Every once in a while I get the opportunity to work on a project that is slightly outside of my comfort-zone (in a positive way, that is).

When one of the producers at work presented me with a challenge: "Tomorrow a customer needs to grade and online a stereoscopic 3D short film.
Can you do it?" I must admit I was very excited, and slightly unsure at the same time. After thinking about it for a minute, I thought "go for it"!

It was a great opportunity to finally grade a stereoscopic 3D film!

I understood the basic concepts of stereoscopic 3D workflow, and how to use them in both a creative and technical manner,
but I had not worked on a real project like this.

Director / Cinematographer Morten Skallerud is known for making very special films. Always thinking large-scale formats, and including challenging aspects of cinematography to tell his stories. He has done stop-motion animation features, iMAX-movies and several stereoscopic short films.

The story behind "Northern Lights on Haldde Mountain" is that the mountain top was used as an observation station to study the northern lights in the earlier 1900s.
Situated near the town of Alta in northern Noway, approx. 900 m above sea-level. Scientists and their entire families lived up there.
We follow the Krogness family on a dark autumn evening in 1917, the scientists are taking pictures and the 6 year old OA and his Grandmother, Christiane, play nearby.

The film uses black silhouetted foregrounds (people and buildings), against beautiful skies lit by the magical northern lights as a unique visual style.
Filming was done partially on location at Haldde Mountain and in a green-screen studio environment.

Stripe, headed by Atle Krogstad Berg, did all the VFX-compositing, CGI and graphics. A job well done!

To capture the northern lights in "Stereoscopic 3D", Skallerud placed the left-eye-camera and right-eye-camera 2,5 km apart from each other. Pretty cool!

In close collaboration with Skallerud I did the stereoscopic grading in Davinci Resolve, and the stereoscopic online in Smoke.
I certainly learned a lot from this production. Real-life stereoscopic post-production is a lot more challenging than normal 2D work.

It was really cool to see the final movie at the cinema, getting the entire stereoscopic experience projected on to the silver screen.

The film will be the opening film at The Norwegian Short Film Festival Grimstad 2013. Be sure to check it out!

I really hope I can work with Skallerud again, great guy, great filmmaker 8.)

Credit shortlist:
Production company: Camera Magica
DOP / Director / Editor / Producer: Morten Skallerud
VFX: Stripe
Colourist / Online Artist: Dylan R. Hopkin
Sound design: The Factory +

Full credits:

Released: 11.06.2013
Camera: 2 x Canon 5DMkII ,2 x RED One
Aspect: 1.85:1
Duration: approx. 8 minutes

Post-production gear:
Offline: Sony Vegas
VFX: Nuke, Maya
Online: Autodesk Smoke , Adobe After Effects
Grade: Da Vinci Resolve (MAC)
DCP: DVS Clipster

Morten SkallerudĀ“s - Camera Magica article concering the project

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