Candlercast #15: Talking Indie 3D with Noel Paul

· Joanthan Poritsky

D Rig used for Annie Goes Boating

As Hollywood enjoys this latest wave of 3D filmmaking, I have long hoped that their innovations would eventually trickle down to benefit the independent filmmaking community. Noel Paul’s short film, Annie Goes Boating, which just had its world premiere here at SXSW, may be the film that proves indie directors are dying to get their hands on the technology. Gone are the flaming projectiles and the prickly protrusions that are commonly found in big budget 3D films. Instead, Noel gives us a gorgeous look at a day in the park.

I sat down with Noel to discuss how he was able to make this film on an indie budget. Once he realized he had access to two Red Digital Cinema cameras, the filmmaker went to work with his creative team to try to hack together a workable 3D rig. However, it wasn’t until he got in contact with Lightspeed Design, whose DepthQ technology is used in a number of 3D applications, that the pieces really began to come together. The result is a 10 minute short that is absolutely gorgeous.

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Annie Goes Boating feels like a painting, one you could get up and walk around in. The plot is simple by design: some friends go boating and play badminton; a love triangle appears and then it ends. The photography, by Michael Ragen, is reminiscent of impressionist painting. Your eye is free to wander around the woods throughout the film. The depth is astounding. Some shots of ducks on a pond make you feel almost as if you could touch the water, as if the ducks might fall off the screen. Perhaps I’m romanticizing it, but if you see the film in 3D you will understand my reaction.

It is great to listen to Noel talk about 3D technology and how he likes to use it. I can’t think of another independent filmmaker who has tried a hand at 3D, but I truly hope that it sticks. Noel doesn’t care to guess whether or not 3D will catch on, but he says that he has every intention of making more 3D films if he is able to get them off the ground. With this one under his belt, I don’t see how that could be a problem.

I have hardly scratched the surface here. Listen in to my conversation with Noel Paul, where he gets into some of the nitty gritty of 3D production as well as speaks on his artistic influences behind this film. It’s one of the most interesting conversations I’ve had on the subject. Enjoy.