Technology

Prime Focus to handle conversion to 3D of Star Wars

MUMBAI: Lucasfilm and Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) have employed Prime Focus to handle the 2D to 3D conversion of Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace that is scheduled for a theatrical release on 10 February 2012.
 
Prime Focus’ proprietary View-D 2D to 3D process is being used to convert the film. The process was first used in early 2010 to convert Clash of the Titans; more recently, it was employed on The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.


“It was incredibly important to me that we have the technology, the resources and the time to do this right,” said George Lucas in a statement. “I’m very happy with the results I’ve been seeing on Episode I.”


The conversion of the Star Wars film is being supervised by the visual effects supervisor for ILM and Academy Award winner John Knoll. 
 
“Getting really good results from stereo conversion requires a lot of attention to detail, and it is imperative that you take the time to get it right – and that’s just what we’re doing,” Knoll observed.


“We’re taking a different approach than you might expect. George’s vision has been to add dimension to the film in subtle ways. This isn’t a novelty conversion, with things jumping out at the audience; our goal has been to enhance the classic Star Wars theatrical experience, utilizing the latest cinematic tools and techniques,” he added.


The process is being led at Prime Focus’ Hollywood office, while its artistes in Los Angeles, London and Mumbai will deliver shots via the company’s digital infrastructure. In collaboration with ILM, the meticulous conversion is being completed with the utmost respect for the source material with a keen eye for both technological considerations and artistic intentions.


Averred Prime Focus founder and CEO Namit Malhotra, "Wherever you are in the world, the Star Wars films have become part of the very fabric of film-making - the epitome of the big cinema experience. To be chosen by Lucasfilm as a trusted partner, and to be given the time and opportunity to represent this series as a new experience to both old and new audiences alike, is an incredible honour. For a project of this importance and magnitude, Lucasfilm and ILM would only have chosen a company with the best talent in the industry, leading proprietary technology and infrastructure, a production-proven
pipeline and unmatched scale. I am hugely proud that Prime Focus is that company."


Prime Focus, a global leader in stereo conversion, has recently won praise for its conversion of The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

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