Russo pic devises cheap 3D laffs

'Very Best Movie' uses new camera mount

A Russian comedy using a unique 3D filming system specially developed for the movie was released in Moscow on Jan. 20.

The third part of a hugely popular franchise in Russia that parodies blockbuster movies, “The Very Best Movie — 3D” produced by Monumental Pictures, the Russian production arm of Sony Pictures Entertainment/Columbia Pictures, is the first pic shot using 3D lenses with a Phantom 65 digital camera.

The camera system, developed by Moscow’s Cinema Equipment Design Bureau (CEDB), puts two lenses in a single mount and captures the left and right images on a single 65mm matrix. Producers say the pic was shot for 15% less money than it would have been using a two-camera 3D rig.

Producer Paul Heth said the new system was a way to affordably offer the franchise’s audiences something new. The movies — based around a successful television series produced by Comedy Club Prod. — are known for their practical jokes and action. Heth says the franchise lent itself to the 3D format.

“This new technology could provide the tools to demonstrate the humor and talents of the team onscreen,” says Michael Schlicht, another of the film’s producers and partner at Monumental Pictures.

No comedy had ever been made with the technology in Russia before. The producers decided that shooting with a conventional 3D rig or converting to 3D in post would be too risky, time consuming or costly.

Executive producer Dmitry Shutko turned to CEDB, which came up with the digital camera/3D lens solution, though the rig was more fragile than other set-ups.

“The system is very light, portable and easy to use and promised significant time savings — and economy,” Shutko says.

Shutko decided that the benefits outweighed the risks and approved it for the film’s 50 day shoot.

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