Indie goes 3-D
by Guy Dixon
he young women snarl and sneer and do battle like street fighters, if stylized ones in blue lipstick and black leggings. Behind them is a special-effects green screen for overlaying movie backgrounds, riffing off 1970s kung fu, The Matrix and a version of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
In front of the action, the cameraman dons strange, Blade Runner-like glasses. And at one point, a technician covered head to toe in green holds a metal rod in front of the camera. Once he’s digitally removed from the picture, the rod will become a projectile hurtling toward the audience.
The fighters are in fact models wearing clothes made by Toronto-based designer Nada Shepherd, and the film shoot is just one example of the growing use of 3-D among lower-budget productions, particularly in creative hubs such as Toronto and Montreal. No longer the purview of just IMAX and Hollywood blockbusters, 3-D is exploding and hurling toward audiences from all levels of film and video making like never before.
Shepherd had been looking for a new way to show off her designs and grab people’s attention. For months, she had been batting around ideas for a fashion video with Toronto director Grant Padley. Then she saw Avatar.
“I’ve never had a project go to fourth gear so ridiculously quickly. Once we had a 3-D cinematographer, we had a concept within days,” Padley says. The video for Nada Designs is billed as the first 3-D fashion presentation of its kind and will be shown prior to Toronto’s Fashion Week at the end of March.
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