VANCOUVER, BC April 21, 2015 – World Oceans Day has taken on new meaning to the production team at Parallax Film Productions. After spending months filming their latest project called Bahama Blue, a bunker oil spill occurred in their hometown Vancouver, just as they were delivering the final episodes.
“We just have a new appreciation for how catastrophic an event like this can be. We know how vulnerable many species are to manmade pollution,” says Director and Executive Producer Ian Herring, “It’s a shame that we only truly appreciate wildlife when it’s threatened or gone.”
The team chose a different theme for their series, though, to capture the beauty and diversity of wildlife in the Bahamas. “We’ve taken a page out of (David) Attenborough’s book,” says Herring, “the best way to motivate people to protect the environment is to inspire them, not just lecture them.”
Parallax started by focusing on the classic A-List Species: sharks, dolphins and whales, but quickly learned that just like there are no small roles, only small actors, the Bahamas were filled with countless extraordinary creatures: rare species of iguana found nowhere else on earth, tiny tree crabs who need to stay wet to breath and a type of comb jelly that predates the dinosaurs. The series blends rich 4k cinematography and macro photography, that allowed the team to film creatures ranging from tiny thimble jellyfish to giant sperm whales. Its signature ‘tide lapses’ and intimate aerials set the creatures in their environment: a view of the Bahamas beyond the beaches.
The series is something of a departure for the Parallax team who is best known for its science and history programming. Their most recent project, Battle Castle, blended computer-generated images, beauty location footage with battle reconstructions to tell the stories of six great castles and their sieges. But Herring believes he’s recapturing something of an art lost to many Canadian filmmakers and he’s convinced that Canadian viewers want to see it. He cites a recent survey they showed that 63% of Canadians or nearly 17 million people obtained their information about Nature through visual media in the previous year, narrowly surpassing those who got information from print sources.[i]
Bahama Blue premieres in Canada on Love Nature Wednesday, May 6 at 10 pm Eastern. Love Nature is a premium nature and wildlife channel, which showcases the animals, landscapes and wonders of our world in a commercial free, family friendly format. Herring likes its placement on a commercial free channel. “We want to take the audience with us on a cinematic journey to this unique spot,” he explains, “without the ads, people stay immersed in the stories.”
Love Nature also sees the power of episodes to inspire. “Bahama Blue lets us see nature in a spectacular new light with beautiful 4k content,” says Marcia Martin, SVP, Original Content, Blue Ant Media. “Airing this stunning new series on the Love Nature Channel allows us to further connect people to the beauty and wonder of nature.”
World Oceans Day is June 8, just before the sixth and final episode of Bahama Blue. Parallax intends to support the worldwide event by sponsoring a Twitter chat with one of Bahama Blue’s underwater cameramen, Andy Brandy Casagrande, to discuss his role creating images that inspire ocean conservation.
Bahama Blue will broadcast in French Canada in the winter of 2016.
Bahama Blue is also scheduled to air starting:
- May 5 in Eastern Europe, Middle East, Africa (EEMA) on Animal Planet
- May 24 in Italy on Focus TV.
Other international broadcast dates are forthcoming.
For more information and interview requests, please contact:
Parallax Film Productions
Bahama Blue premieres weekly on Wednesdays at 10PM ET/PT on Love Nature. (Check local listings at: http://tv.lovenature.com/schedule/)
About Parallax Films
Parallax Film Productions, founded in 1996 by Ian Herring, has delivered more than forty-five hours of blue chip factual programs to broadcasters all over the world. The team uses the latest in film technology to provide powerful storytelling with unprecedented visuals in HD, 3D and 4k for multiple media platforms. Parallax’s recent series Battle Castle, a television and convergent media project, received a nomination for Best Historical or Biographical Series in the 2013 Canadian Screen Awards and seven Leo Award nominations of which they won four, including Best Documentary Series. Their international broadcasters and partners to-date are Discovery Channels (US, Canada and International), National Geographic Channels (US, Canada and International), Love Nature (Canada) History Channel (US), Channel 4 (UK), FIVE (UK), DMAX (Germany), RAI (Italy), TV Asahi (Japan), PBS NOVA and Nature, History Television (Canada), BBC Worldwide and Parthenon Entertainment.
