×

Going Three Dimensional With ‘Resident Evil’ Franchise

The “Resident Evil” franchise didn’t start out in 3D, but as the stereoscopic format caught on as a box-office driver, the filmmakers behind the franchise decided it was time to go deep.

Cinematographer Glen MacPherson shot three titles in the series. “Afterlife” and “Retribution” were both shot in native 3D, and “The Final Chapter” was post-converted to stereoscopic. The addition of 3D added around $3.5 million to the budget for each film, with native and conversion coming in around the same. (A small price considering the 3D films have drawn the biggest global b.o.)

To prepare, director Paul W. S. Anderson watched a slew of 3D titles to get a sense of the format’s creative possibilities. Some directors regard 3D as a nuisance imposed by the studio, and delegate it entirely to a 3D crew. “But Paul is not that guy,” says MacPherson. He and Anderson looked for bits that would let them provide the off-the-screen 3D moments — Anderson calls it “pokey-pokey” 3D — that genre audiences expect. Special attention went to moments when Alice draws her guns from the holsters on her back and points them at the camera.

“We actually worked in testing, to determine the best lenses and distance and everything to make them iconic 3D moments,” MacPherson says. Blood splatters and gunshots definitely got “pokey.”

The shift to 3D dictated some changes in the style of “Resident Evil” action. The films are all essentially chase films, he says, with heroine Alice on the run nearly from beginning to end. Much of it had been shot with shaky hand-held cameras, which aren’t suitable for 3D. Instead the 3D “Resident Evil” films stressed very clear images with a lot of slow-motion. “So you’d sit there and watch a move in the middle of a fight in perfect clarity and go ‘Wow, that’s cool.’ ”

Case in point: The “Axeman” shower fight sequence in “Afterlife,” which is one of MacPherson’s favorites. The vicious giant Axeman attacks, severing pipes and sending geysers into the air and droplets flying everywhere in slow-motion. “It was tough having to waterproof the 3D rigs, but that water looks really great in 3D.”

More Legit

  • Moulin Rouge Broadway

    Listen: The Special Sauce in Broadway's 'Moulin Rouge!'

    There are songs in the new Broadway version of “Moulin Rouge!” that weren’t in Baz Luhrmann’s hit movie — but you probably know them anyway. They’re popular tunes by superstars like Beyoncé, Adele and Rihanna, released after the 2001 movie came out, and they’ll probably unleash a flood of memories and associations in every audience [...]

  • Greta Gerwig and Oscar Isaac

    Greta Gerwig and Oscar Isaac to Star in Anton Chekhov's 'Three Sisters' Adaptation

    Greta Gerwig and Oscar Isaac are taking on an adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s “Three Sisters” for New York Theatre Workshop in Manhattan. The company announced on Tuesday that they will feature two final performances to round out the 2019 to 2020 season, including the Chekhov play. “Three Sisters” will be directed by Tony award-winning Sam [...]

  • montreal just for laughs Comedy Festival

    Montreal's Just for Laughs Festival Is the 'Coachella of Comedy'

    Every summer, Montreal becomes the epicenter of the comedy world as the Just for Laughs Comedy Festival takes over the Canadian city. Now in its 37th year, the mindboggling scale of the festival is there in the numbers: more than 1,600 artists from across the globe (speaking English, French and other languages) performing 250 shows [...]

  • The dark Manhatten skyline, seen from

    StubHub Refunds $500,000 to Customers Shut Out by New York Blackout

    Saturday’s blackout in New York had an outsized effect on the city’s nightlife, with Madison Square Garden and the entire Broadway district seeing multiple shows cancelled due to the the power outage. As a result, StubHub has refunded more than $500,000 worth of tickets for cancelled events. According to a statement from the company, the StubHub [...]

  • Warner Music Group Logo

    Warner Music Acquires Musical Theater Indie First Night Records

    Warner Music Group has acquired First Night Record, an independent record label for West End and Broadway musical theatre cast recordings. The company will be overseen by WMG’s Arts Music Division, led by President Kevin Gore. First Night co-founder John Craig will join the Arts Music team under a multi-year consulting agreement to identify and record musical theatre productions in [...]

  • Broadway

    Broadway Back In Biz After Power Outage Ends

    The bright lights of Broadway were back on Sunday morning as midtown Manhattan recovered from a power outage that lasted nearly seven hours in some areas. Social media was full of examples of how New Yorkers rose to the occasion after the power went out on a hot Saturday night shortly before 7 p.m. ET. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content