Thursday, October 20, 2011

It’s a Nice Day for a 3D Wedding [3DVIDEO]

Bruno White Entertainment (Orlando, FL) and Lafayette Hill Studios (Lafayette Hill, PA) recently utilized pre-production models of Panasonic’s AG-3DA1 Full HD 3D camcorder to shoot wedding videos at the Epcot theme park at Walt Disney World Resort and in the suburbs of Philadelphia.

Bruno White Entertainment (BWE), a nationally recognized leader in field production work, delivers original creative content along with broad support in all production services and has a wide range of entertainment, corporate, and commercial credits. BWE has an exclusive contract with the Disney Event Group (Orlando, FL) to shoot corporate events and wedding on various Disney properties.

Lafayette Hill Studios combines elegant still photography with high-quality video production, and has emerged as a leader in special occasion videography. An extensive roster of clients is testimony to the company’s successful combination of special events coverage and emerging video technologies.

For the past several years, BWE has shot hundreds of corporate and event videos for Disney, Microsoft and other high-profile clients with Panasonic AVCCAM solid-state camcorders. Lafayette Hill Studios’ mainstay acquisition tool is the Panasonic AG-HPX500 P2 HD shoulder-mount camcorder.

The AG-3DA1, available August 27, is the world's first professional, fully-integrated Full HD 3D camcorder recording to SD card media. The AG-3DA1 has the potential to democratize 3D production by giving professional videographers a more affordable, flexible, reliable and easier-to-use tool for capturing immersive content. Current 3D systems are large-scale setups in which two cameras are fitted to a rig in parallel, or vertically intersect across a half-mirror. Separate recorders are also required. In the AG-3DA1, the lenses, camera head, and a dual Memory Card recorder are integrated into a single, lightweight body. The camcorder also incorporates stereoscopic adjustment controls making it easier to use and operate.

BWE has shot two weddings in 3D, one in front of the Morocco Pavilion at Epcot, with the reception on the top floor of the Seas Pavilion, and the second at the Disney Wedding Pavilion. (The weddings were also shot in 2D; with the permission of the brides and grooms, an additional shooter covered the events with the 3DA1. 3D selects will be included as a special feature on the couples’ wedding DVDs.)

“I’ve been amazed at the 3D image quality of the 3DA1,” said Terri White, BWE owner/producer. “The camcorder is easy to operate: our videographer was up and running within a couple of hours, and our 3D shooting techniques will only get better and better.”

“Certain wedding traditions, like throwing the bouquet and dancing, look better and more interesting in 3D,” White added. “We envision that 3D will literally add a dimension to the wedding video experience, in that couples will be more likely to immerse themselves in memories and watch the DVDs again and again.”

BWE technical supervisor Kyle Frazer operated the 3DA1 during the two events. “The learning curve on the camcorder wasn’t intimidating, and the footage looks great,” he said. “The iconic Epcot Spaceship Earth Pavilion (an 18-story geodesic sphere) is a real wow in 3D, and certain of the wedding trappings, like the flowers and the exchange of rings, seem to fly out of the screen.”

“The 3DA1’s mix function made it easy to handle convergence and avoid frame violations,” Frazer continued. “Beyond weddings, I see tremendous potential for the camcorder in corporate work, especially for a client like Disney that is already set up for 3D display.”

“Shooting a wedding with the 3DA1 opens up a lot of creative opportunities for the wedding videographer,” said Bernie Mitchell, president of Silver Platter Productions (Knoxville, TN), the 3D production company that worked on location with BWE. “It’s a very flexible camcorder: we extended it up on a monopod to get some really nice high angle shots, and in one sequence, we actually lay on the ground and shot a nice, low-angle shot framing the bride and groom in a doorway. For the second Disney wedding, we moved indoors into the Wedding Pavilion, where the windows frame Cinderella's castle, which looks great as a 3D shot.”
Frazer is editing the 3D footage on Final Cut Pro using the Dashwood Stereoscopic 3D Plugin.

Michael Brand, the principal of Lafayette Hill Studios, has also covered two summer weddings with the 3DA1. (The main camcorder was the HPX500, with the 3DA1 on site with the permission of the couples.)

“I was taking 3D still photos 25 years ago, but until now I couldn’t envision 3D video for weddings,” said Brand. “You’re not going to take a beam splitter to a church! The 3DA1 is the first of its kind in delivering excellent 3D quality with verite style shooting.”

“The camcorder handles details and blacks beautifully,” he said. “Because you can adjust convergence so easily, you can produce gorgeous 3D video that is immersive, not gimmicky. It didn’t take me long working with the camcorder to learn where I had to stand for the best shots.”

“We market our company on the basis of creative storytelling, and 3D certainly adds another level to the narrative,” Brand added. “I envision that the 3DA1 could open doors for us beyond wedding production into areas like digital signage and training.”

Brand is editing the 3D footage on Final Cut Pro with the Dashwood 3D Plugin. “I’ve been showing the 3D material to current and former clients,” he noted. “One recent bride said, ‘I’d like to get married again in 3D!’”

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