3DS seminar was a great day well spent."

Once again, we feel that it’s worth pointing out that this day-long event was entirely free to members.  Sixteen speakers – among the top professionals in the field – came out to share their knowledge with the producing community.  It’s another small reminder that your PGA membership is about more than just screenings and DVD screeners… if you’re not taking advantage of the incredible programs being put together by the Seminar Committees (on both coasts) and your fellow PGA colleagues.  Be on the lookout for future day-long "themed” workshops centering on topics of interest to our members – we hope we’ll see you at the next one.