Stereoscopic 3-D conference in Toronto this weekend

Toronto International Stereoscopic 3D Conference, running from June 11 to the 14 at the TIFF Bell Lightbox

In some parts of the filmgoing community, 3D has become a bit of a dirty term. It is something that is often spoken about in hushed tones and groans. It is derided by critics as a needless cash grab, but it has largely been embraced by the public at large as the next wave in filmmaking technology.

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Whether or not this is something that will create a lasting impact remains to be seen, but the first ever Toronto International Stereoscopic 3D Conference, running from June 11 to the 14 at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, aims to inform as well as preach to the industry converted. While many topics and seminars are very industry specific, there are a few select screenings and talks that could be of interest to many a passing filmgoer.

At 5:30 p.m. on June 11, the conference kicks off with a talk from no less a luminary than Wings of Desire director Wim Wenders, whose latest film Pina (about dancer Pina Bausch) is shot entirely in 3D with an emphasis on better capturing the movement of the dancers involved. Select scenes from Pina will also be accompanying his remarks.

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Of main interest to those who complain 3D is too much of a cash grab, is a back to back pairing of talks on Sunday, June 12 that address two of the biggest complaints filmgoers have with 3D technology. First at 1:30 p.m., a roundtable of industry professionals will discuss the successes and pitfalls of converting a film to 3D after it has been already shot in 2D. Following that at 3:00 p.m. is a mini-keynote speech from the RealD projection systems Chief Scientific Officer Matt Cowan who will talk about the brightness levels of 3D projectors and address why these projections people so often see are so dark. It should be an illuminating experience to say the least.

Stereoscopic producer/director/cinematographer and software developer Tim Dashwood will also be speaking. Tim will be sitting on the "Independent 3D Film Production" panel, which will commence on Tuesday, June 14 from 3:45-5:45PM at the TIFF Bell Lightbox theatre. Tim plans to share some tips and tricks on producing independent stereoscopic 3D projects while only slightly increasing 2D budgets.

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Several films will be screened in full, including Resident Evil: Afterlife at 8:15 p.m. on Monday, June 13. The film will be presented by producer Don Carmody and will be followed by a case study analysis featuring people who actually used 3D cameras to shoot a film. A screening will also happen at the IMAX theatre at the Scotiabank Cinema on Tuesday, June 14 at 9 a.m. for the wonderful IMAX documentary Hubble 3D and will be followed by a talk from Graeme Ferguson, one of the developers of IMAX projection technology and a filmmaker who has been using 3D techniques since 1953.

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