[i] Source: Federal, Provincial, and Territorial Governments of Canada, 2012 Canadian Nature Survey: Awareness, participation, and expenditures in nature-based recreation, conservation, and subsistence activities, p. 23
Parallax kicks off principal photography filming Bahama Blue this month, exploring the islands of the Bahamas through the award-winning lenses of Andy Brandy Casagrande, Mark Rackley and Sean F. White.
The experience has renewed and reinvigorated our committment to protecting the underwater stars of the show, and inspired us to come up with a list of the Top 10 Ways to Save the Oceans in advance of World Oceans Day, June 8. (more…)
Last week, Kate Webb interviewed Bahama Blue DOP Sean F. White about the three cameras he was considering to shoot wildlife series Bahama Blue in 4K. This week he revealed his choice, and the winner is… The Red Epic-X!
Size, cost, lens compatibility and frame rate were all important factors in Sean’s decision on the camera he will to take with him to the Bahamas when filming begins next month.
But ultimately, the Red’s speed and flexibility was too tantalizing too resist.
“At the end of the day, it’s something that’s going to serve all our needs and more,” says Sean.
“That’s the camera that I knew will need a lot of accessories and data storage, but is going to give us flexibility; in our frame rates, in our resolution, and in our compression rate, so that we can manage the size of the data. That’s a very overlooked feature.”
The Red can easily be configured to fit inside underwater DOP Peter Zuccarini‘s state-of-the-art underwater housing, and is a proven wildlife camera capable of shooting up to 280 frames per second.
Looks like this little Red is in for an exciting ride! From expeditions through mangrove creeks to dives in deep-water trenches, it will have to withstand exposure to some of the Bahamas’ fiercest elements and biggest predators.
Here’s hoping the sharks don’t like the taste of it.
Image of diver in Canary Islands shot on Canon EOS-1D C. Credit: Peter Zuccarini
Parallax researcher Kate Webb interviewed Bahama Blue DOP Sean F. White about the cameras he is considering to shoot this groundbreaking wildlife series in 4K.
Buying a camera is always a big decision, but picking one compact enough to haul through swamps and jungles to shoot wildlife in ultra-high definition presents a dizzying array of considerations for cinematographer Sean White.
“I think the hardest part is comparing the different features of these cameras and scrutinizing them with a fine-toothed comb, and then really going back and trying to visualize whether it’s the right tool for the job,” he said.
Sean will primarily be using his camera to shoot creatures on the topside, such as flamingos, parrots and iguanas, but he also plans to swap gear while crisscrossing the tropical archipelago with acclaimed underwater cinematographer Peter Zuccarini, who already uses a Canon EOS-1D C.
In this post, Ian Herring writes about why glasses-free 4K-3D TV could become the next holy grail of home entertainment
Plenty of pundits have pronounced 3D TV dead, but a new generation of technology could offer the reprieve that we in the business have all been waiting for.
The first high-quality glasses-free 3D tablets hit the market this year and are already flying off the shelves. The 10.1-inch Hampoo and eight-inch Gadmei are mercifully ushering in the end of the awkward active-glasses phase of 3D consumer electronics (CE).
That means it’s only a matter of time before a 55-inch glasses-free 3D TV becomes the next must-have in home entertainment — and that, in combination with the other next big thing, Ultra HD (4K), will be just too fantastic to resist.
It makes me excited about the future of 3D filmmaking.
Imagine sitting on your sofa watching an action-packed film or show, such as Parallax’s upcoming underwater series Bahama Blue or Guillermo del Toro’s summer blockbuster Pacific Rim, in glasses-free, 4K-3D.
In the theatre, because of the tint on my polarized lenses, I found some of Pacific Rim’s fantastic creatures looked dark – snapping me out of the immersive experience. This could be fixed with brighter projection in theatres, but also perhaps, someday, at home. With an autostereoscopic 4K-3D TV the picture would be ultra-bright and crisp — much more so than 1080p — just as it was intended.
Which has got me thinking that 4K may be the gateway for 3D to take hold. 4K is a more accessible idea for people to grasp – it’s not a huge leap for people to see that Ultra HD is a logical step from HD as it’s just a better image.
