Kid Reporter Taylor Pannell went on a 3-D adventure for TFK this summer. She journeyed passed the Hollywood Sign to RED Studios, a filmmaking studio in Hollywood, California, where she learned about 3-D movie magic and created her own 3-D images. Every year, RED offers a summer camp for kids ages 9-15 to get hands-on experience with the same 3-D cameras used to make blockbuster films and to learn from technicians in the industry.
Behind the Lenses
To film a movie in 3-D, you need a 3-D camera. 3Ality Technica, a 3-D technology company, designed the enormous 3-D cameras at RED Studios. RED’s cameras are used in many current 3-D films, such as Journey 2, The Amazing Spider-Man and the upcoming The Hobbit: An Incredibly Journey.
There are several different lenses on a 3-D camera that more common, every-day cameras don’t have. The two lenses that are used in this device act as our eyes, seeing two slightly different pictures. When the lenses’ pictures are combined, it produces a view similar to our own.
Then, the image can be sent to special computers that are wired to a remote that can tamper with the convergence scale of the picture. Convergence is the point where the lenses of two or more cameras intersect. Jill Smolin, the director of education at 3ality Technica, explained that good 3-D is a result of perfected convergence. This way, the 3-D effect won’t harm your eyes or eyesight as you watch the film.
Steps to a Career in 3-D
TFK asked Smolin and her technical crew, Shannon Benna and Rafiel Chait, to offer advice for kids interested in 3-D filmmaking. Here’s what the experts had to say:
• Pay attention to STEAM. That stands for science, technology, engineering, art, and math. Benna wasn’t too interested in math as a kid. However, she had always had a love for 3-D films and photography. “I fell in love with 3-D, and I realized it was a visual reason why I needed to know math,” Benna said.
• Start learning right now. “Learn about the history of filmmaking and understand how to tell a good story,” Chait said. “Once you have that education, get out there and try to meet people, be friendly and listen. Then, watch a lot of movies. Good movies, old movies, all kinds of movies."
• Find a mentor. A mentor is somebody who will help to guide you through the process. It’s never too early to start learning.
• And above all, have fun! The amazing new world of 3-D filmmaking is waiting for you to shape it.
Do you have a pair of 3-D glasses nearby? Use the glasses to view the 3-D image Taylor made, below: