Industry Report: Digital
3D Stereo Media: pushing the new medium
by David González
- The fifth edition of the International 3D-Stereo Summit for Science, Technology, Art and Business, the 3D Stereo MEDIA, was held in Liège, Belgium, from December 3 to 6, 2013.
The event focused on the emerging world of 3D film – one that is in the midst of full growth, but still in need of covering all of its glitches, in order to oil the machine’s gears to make it work properly. The summit was made up of several sections, namely the 3D Academy (an intensive one-day course in stereoscopic 3D (S-3D) moviemaking), the International 3D Festival (including film screenings in different competitions), the I3DS-Europe Event (a parallel festival with films from the Middle East and North Africa) and the 3D Content Funding Market.
The 3D Content Funding Market is the fastest growing section of the summit, going worldwide for the first time in its history (news). The third edition of the market, organised by 3D Stereo MEDIA alongside Peacefulfish, focused on the different poles of the business: public and private funding, marketing and production, through panels by professionals of the medium. The market also included a selection of 15 projects with commercial potential that were pitched to the jury by their directors and producers, of which two were selected for the Best Pitch Award (which went on to Cunningham 3D, produced by the United States' Chance Operations LLC and directed by Alla Kovgan) and the Special Award of the Jury (which went to Poland's Heart-Core, directed by Grzegorz Korczak).
According to Peacefulfish founder and CEO Thierry Baujard, 3D is an added value but only to the right film. "The producer really needs to see the value of Stereoscopic 3D early on in the film’s development and production process, so it can bring maximum impact,” he states. Baujard explains the goals and the new characteristics of this year’s market and approaches, as well as the situation of 3D film in Europe.
One of the main aspects of this situation is funding. This key field is still anchored in the funding possibilities of 2D film; experts say there is no particular 3D market, which makes a new medium such as 3D work with the old tools of the market. British film funding executive Anne Sheehan talks about public and private funding, and co-productions, as well as their relation to 3D.
As a new medium, 3D evolved quickly from an almost non-existent field to a crucial one – mainly, after the success of James Cameron’s Avatar in 2009 and the recent splash of Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity [+see also:
film profile]. There has been a shift in 3D cinema, especially in animation and genre films, as well as new territories – such as emerging ones like Russia, China or Brazil - that might be more interested. SC Films International CEO Simon Crowe develops these ideas.
The most important 3D films, like the aforementioned titles, have been powered by big studios – but is there room for smaller ones? Independent 3D filmmaking has been a difficult task especially given that the medium requires a big amount of money. But far from being absent, producers such as Cow Prod’s Michaël Caranicolas have managed to make a space for themselves, also relying on new windows like 3D-oriented VOD platforms, which can help make 3D markets bigger.
On top of its different sections, the 3D Stereo MEDIA also included several scientific and professional conferences, regarding 3D and stereoscopic technologies, and workshops for industry purposes, respectively.