James Cameron Unveils 3D Footage From the Mariana Trench in Worldwide Premiere

9:32 AM PST 09/09/2012 by Carolyn Giardina
Charles Eshelman/FilmMagic

In addition to debuting a trailer titled "James Cameron’s Deepsea Challenge 3D," Cameron | Pace Group also revealed a deal with BSkyB on Monday at the IBC Convention.

AMSTERDAM—“Why set a world record if you’re not going to shoot it in 3D?” asked James Cameron as he presented in public for the first time 3D clips from his recent dive to the Mariana Trench’s Challenger Deep, the ocean’s deepest point.

Sunday at the International Broadcasting Convention in Amsterdam, he unveiled a trailer that was titled James Cameron’s Deepsea Challenge 3D and included the moment when the lone sub touched the sandy bottom of the trench with no ocean life in sight. The clips also featured images of unusual ocean life, as well as clips of Cameron and his team testing the custom-build sub in the months prior to his historic journey.

In March, Cameron—a National Geographic explorer—became the first man to complete a solo dive to the Challenger Deep, which is roughly 7 miles beneath the surface of the Pacific Ocean and roughly 200 miles from Guam.

Cameron | Pace Group, the 3D company founded by Cameron and his fellow co-chairman Vince Pace, worked to bring 3D cameras on the journey with an eye toward a documentary as well as scientific research.

Cameron and Pace related that their 3D camera systems—including the underwater housing—that went on their Titanic dives a decade ago weighed roughly 150 pounds, but the team had to get the systems down to under five pounds to accommodate the cramped quarters of his Deepsea Challenge sub. The housing of course also required the strength to withstand the underwater pressure.

At IBC, CPG also revealed that it has joined forces with Sky in the UK to co-produce 3D coverage of the Ryder Cup, which begins September 28 in Illinois.

This is the first major 3D production for which CPG  teamed with Sky. “We are talking about a range of opportunities,” John Cassy, director of Sky 3D, told The Hollywood Reporter.

More than 30 hours of live Ryder Cup coverage is planned, which will be a separate 3D shoot alongside the 2D shoot from NBC and European Tour Golf.

In order to create a business model that works, Cameron and Pace have championed a concept that they call “5D,” which is to do a single shoot and extract both the 2D and 3D from that shoot. This model has already been employed by ESPN, for instance on the recent ESPN X-Games in Los Angeles. This is not a model that Sky 3D has used, though Cassy said the Ryder Cup is a separate production “largely because of the way it was pulled together rather late.”

This production will come two years from the launch of Sky 3D, Europe’s first 3D channel, which debuted with live 3D coverage of the 2010 Ryder Cup.

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