We’ve just completed a unique project with the Russian ballet that I think marks a change in the way rights holders and creatives can use 3D.
For a start it showed how new active rig technology can be applied to a range of events equally as effectively as with sports. But it also demonstrates how 3D can be used to open up exclusive events to a wider audience.
The client was Russia’s General Satellite Corporation. They are launching a 3D TV channel later this year and asked us to capture three cultural performances in St Petersburg, including a live 3D broadcast of a ballet from the Mariinsky Theatre. It was a huge event in Russia and caught the public’s attention from both a cultural and technological viewpoint.
The initial transmission was beamed to Russian embassies in Paris and the Kremlin, where it was seen by a group of VIP’s said to include the French president Nicolas Sarkozy. Later this year, there is a strong chance the production will be syndicated to cinemas worldwide, where people will be able to watch this world-famous performance without having to travel further than their local cinema and importantly, for a fraction of the cost.
Now it’s grandiose to say that 3D technology is making the world a better place, but this project does represent an exciting development in 3D that could have real implications in the way that people are able to engage with cultural events.
In Britain, for example, there are thousands of people who love classical music, ballet and the opera. But these tend to be pretty exclusive affairs, and very few have the means to splash out £500 on a set of tickets and travel costs for the family.
As we showed in Russia, 3D technology can open the door to prestigious events for the price of a normal cinema ticket. All you need is the right venue, some relatively inexpensive screening kit and a hunger from the general public to come and watch it.
Using 3D technology, we’ve got the chance to give viewers that feeling of participation they might not otherwise get. Ballet may be one of the less obvious applications, but the performing arts could well help push 3D into the mainstream. At the same time, 3D might just push performing arts into the mainstream, too.
What do you think?
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