Castles in 3D: exclusive stereoscopic footage brought to you by Parallax Film Productions

To inspire excitement and share our love of stereography we are releasing 3D stills and footage shot during field production of our current series Battle Castle. This exclusive online content represents our continued commitment to the wild, unpredictable and always thrilling ride of these S3D days.

So grab your red/cyan glasses and check out our first installment of video: a special HD 3D trailer for Battle Castle: Dover. This footage, which was captured and edited by our Director of Photography/Stereographer Sean F. White, features the castle known as the Key to England.

If you have a passive 3D display, the footage generally is best viewed on the side-by-side setting. Once your display is configured, simply click on the 3D icon at the bottom of the video and set YouTube to Side-by-Side, half-width. If you don’t have a 3D display, you can view the clips in anaglyph mode. Simply use any pair of red/cyan glasses and set YouTube to Optimized (Dubois).

-Ian Herring, President


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.


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


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

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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!


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.

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


MIPCOM … 3D: stereoscopic dispatches from the world’s entertainment content market

Parallax Film Productions President Ian Herring was in Cannes, France last week for MIPCOM, armed with a 3D monitor and ready to showcase our first 3D documentary to the world’s entertainment content market.

Here’s what he found.

I wanted to share Blowdown 3D, our stereoscopic documentary on explosive demolition produced for international broadcast, at this year’s MIPCOM conference in Cannes, France.

My criteria was it had to be an easy and hassle-free viewing experience. NO ACTIVE SHUTTER glasses. I needed the technology to work seamlessly so I could be free to discuss more important things.  My post-production team came up with a brilliant solution – take my own passive 3D monitor to the conference.

The gamble

When we chose LG’s D2342P 23IN 3D LED Backlit LCD Monitor I was taking a chance on alienating my audience and turning them off 3D – counter to everything I have been doing for the past year and a half. Would I be able to get the quality I needed to show our flagship 3D documentary to clients and colleagues at MIPCOM?

The journey

I brought it over from Vancouver, Canada as carry on.   From what I could see I was the only one who carried a computer monitor on board an international and then a European domestic flight.

The destination

The LG monitor was the only one of its kind at a TV conference that hosts 10, 000 buyers and sellers. I walked the floor of the market and saw lots of large 3D TVs, but not many people viewing them. I wondered if this was because the content wasn’t compelling or because people just don’t want to look stupid with glasses on.

The impact

Many of the people we showed a clip of BD 3D had not seen much 3D TV.   It worked.  The discussion came down to not WHY we were doing 3D but our next project.  Here’s one of our clients screening on our LG.  Easy and discrete.


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When it comes to 3D, seeing is believing – you have a have a good reason to don glasses and it had better be an amazing the viewing experience or we as content creators are going to have a tough time convincing folks its worth the effort to finance and exhibit.

The last word

Sadly, at the market a major journal profiled 3D and its evolution, technology and got it SO wrong.  A bad joke at a TV market.

Ian Herring, President


Review: 3D in the boardroom – LG’s 23-inch D2342P monitor a good candidate for showcasing stereoscopic footage

The Parallax post-production team’s latest mission has been to find a portable 3D display so I can easily show our stereoscopic footage to colleagues and broadcasters anywhere in the world.

Brian Mann and Matt Sikka brought in LG’s D2342P 23IN 3D LED Backlit LCD Monitor to see how it would stack up.

Here’s what they found:

-It plays back our flagship stereoscopic documentary, Blowdown 3D, decently from both computer and Blu-ray Disc;

-The viewing angle is key – as with most monitors, the eye-line should be hitting around the top 1/3 of the screen. For boardroom presentations, the monitor’s height has to be adjusted to hit this sweet spot;

-It has limited range side to side, so only a couple people at a time can watch it comfortably;

-Menu is navigable, but not intuitive. If you’re using it for presentations, you’ll want to become familiar with the settings first; and

-This monitor has no built-in speakers. This means if you want to take it into a boardroom situation, you’ll likely need a set of portable speakers.

Overall, the LG D2342P is a good offering for what we’d like to do with it. The price tag for the monitor itself (can be found for sub-$300) and the passive glasses (rarely more than $20), also make this system an appealing option.

For consumers who are able to wait a bit longer and willing pay a bit more to eek out higher quality in every pixel on the screen, it may be better to hold out for LG’s forth coming LG W2363D, which is said to be a superior passive 3D LED monitor (street date currently unknown).

