November 2009

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Brian May and the Hinton Waldrist 3-D Village

A Village Lost and Found by Brian May and Elena Vidal is a painstaking excavation of exquisite stereo photographs from the dawn of photography that transports the reader back in time to the lost world of an Oxfordshire village of the 1850s.

At the book's heart is a reproduction of T R Williams' 1856 series of stereo photographs Scenes In Our Village. Using the viewer supplied with this book, the reader is absorbed profoundly into a village idyll of the early Victorian era: the subjects seem to be on the point of suddenly bursting back into life and continuing with their daily rounds.

The book is also something of a detective story, as the village itself was only identified in 2003 as Hinton Waldrist in Oxfordshire, and the authors' research constantly reveals further clues about the society of those distant times, historic photographic techniques and the life of the enigmatic Williams himself, who appears, Hitchcock-like, from time to time in his own photographs.

The product of more than 30 years research, the mixture of social, photographic and biographical detail is handled with admirable lightness of touch, belying the depths of scholarship which underpin this ambitious enterprise.

"You feel like you can walk in and talk to these people captured in the 1850s," said May, "I've been very excited about this for a very long time."

The Queen guitarist Brian May is describing the stereoscopic images of Victorian T.R. Williams that were taken in the small Oxfordshire village of Hinton Waldrist. The pioneering photographer deliberately kept the location of the village a secret, but May was determined to track it down when writing a new book on the subject.

May designed the folding viewer that is included with the book. The OWL style viewer went through a series of designs. He is very proud that he was able to create a focusing viewer that also folds flat, a first for such a stereoscopic viewer. Both the book and viewer fit into a slipcover case.

He described the process to BBC Oxford's Malcolm Boyden: "They were taken with a single camera with two lenses, one above the other. You'd take a picture, then move the camera a few inches to one side and then take another picture. It's called sequential stereoscopy."
May was heading for a career as an astrophysicist before Queen

May has been fascinated by 3-D picture cards since he was a child, collecting the freebies in Weetabix cereal packets.

This led to a passion for stereoscopic images, one that he has followed for more than 30 years, as well as his interest in astrophysics, alongside his career as the lead guitarist in one of the world's most influential rock bands.

See a 19-minute video interview with the authors here.

You might also enjoy visiting The London Stereoscopic Company, Ltd., which is operated by May and Vidal.

A Village Lost and Found
Publisher: Frances Lincoln
ISBN: 9780711230392
Format: 325 mm x 246 mm (12.8 inches x 9.7 inches)
Binding: Hardback
240 pages
560 photographs in color and black and white

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Burst 3-D

The first movie for Sam Raimi's newly established for-kids horror production company is Burst 3-D, which will be helmed by Doomsday director Neil Marshall.

The story follows a group of travelers, lost and on the run from some unknown force that makes people spontaneously combust. That should look neat in 3-D. Break out the Gallagher ponchos for the front row.

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Jefferson Stereoptics View-Master Auction is Nov. 18

View-Master viewer and reels.One of the best places to find View-Master® and other 3-D items for sale is Jefferson Stereoptics regularly held View-Master® and stereoview auctions conducted by John Saddy. The latest collection of View-Master® goodies goes on the auction block on Wenesday, Nov. 18, 2008, featuring lots 1 through 654.

Subscribers receive John's catalog several times a year. Cost of the subscription pays for printing the catalog and postage to mail it. Each issue of the printed catalog includes photos of some of the most sought after 3-D items featured in each sale.

Some of the items in the November auction:

  • Lot 278 - (Rare!) MOVIE PREVIEW (TALL REALIST) FORMAT SET WITH NEWMAN BROWN FOCUSING VIEWER - The viewer is Excellent. The set was produced for Nat Holt at 20th Century Fox for the movie Canadian Pacific starring Randolph Scott. The movie was produced by Holt and directed by Edwin L. Martin. There are 23 views present. Unfortunately, the images are light of tone and barely viewable. The outer box is poor, but the front cover label is fascinating. Despite the light tones, this is truly an insider rarity! MB$75.
  • Lot 261 - (Coca Cola) #12 CHRISTMAS SALES AID, BOTTLER SALES PROMOTION (Exc.) MB$25.
  • Lot 239 - THE ADDAMS FAMILY (S6, B486, Ed.A) Reels, bklt Exc., pkt has some tape on back. MB$30.
  • Lot 631 - VIEW-MASTER SWEATER (ADULT EXTRA LARGE 46-48) Black graphics on white pre-shrunk 100% cotton. On the back is the View-Master logo, on the front is a Personal camera. MB$10

The auction items are also listed and all lots are scanned on John's Web site at www.saddyauctions.com. The Web site is easily navigated by topic. Each item is grouped in areas of interest such as View-Master® packets USA and Canada or View-Master® packets Television and Movies and so on. You will need to register on the site in order to place a bid online.

John grades each item and includes elaborate descriptions, too. Unlike eBay, sniping is not part of the equation in John's auctions. Lots are closed with a very liberal waiting period. Beginning at the closing time, after 10 minutes with no bids or inquiries, all lots are closed together.