So for now we leave 3D off the table and when the autostereoscopic sets begin to roll out with 4K resolution, I think it will blow people’s minds in the way HD did when it first came out in the mid-2000’s.
And if things go well, autostereoscopic 4K-3D TV is set to become a powerful, immersive and transformative visual medium, and that’s why Parallax is diving in full-force.
Swimming with dolphins in 4k-3D may be like being there
In this post, Maija Leivo writes about the excitement happening around Parallax Film Productions lately.
What a week! We’ve just boarded a flight to Toronto with a connection to Miami and then on to the Bahamas tomorrow. This follows on market calls to Realscreen West in Los Angeles and then to Banff Media Festival, with a two-day stop in Vancouver to attend the Leo Awards last Friday and Saturday night. Ian has been really racking up the Aeroplan miles.
The intensive two weeks were very extraverted. After many months of nurturing and developing in house, it was time to share the proceeds with broadcasters who just might let us take our pet projects to the world. For the Leo Awards, it was a reflection of how our project Battle Castle was received by the BC-based film community. In truth, we were honoured by the initial feedback that awarded our team seven nominations across numerous categories including direction, cinematography, screenwriting, sound and best documentary series. We were proud to emerge with four awards, two for the team from Post Modern Sound, one to Nicole Tomlinson for Screenwriting and the coveted Best Documentary Series, which acknowledged the depth of the myriad of talents that make our work possible. We’re so proud of our nominees Sean White and Brian Mann and were very happy that Liz Murray could be on hand to collect hardware with Ian and I on Saturday night.
Battle Castle Team at the Leo Awards Friday June 7, 2013 Sean White nominated for Best Cinematography, Jakub Kuczynski (VFX), Nicole Tomlinson Leo Award winner for Screenwriting, Series Producer Maija Leivo, Ian Herring nominated for Best Direction and Best Doc Series and Brian Mann Best Editing Nominee.
Leo Awards Saturday, June 8, 2013 Series Producer Maija Leivo, Executive Producer Ian Herring and Producer Liz Murray collect the Leo Award for Best Documentary Series.
The meetings in Los Angles and Banff were also really productive. A sad statement of the times was the Broadcaster who confided in Ian that he was the first Producer to acutally pitch a documentary. The field is deep in reality these days.
Which brings me back to our documentary slate. We’re going to stay our course and continue to pitch films on the ideas we love and which motivate us. We’re embarking this weekend on a major scout for a new wildlife series called Bahama Blue. It will be shot over the next year in the Bahamas and for the next two weeks, it’s going to be all about the sharks and dolphins, reefs and mangroves, seahorses and flamingoes, not to mention countless species of iguanas. We’re excited to be working with the noted underwater cinematographer Pete Zuccarini as our local guide and to have Sean White back as our Director of Photography. We’re hoping to share some photos from the scout, so be sure to like our Facebook Page or follow us on Twitter. As for that development, we’re going to keep you posted.
We’re hoping to share some exciting developments later this summer, so keep your eyes on this space.
The categories are:
Best Documentary Series (Ian Herring, Tom Clifford, Maija Leivo and Liz Murray, producers)
Best Direction (Ian Herring)
Best Screenwriting (Nicole Tomlinson)
Best Cinematography (Sean F. White)
Best Picture Editing (Brian Mann)
Best Overall Sound (Adam Prescod with Don Mann, Greg Stewart and Angelo Nicoloyannis of Post Modern Sound)
Best Sound Editing (Don Mann, Christopher Cleator, and Rick Senechal of Post Modern Sound)
Congratulations to the Battle Castle team and to all the other nominees.
The 15th Leo Awards will take place on Friday, June 7th and Saturday, June 8th at the Westin Bayshore in Vancouver, B.C.
We were pleased to be invited to participate in the first 3D[FWD] Conference held last Friday at the Vancity Theatre. The conference kicked off the creation of the first Canadian branch of the International 3D Society and present insight into the 3D business for those foraging forward.
