MIPCOM analysis: 3D Focus founder talks buried content, bad press, and the search for stereoscopic gold

Jonathan Tustain of 3D Focus – a UK-based website that covers the latest developments in stereoscopic entertainment – attended this year’s MIPCOM conference to check out the latest 3D content and report on the event.

Parallax Film Productions President and Director Ian Herring and Executive Producer Maija Leivo also attended the event to showcase our production Blowdown 3D, the first ever show on explosive demolition to be delivered in stereoscopic form for international broadcast.

We chatted with Tustian about his experiences at MIPCOM – and the state of 3D TV in general.

Here’s what he had to say:

Why MIPCOM was a must

A lot of websites (about 3D) really do focus on the technologies. I thought there was way too much of that and not too much of the actual content. So the idea was really to get to MIPCOM and see what was being created – if it’s being made in 3D, it’s likely you’ll see it there. In a nutshell that’s what MIPCOM’s about – content.

(more…)

This week in Battle Castle-Nov. 11

Here’s what’s going on this week in our current production, Battle Castle:

On YouTube

Battle Castle: host Dan Snow discovers Crac des Chevaliers’ underground stores

Host Dan Snow descends deep into Crac des Chevaliers to explore its elaborate storage system and detail the role that it would have played during a siege. Dubbed the crown jewel of crusader castles, this castle is located in Northern Syria. It was constructed by Christian knights in the 12th and 13th centuries, and faced attack by a Muslim force armed with trebuchets and led by the Mamluk Sultan Baybars in 1271. The secrets of its build and details of the epic siege it faced are revealed in Battle Castle: Crac des Chevaliers.

Dan’s vlogs will be released every Thursday on YouTube, unveiling details related to the stories that will be profiled in the Battle Castle shows.

On Twitter

Medieval siege tip of the week:

@Battlecastle  Nov 10,

Chateau Gaillard a state-of-the-art castle, with successive lines of defence and round towers flanking the walls – M. Prestwich

3 ways to #gomedieval

Awesome medieval moments on the web, chosen by The Gatekeeper:

Explore reasons behind grave disturbances in the Middle Ages

http://bit.ly/t09IiA via @MedievalArchive

Discover ancient “castle” structures found in the Libyan desert

http://bit.ly/uFK19p via Military Architecture

Learn how medieval families came to be

http://bit.ly/upsKnx via @Medievalists

Want more Battle Castle action?

A world of castle engineering, bloody siegecraft, and epic clashes that transform mortals into legends awaits …

Join us.

www.battlecastle.tv

5 reasons why most people don’t own a 3D TV (yet)

Almost two years after 3D TVs started to fly off the production lines, people are growing tired of the talk about the latest and greatest technology – they want to see the content.

But there are still a lot of obstacles standing between consumers and their first 3D experience.

Here are five things the industry needs to do to get more eyes on the prize:

1. Tell them what’s best: If you are the average consumer you do not know that the surest bet is to buy a 3D TV with passive glasses and at a reasonable price.

2. Know your product: We went into every one we came across over the past 6 months.    None – and I mean not one of the guys we met and discussed 3D with knew what they were talking about.

3. Stock up on simple: Manufacturers want to unload their “old” – as in months old – technology. By and large these TVs remain too complicated for the average consumer to operate or maintain. Just try purchasing a replacement battery for those active shutter glasses.

4.  Improve distribution:  Just a couple of major companies – such as Universal Studios – control 80 per cent of DVD sales in the world. In addition there’s several middle companies that control access to these majors.  Each one takes a hefty commission along the way.   But if you don’t deal with these guys – your 3D DVD is not going to get wide release.   Ultimately a very small share of the retail sales flows down to the producer – so it’s not worth the hassle and the consumer stays hostage to the major companies.

5. Fess up:  The broadcaster and the television manufacturers’ PR machines perpetuate the “coming of age” story – failing to properly acknowledge the above obstacles.

Until producers, manufacturers, distributers and broadcasters work to eliminate these challenges for the consumer, the 3D “hype” will remain unfulfilled.

