"I have been involved in many stage to screen productions, but never anything of this outstanding quality. The impact of the opera is greater than I have ever known it to be"
Sir. Trevor Nunn (on Carmen in 3D)
In 2010 my producer friend Phil Streather and I embarked on an epic collaboration with Royal Opera House and RealD to bring to the cinema the world's first 3D opera - CARMEN in 3D. The technical innovation and production techniques were groundbreaking in themselves. The project took us a full year to realise, requiring months of testing, sourcing and commissioning equipment. I had to storyboard over 700 shots that could be fluently captured during the two and a half hour performance with our four mobile 3D camera rigs. Each camera had to yield to the next without risk of being caught in line of sight of the other, no mean feat as each camera was on relatively wide angle and very often up close and personal with the on stage artists (this renders the best results in 3D). I had to build the Opera House and characters into 3D enabled previsualization software, in order to plot the camera moves. This process alone took eight weeks to achieve, creating a veritable ballet of precisely choreographed camera moves in order to capture Francesa Zambello's vibrant and masterful stage direction and translate it into a fully cinematic 3D experience. We filmed two live performances in this way and then for editing purposes, a third performance with just a wide camera at the back of the auditorium to give us a clean pass of the stage and I directed everything from the SKY TV 3D OB TRUCK, which we had set up outside the Opera House. The result of all our hard work was truly phenomenal and to this day I remain extremely proud of our achievement. and this historic world first! We released into 1500 cinemas worldwide which at the time, this was the largest worldwide release for any "alternative cinema" production. Royal Opera House and RealD were thrilled with the production and went of to commission us for a second opera the following year and so in 2011/2 we reprised our collaboration, this time bringing Puccini's MADAM BUTTERFLY in 3D to worldwide cinema audiences.