Jackson Hole's Teton Gravity Research blazed new ground in their Light the Wick film this year. The movie, which this month won an award at the first 3D Film Festival, is touring North American locations this fall.
Teton Gravity Research (TGR) shot a 10-minute segment in 3D for Light the Wick last spring at Stevens Pass Resort, Washington. The filming required using a 90-pound camera mounted in a helicopter, a feat that required the ingenuity of machinists and the TGR crew to shoot in 3D. "The filming was very difficult," Todd Jones, co-founder of TGR told OnTheSnow. "We had two machinists on call the entire shoot. They ended up modifying a bunch of parts for us to help bring it all together."
Post-production proved equally as challenging. TGR crews had to produce several different versions of the film to accommodate the 3D capabilities in theaters. Not all theaters, however, have the setup to show 3D of any sort, so some audiences will be viewing the film in 2D.
TGR produced two 3D versions of the segment. The "old school" anaglyph version requires the classic red and blue lenses for viewing while the more technologically advanced 3D version requires polarized lenses for viewing. "The anaglyph is no where near as good as the polarized version, but we wanted to at least give people a glimpse of what skiing looks like in 3D," said Jones. "It is funny, though. I look at it now five months later, I realize the shooting was the easy part. It is the post-production workflow and delivery to the consumer that is the hard part."
Light the Wick launched its tour in late September at TGR's home base, Teton Village at the base of Jackson Hole. It has been touring North America and Europe this fall with audiences donning 3D glasses. "We were told by some 3D people that it can make the theatre silent because people are trying to process it," said Jones. "People have not been silent. The minute Sammy Carlson starts popping off the screen, people go nuts."
The film won accolades in early October at the world's first 3D Film Festival, which featured four days of film screenings at Los Angeles Film School's new 3D-enabled screening room in Hollywood. The festival honored Light the Wick as the best 3D Action Sports Documentary.
"The industry has very few standards, and it is still ahead of its time. James Cameron popularized it with Avatar and now everyone is scrambling to put the pieces together," said Jones. "I am sure we will work in the 3D space again."
Light the Wick shows are scheduled through December throughout North America. The film is also available for purchase through TGR. Get a taste of the 3D segment online, but you'll need to rustle up a pair of old school 3D glasses.