Ian Herring, President

@ianherring

This week in Battle Castle-Nov. 4

Battle Castle host Dan Snow reveals why 4 p.m. sunsets are a thing of beauty during a November shoot at Dover Castle in Kent, England.

This castle, known as “the Key to England” was attacked by Prince Louis of France with an array of weapons technology including the mangonel, perrier and siege tower. The stone castle was built mostly by Henry the II’s engineer Maurice, and defended by Hubert de Burgh, loyal to English King John.

Dan’s blogs will be released every Thursday on YouTube, unveiling details related to the stories that will be profiled in the Battle Castle shows.

On Twitter

Medieval siege tip of the week:

@Battlecastle  Nov 3,

Beware the elite’s desire to defend their own interests, as it can be the beating heart of any structural defence – M. Keen

3 ways to #gomedieval

Awesome medieval moments on the web, chosen by The Gatekeeper:

Transform a snowstorm into a stronghold

http://www.dadsupercool.com/uncategorized/build-snow-castle  via http://www.dadsupercool.com/

Build a castle out of cardboard, hats … even toilet paper

http://www.netmums.com/things/How_to_build_a_castle.2453/via http://www.netmums.com/

Dine at a castle in Canada (sort of):

http://tinyurl.com/3bz3r9w via liz__murray

Want more Battle Castle action?

A world of castle engineering, bloody siegecraft, and epic clashes that transform mortals into legends awaits …

Join us.

www.battlecastle.tv

HOT TICKET: Parallax Film Productions details what it takes to capture explosive demolition in 3D at Emily Carr’s S3D Centre

File 199

It’s a rare opportunity to explore, step-by-step, what it takes to shoot, edit and deliver stereoscopic programming for networks such as National Geographic and 3net. Ian and Sean will present their work from “Blowdown 3D: Goooal”, which profiles the implosion of the Fonte Nova Stadium in Salvador, Brazil, talk about their journey into stereoscopic 3D production, and share behind the scenes details about one of the most unique productions to date.

All attendees will be entered into a draw for a number of products, including a BluRay of “Blowdown 3D”.

This event is FREE and open to the public but tickets are going fast – 4 left as of 10 a.m. PST!

Register:http://s3dmeetup2.eventbrite.com/

This event will take place from 6–8pm (door 5:30) at Emily Carr University of Art + Design, North Building, Intersections Digital Studios.

Emily Carr’s Stereographic 3D Centre is a national centre of excellence dedicated to advancing the art of stereoscopic 3D through research, education and training.

This week in Battle Castle-Oct. 28

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=odmDkBF2G_E


Battle Castle host Dan Snow details the unusual story of a Roman amphitheatre that sits at the foot of the Alcazaba of Malaga in the Andalusia region of Spain. The theatre was built in time of Augustus, and was later used as a quarry by Muslims to raise the city’s fortifications. Roman column shafts and capitals, still visible in the walls of the structures, are said to be a testament to the castle builders’ pragmatic approach to construction. Battle Castle: Malaga brings to life the medieval siege of 1487, when King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella attacked the city and its Castillo de Gibralfaro in an attempt to conquer the Kingdom of Granada and complete the Reconquista, a Muslim Christian conflict that spanned centuries.

Dan’s vlogs will be released every Thursday on YouTube, unveiling details related to the stories that will be profiled in the Battle Castle shows.

On Twitter

Medieval siege tip of the week:

@Battlecastle  Oct 24,

There are two ways of taking a castle: by storming, or by negotiating – M. Prestwich

3 ways to #gomedieval

Awesome medieval moments on the web, chosen by The Gatekeeper:

This Halloween, read up on medieval costumes

http://englishcomplit.unc.edu/chaucer/costume.htm via Laura Hodges

Up your chivalrous quotient with this guide to knight-speak

http://www.chronique.com/Library/Glossaries/glossary-KCT/glssindx.htm

curated by brion

Get prepped for the Battle Castle cooking adventure

http://www.nibblesnbites.com/medieval-cooking-challenge/via Nibbles-n-Bites

Want more Battle Castle action?