Lugging a monitor around to meetings isn’t exactly ideal. But until there’s a 3D TV in every boardroom, it’s the best way to make sure we get to share the stereoscopic experience.
With a little prep and some extra gear, it looks like this LG model will get the job done.
Ian Herring, President

This week in Battle Castle-Sept. 23

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

 On YouTube

Battle Castle:  Malbork — exploring the castle

Writer Nicole Tomlinson and the rest of the Battle Castle crew, including host Dan Snow, explore an area of Malbork Castle in Poland that’s normally out of bounds to the public. 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.

On Flickr

Battle Castle: Gaillard – surrounding lands

Photos of the area surrounding Chateau Gaillard, including the River Seine and the town of Petit Andely, taken during the filming of Battle Castle: Gaillard with host Dan Snow. The French army, led by Philip Augustus of France, laid siege to English King Richard I’s stronghold in 1203-1204. The show reveals how Richard the Lionheart’s castle builders constructed the fortifications and details the medieval weapons used to attack it.


On Twitter

Medieval siege tip of the week:

For a soldier seeking comfort, supple deerhide leather can be tailored to fit like a second skin – B. Cornwell
3 ways to #gomedieval
Awesome medieval moments on the web, chosen by The Gatekeeper:

Build family memories reenacting another age via beckywilloughby

Collect Ancient maps to share in a modern time via henry-davis

Learn parts of a medieval castle by playing hangman via @ccarpinello

Want more Battle Castle action?

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

Join us.

This week in Battle Castle

From this week forward, we’ll be sharing highlights from our current production, Battle Castle, on our blog.

Hosted by historian and broadcaster Dan Snow, Battle Castle profiles the military architecture and engineering of some of the world’s greatest castles, as well as the medieval weapons technology they faced during the epic sieges that tested them.

This action documentary series is scheduled to air on History Television in Canada and Discovery UK early next year. It’s also slated for distribution by BBC Worldwide.

Battle Castle reveals the stories of:

-Dover – The Key to England

-Crac des Chevaliers – The Crown Jewel of Crusader Castles

-Malaga – Ferdinand and Isabella’s bloodiest siege

-Conwy – King Edward’s Iron Ring

-Chateau Gaillard – Richard the Lionheart’s stronghold

-Malbork – The Teutonic Knight’s red-brick glory

In addition to these broadcasts, Battle Castle also features an extensive online world that continues to grow every day.

This trans-medieval journey includes exclusive web content, behind-the-scenes material, and plenty of opportunities to #gomedieval.

Here’s what’s going on this week in the Battle Castle universe:

 On YouTube

Battle Castle: Gaillard – Dark Discovery

Camera and Director of Photography Sean F. White and Technical Assistant Rory Lambert explore an unexpected opening found at Chateau Gaillard. The French army, led by Philip Augustus of France, laid siege to English King Richard I’s stronghold in Normandy in 1203-1204. 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 used to attack it.


On Flickr

Battle Castle: Malbork – a medieval feast

Photos of an exhibit at Malbork Castle, meant to recreate what a meal served at the fortification during the Middle Ages may have consisted of, shot during the filming of Battle Castle: Malbork with host Dan Snow in Poland. The show 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.


On Twitter

Medieval siege tip of the week:

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:
Siege engine homage: trebuchet salutes the Kansas City Wildcats

Dare to compare medieval cooking … stay for the Sweet Frumenty, avoid the Plague (no really, it’s a drink) via CookIt!

Writer Merry Farmer rolls out medieval-themed blogs every Monday. Bonus points for the alliteration

Want more Battle Castle action?

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

Join us.

Production company captures explosive demolition in 3D


Production company captures explosive demolition in 3D

First implosion ever to be filmed in 3D for international broadcast to make U.S. debut on 3net

VANCOUVER, CANADA – It’s explosive demolition like you’ve never seen before.

For the first time ever a film company has shot, edited and delivered a documentary on structural implosions in 3D.

Parallax Film Productions Inc. used 20 custom-rigged cameras to stereoscopically capture the implosion of a 100,000-seater sports stadium in Salvador, Brazil from every conceivable angle.

This unprecedented visual experience, originally commissioned by History Television and National Geographic Channels International, has been acquired by the 24-hour 3D channel 3net and will make its U.S. debut this Sunday, Aug. 28.

“3net is trying to be the gold standard for 3D,” says Mark Ringwald, Director of Scheduling and Acquisitions for 3net, a joint venture between Discovery Communications, Sony and IMAX. “We work really hard to make sure everything is the best it can be in terms of 3D convergence.”  “Blowdown 3D is a great story about collapsing a stadium, and all the 3D is really good.”