IBC: How Alfonso Cuaron Chose 2D-to-3D Conversion for 'Gravity'

Sandra Bullock Timeout Gravity - H 2013

Sandra Bullock Timeout Gravity - H 2013

An exec from Prime Focus — which did 2D-to-3D conversion work on Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity — praised the film and its use of 3D at the International Broadcasting Convention, where he spoke on a panel about conversion.

"It's a visionary film and the 3D plays an integral part in the film, alongside the sound, the color grading [and other crafts]," said Matthew Bristowe, vp production for View-D, Prime Focus' conversion arm.

He pointed out that depth was used as part of the storytelling, "from the vast space to the tight, claustrophobic feel inside the capsule."

Bristowe related that roughly 70 percent of the 3D in the film was created in the computer by VFX house Framestore, as a large portion of these shots are CG.

The portions that were lensed in the capsule were lensed in 2D and converted to 3D at Prime Focus.

"We started working on the project in 2010," Bristowe said, noting that the shots in the film are all carefully choreographed by five-time Oscar nominated director of photography Emmanuel Lubezki. "There were limitations to shooting in stereo, so they shot a 3D test, and gave us footage from one eye to convert. [Cuaron] was happy with the conversion. … [Creatively] it gave him more freedom in filming."

Also participating on the panel were Legend3D's founder, COO and CTO Barry Sandrew, who showed a clip from the company's 2D-to-3D conversion of Disney's The Little Mermaid; and Aaron Parry, executive vp and chief creative officer of Stereo D, who screened clips of the company's recent work on Pacific Rim and Jurassic Park.

While there are plenty of 3D naysayers at the conference, Bristowe asserted,"3D is not going away. It will continue to evolve and be part of the filmmaking process."

Sandrew predicted growth in conversion, saying it is "the only way to get a sufficient amount of content to screens."