A world of castle engineering, bloody siegecraft, and epic clashes that transform mortals into legends awaits …

Join us.

www.battlecastle.tv

3D TV analysis: ditch your ego, don those glasses, and enter the third dimension

While Maija Leivo and I were in Europe for this year’s MIPCOM conference we went to dinner with a friend from Discovery Channel and got talking about overcoming fear of doing things that make us – in our minds – look foolish.

For some this can be triggered when walking through a crowded restaurant looking for a seat for one, for others it may be sharing cuts of your film for the first time. It’s about putting ourselves out there – and therefore the potential for looking dumb looms large – and that mucky feeling of emotional distress follows.

This brings us to the 3D debate that rages amongst those who are invested in having stereo monitors and content in every house and on every channel.  They ask – what’s holding 3D back? I have heard it blamed on everything from the complex and expensive monitors to issues with accessing content to less-than-satisfactory 3D crippling consumer desire.

But there may be another facet to the debate worth considering. Simply put, people don’t want to look stupid. It’s that human condition where one doesn’t want to stand out.

For decades we have gone into stores and tried things on – shoes, headphones, sunglasses. It’s been made easy with familiarity and so-called expertise – but there is always that niggle of mindfulness that the potential of some person snickering and saying “boy, those look dumb”.

3D technology is in its retail infancy phase. That means it lacks the comfort associated with testing other, more established products. In order to check out a 3D TV for potential purchase we have to put 3D glasses on in public – and it’s not yet something we are used to.

The same goes for convincing all your buddies that your house is the best place to watch the super bowl with your new 3D TV – just have to put on these 3D glasses that make you look like Aristotle Onassis. This “new” experience seems to amplify self-consciousness – so it can be a tough sell.

While walking the floor at MIPCOM looking at other 3D vendors’ setups, I noticed that few potential viewers stopped to look at the visual spectacle that was on offer – mostly sports and a couple of soft-core porn vendors – but no one was lining up. If someone did stop and picked up the glasses, I could see they were actively overcoming their self-consciousness. Most just moved on because it looked like a hassle.

The lesson here is if we stick with what’s familiar, we often miss out. When people opt for their comfort zone instead of 3D glasses, they’re robbing themselves of a new experience. So next time you go into the 3D television section of the electronics store, try those glasses on. Snicker to yourself. And then enter the third dimension.

Ian Herring, President

@ianherring

This week in Battle Castle-Oct. 21

Here’s what’s going on this week in our current production, Battle Castle:

On YouTube

Battle Castle: host Dan Snow reveals how bad timing changed Chateau Gaillard’s history

Battle Castle host Dan Snow details King John’s attempt at thwarting the siege of Chateau Gaillard. The King of England, also known as John Lackland, planned a two-pronged attack, meant to triumph over Philip Augustus of France and his army, who were positioned outside English King Richard I’s stronghold in Normandy. Battle Castle: Gaillard reveals how Richard the Lionheart’s castle builders constructed the fortifications, which included securing the castle, an island fort, and the town of Petit Andely, and details the medieval weapons that the French used to attack it. Dan’s blogs will be released every Thursday on YouTube, unveiling details related to the stories that will be profiled in the Battle Castle shows .

Dan’s blogs will be released every Thursday on YouTube, unveiling details related to the stories that will be profiled in the Battle Castle shows .

Battle Castle: Malbork — Middle Castle gate

The Battle Castle crew moves one of five gates that mark the entrance to the Middle Castle at Malbork, Poland. The gate is cobbled, with stone plates that marked the way for carts so that they didn’t damage the gate jams. Battle Castle: Malbork profiles the siege of 1410 when Polish and Lithuanian forces attacked the brick stronghold. The offensive, which was led by King Jagiello and Grand Duke Vytautas, occurred after the Battle of Tannenberg. The castle, historically known as Marienburg, was built by the Teutonic Order, crusader knights who occupied this area of the Baltic in medieval times.

More:

On Twitter

Medieval siege tip of the week:

@Battlecastle  Oct 18,

In the mid-twelfth century, an average siege seems to last between four and six weeks – M. Keen

3 ways to #gomedieval

Awesome medieval moments on the web, chosen by The Gatekeeper:

Entertain guests with a food experience from the Middle Ages

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIC5bUX5RGE via hestonsfeasts

Taking up the ancient and impressive sport of falconry

http://www.redgage.com/photos/maggs224/a-falconer-with-one-of-his-birds-at-the-medieval-market.html via maggs224

Tips for dressing medieval on a budget

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFzRm3L14PI&NR=1v  via aglanceatmyworld

 

Want more Battle Castle action?

