Look up “stereographer” in your computer’s built-in dictionary and you’ll be accused of subpar spelling skills: “Did you mean … stenographer?” The name of the profession may not be on the New Oxford Dictionary just yet, but don’t expect Nick Brown, a UCLA graduate, to be offended. No, he doesn’t take dictation in shorthand for a living but instead, he works as a 3D specialist for 3ality Technica, a leading innovator of 3D production in movies, television programs and live broadcast shows.
Now one of the youngest, most experienced stereographers in the world, Brown recalls how he got started in the field: “I kind of lucked out between the summer between junior and senior year at UCLA when I got a job at this company through a friend.” The English literature major admits, “I knew nothing about 3D before then and all of a sudden, I was thrown into it. I had a unique opportunity in an emerging field … It was stuff that you can’t learn anywhere else, as none of the schools were teaching it. At that point, I realized it would be a good idea to focus on it completely.”
Brown’s feature film debut as lead stereographer is Step Up 4, which is set to release in July 2012. He describes the experience as “fun and exciting,” saying that “from the beginning, the director and VP made it a point to make a good 3D movie, and not just a normal movie shot with a 3D camera. The imagery is unbelievable. It’s some of the best 3D that’s ever been made because they were open to trying new things.”
Besides Step Up 4, 3ality Technica has got a big year ahead with their involvement in the following films among many others:
Prometheus (in theaters June 8, 2012): One of the most buzzed about movies of 2012, Prometheus has been rumored to be a prequel to the 1979 classic Alien, but Fox Filmed Entertainment CEO Tom Rothman will have you know that although definite influences can be spotted, it’s a film almost entirely on its own. Regardless, fans will be excited about director Ridley Scott’s (Alien, Blade Runner, Thelma & Louise) return to the science fiction genre. Prometheus will star Michael Fassbender, Noomi Rapace, Guy Pearce and Charlize Theron.
The Amazing Spider-Man (in theaters: July 3, 2012): Although Tobey Maguire has done a splendid job as Peter Parker in the past three Spider-Man films (let’s just forget that dance number), it’s time to inject some fresh energy into the franchise in the form of The Social Network’s Andrew Garfield as the web-slinging superhero and Emma Stone as his love interest Gwen Stacy in the upcoming The Amazing Spider-Man. This time, we get to follow teenage Peter Parker as he develops his superpowers while fighting lizard man Dr. Curt Connors played by Rhys Ifans (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1).
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (in theaters Dec. 14, 2012): Director Peter Jackson is back with an adaptation of The Hobbit, a prequel to The Lord of the Rings. It will take us along the adventures of Bilbo Baggins as he goes on a quest to reclaim the Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the dragon Smaug. Ian McKellen, Elijah Wood, Cate Blanchett and Orlando Bloom will reprise their roles from the trilogy. Split into two parts, An Unexpected Journey is set to be released next year and There and Back Again in December 2013.
The Great Gatsby (in theaters: Dec. 25, 2012): We’ve all read The Great Gatsby in high school (or at least skimmed over the Cliff’s Notes) and now, we get to watch the story unfold before our 3D spec-equipped eyes in a new adaptation set to release this time next year. It stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby and An Education’s Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan, as well as Tobey Maguire as Nick Carraway. Baz Luhrmann, who directed the oddly amazing ’90s adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet, is at the helm of the project.
For more information, visit 3alitytechnica.com.