Here’s a short rundown on some of the speakers:
David Brenner, CEO of LA-based Principal Media outlined models of financing 3D productions. Principal claims to be the world’s largest distributor of 3D content. David was clear that it was difficult to fund exclusively 3D content. It was interesting that he recommended that producers pursue a 2D/3D model to create content, to serve both broadcast platforms as we did with our 3D Blowdown episode. David also shared information about an additional revenue stream through VOD apps by television manufacturers that could also generate revenue for even short form content. For anyone in possession of spectacular stereoscopic imagery of any length, this seems like a viable option.
David also provided projections for the penetration of 3D televisions. It is estimated that by 2016, 50% of American homes will have 3D-ready sets. Panasonic has already announced that 90% of the televisions it is already producing are 3D capable.
After the coffee break, there was a great panel discussion entitled “Telling Your Story in 3D.” Moderated by Buzz Hays, founder of True Image Company. The panel included Adam May from Vision3, Joshua Hollander out of Pixar and Robert Neuman of Disney Animation Studios. They shared beautiful samples of their work and lots of discussion about the practical implications of working in 3D both in live action and animation. For me, the greatest part was the reassurance that everyone, regardless of the size of their budgets or the depth of corporate support, has been working things out. Building as we are on a century-old tradition of cinema, it was reassuring to learn that we’re all still learning to master the language of 3D. The exciting part for the audience is that 3D is only going to get better and better as we move through this rapid experimental stage.
After lunch, Parallax Film’s Ian Herring teamed up with James Cowan of Finale Editworks to discuss the reality of producing the 3D content in Vancouver. Readers of our blog will remember the challenges we encountered producing a 3D episode of our Blowdown series.
The session presented by Vancouver based Gener8 was a real eye opener for us. We’ve always had a negative knee jerk reaction about 2D-to-3D conversion, arguing that poor conversions reflected badly on the industry. However, Gener8 made a strong argument for the service they provide. While some movies are entirely converted, Gener8 has also worked on a number of films that were shot native 3D, but pick ups were in 2D, sometimes for reasons of costs. Mark Lasoff and Colin Jenken also argued that given the complexity of some sequences, combining live action 3D, computer generate imagery (CGI) and visual effects, it may be almost impossible to shoot these sequences in 3D and have the components come together successfully. Conversion is viable option.
It was a treat to hear Hugh Murray speak about IMAX’s experiences with 3D. Dating back into the 1980s, IMAX provided many people with their first exposure to 3D films. The technological challenges have been immense, as they not only developed camera systems but also the theatre venues in which the films could be shown. Samples from their recent 3D space films seemed to capture the aspirational aspects of both the voyages of discovery and the visual media with a nod to IMAX’s Canadian roots.
James Stewart of Geneva Film Co shared some of his work producing commercials for companies like Telus and this classic moment from the Honeymooners:
James provided us all with the talking points to sell our media form, reminding us all that if 3D is a fad, it is a 227.27 BILLION dollar fad, that is growing at 15% per year.
The last official presentation of the day was Grant Anderson of the Sony 3D Technology Centre. He presented a series of three case studies in which they shot existing or new projects using 3D cameras. Overall, he found that they were able to get their crews up to speed with a day or two of training, with only modest increases to the labour required for the shoot, usually three extra bodies.
In all his recommendations included:
- Plan 3D aspects (including depth cues) ahead of time.
- Understand how to shoot for the 3D screen the audience will watch on.
- Quick set up and calibration, checked throughout the day and
- Know what good 3D looks like and don’t leave with out it.
The results of the white paper on 3D at 2D Economics is available here.
Special thanks to everybody who made this conference happen. The day flew by and they did an excellent job bringing together a varied group with plenty of insight. A special mention goes out to the tech people who made it possible for all the speakers to share their 3D content with the audience at the Vancity Theatre.
Parallax Film Productions is proud to announce that its most recent project, “Battle Castle,” has been nominated for the inaugural Canadian Screen Awards (formerly known as the Geminis) in the category of Best History or Biography Program or Series. Congratulations to the entire “Battle Castle” team who made this project such a tremendous success.
The Canadian Screen Awards: Television and Digital Media Show is scheduled for presentation Wednesday, February 27, 2013.