A world of castle engineering, bloody siegecraft, and epic clashes that transform mortals into legends awaits …

Join us.

www.battlecastle.tv

Stereoscopic TV review: editor Brian Mann details Vizio’s E3D420VX 42” Class Theater 3D LCD HDTV

On a recent trip to the U.S., Parallax Film Productions editor Brian Mann bought Vizio’s E3D420VX 42” Class Theater 3D LCD HDTV.

Here’s his take on the viewing experience:

The buy

I bought Vizio’s 3D TV for approx. $650.00 US at Costco in Bellingham, WA. 42 inch TVs seem to be a sweet spot right now – you can get really big deals. The Vizio was the best deal – even compared to non-3D capable TVs that were the same size.

Native versus converted

I’ve watched Blu-ray native 3D DVDs, including Tron and (Robert Zemeckis’) A Christmas Carol. I’ve also watched a 3D conversion – Green Hornet. You can tell the difference on this TV, but it doesn’t ruin the experience. With converted 3D you don’t get that “pop up book” look, but it still does feel like you have layers rather than the full depth.

Passive versus active

A lot of people are being snooty about the passive 3D experience. With a huge TV you might feel the difference or see jaggy edges. But with this 42 inch, the quality loss is not huge when you’re sitting 5 or 6 feet away. It’s great quality for the price. You can also use the same kind of glasses you use in the theatre (RealD technology) – which makes everything brighter and clearer – and avoid those big, bulky expensive active shutters.

The last word

Finding a 3D TV at this price means it’s no longer a luxury feature. It’s now making its way into mid-range TVs. It also means you’re not paying a premium for 3D capability … you’re just getting it with your TV. With this Vizio, you get a great 2D picture for the price, and the 3D’s an added bonus.

This week in Battle Castle-Oct. 14

Here’s what’s going on this week in our current production, Battle Castle:

On YouTube

Battle Castle: host Dan Snow details Conwy Castle’s peculiar curvature

Battle Castle host Dan Snow explores Conwy’s great hall and details the reason behind its unusual shape. This Welsh castle was built by King Edward I in Snowdonia, Wales, and was tested with Madog ap Llywelyn led a medieval rebellion against the English and their Iron Ring of fortifications in the late 13th century. The secrets of this mighty castle’s build and details of the siege it faced are revealed in Battle Castle: Conwy.

Dan’s blogs will be released every Thursday on YouTube, unveiling details related to the stories that will be profiled in the Battle Castle shows

Battle Castle: Conwy – the winds of Wales

Writer Nicole Tomlinson details the wilds of Wales and their role in Battle Castle: Conwy. The film crew and host Dan Snow moved away form the city and into the outlands to capture the spirit of what Snowdonia may have looked like in 1294 when Welsh leader Madog ap Llywelyn headed a medieval rebellion against the English and laid siege to their castles. The castle builders who engineered and constructed Conwy and the other fortifications in King Edward I’s Iron Ring and the soldiers who fought for the English would have had to navigate lands like these.

On Twitter

Medieval siege tip of the week:

@Battlecastle  Oct. 12,

Chainmail designed with wide armholes will not plague its wearer with constriction – B. Cornwell

3 ways to #gomedieval

Awesome medieval moments on the web, chosen by The Gatekeeper:

Creative forum for teaching medieval history

http://www.schoolhistory.co.uk/forum/index.php?showtopic=3067 via http://www.schoolhistory.co.uk/

Kids food from the Middle Ages to your table

http://www.ifood.tv/blog/medieval-foods-for-kids via http://www.ifood.tv

Paper trebuchet takes down office monotony

http://twitter.com/#!/dale42/status/103257397958684672 via @dale42

Want more Battle Castle action?

A world of castle engineering, bloody siegecraft, and epic clashes that transform mortals into legends awaits …

Join us.

www.battlecastle.tv