You can contact John via an e-mail link on the Saddy Auctions Web site to find out about subscribing to the catalog. Jefferson Stereoptics is located in London Ontario, Canada.

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Texas Chain Saw Massacre 3-D

Twisted Pictures will scoop up the The Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise, according to Variety. Twisted Pictures is most known for producing the Saw film series. Bob Kuhn and Kim Henkel, the rights holders of the film, had previously been working with Platinum Dunes on per picture deals. This agreement spawned a remake in 2003 and a prequel in 2006. However, the new deal with Twisted Pictures will be for multiple films.

The plan is to contemporize the storyline for a 3-D film that would be scripted by Stephen Susco (The Grudge). Carl Mazzocone, Mark Burg and Oren Koules will be the producers. 3-D is most certainly a popular production choice within the horror community these days. My Bloody Valentine, Friday the 13th Part III from 1982 (and again next year) and possibly Halloween are all remakes (and one sequel) that have all chosen to venture into the third dimension. What is particularly interesting about the upcoming The Texas Chainsaw Massacre film, is this film will be a remake of a remake that is only six-years-old.

The original The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was release in 1974 and directed by Tobe Hooper.

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Halloween 3-D on Hold

The Weinstein company has put Halloween 3-D on hold until director Patrick Lussier becomes fully available. Lussier is due to start work on Drive Angry staring Nicolas Cage early next year.

Quite a good move on the Weinstein's part. With the film on hold, it'll give writer Todd Farmer a few more months to hammer out any issues with the script and add more material. With the annoucement of the delay though, there is no word on when Halloween 3-D will enter production or when it'll be released.

Patrick Lussier was looking forward to delivering something the fans would really like, the script was very cool, great fun and the 'vibe' was to take the movie back to the tone and feel of the original film but with 3-D technology.

He has his fingers crossed that "hopefully we will get our chance to go to Haddonfield, spill a little crimson and have a little fun - I just want to apologize to all my crew who were hired and ready to work like crazy 'under the gun' only to find themselves 'fired' the very first day of prep."

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Cabin in the Woods 3-D Release Delayed

Cabin in the Wood 2010 poster

The February release of the Joss Whedon scripted slasher flick, Cabin in the Woods has been moved to a later release date.

MGM Studios announced the Drew Goddard (Cloverfield) directed flick has been bumped from it's planned February 2010 date and will now arrive in theaters on Jan. 14, 2011. The delay has a silver lining for 3-D fans because when it does get here it will arrive in 3-D.

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Star Trek Reboot Sequel Might be in 3-D

Star Trek original cast and 2009 movie cast.

JJ Abrams, director of this year's new Star Trek movie says he is open to the possibility of making the follow-up in 3-D after seeing footage of James Cameron's Avatar.

He also revealed he had been asked by Paramount to make the first film in the 3-D format but declined because it was only his second movie project.

"I was petrified just at the addition of it," said Abrams. "I thought it would be another dimension of pain-in-the-ass. I was so worried that, instead of being a decent 2-D movie, it would have been a bad 3-D one."

"I'm open to looking at it because now I feel a little bit more comfortable. If I direct the Star Trek sequel, 3-D could be really fun, so I'm open to it. What I've seen of Avatar makes me want to do it because it's so crazy-cool looking."

He was also open to including William Shatner, who played the original Captain Kirk, in the next film and "would love to work with him."

Abrams added that working with Leonard Nimoy again would be a joy, even though the actor recently saying he believed the franchise didn't need him any more: "I can't imagine a Star Trek movie not needing him. I'm sure that what he's saying is a combination of modesty and honesty and he may actually feel that way. But the truth is we could never have made this movie without him and working with him again would be a joy."

"It is clearly too early, given that we are just now talking story, to conclude whether or not Spock Prime is in the film or not. Do I want to work with him again? Of course, 100 percent."

Abrams said that while his involvement with the relaunched franchise was on a movie-by-movie basis, he and the writers had discussed ideas for more movies. He said the next film needed to have a story that worked on its own terms but would be likely to include plenty of references for Trek fans. He said: "I don't want to do something that only diehard fans will appreciate.

"We're just now working on the script and just beginning the process of story breaking. Whatever the story is and whatever the final movie ends up being, I know it will be something that will work on its own terms and be something that you don't need to know and study Star Trek to get but if you are a fan, there will hopefully be gift after gift of connections, references and characters that you hold near and dear. At least, that's the intent."

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November Events at the 3-D Center of Art and Photography

3-D Center logoThe program schedule at the 3-D Center of Art and Photography in Portland, Oregon is now more regularized. The center will be opening either a new gallery exhibition or a new Stereo Theatre show each first Thursday.

Opening First Thursday, Nov. 5 from 6 to 9 p.m.
3-D Doodle Daze, a participatory event and exhibition.

In the Stereo Theatre Double Feature
Through Nov. 29, 2009

Master Williams and the Governess stereoview by Christopher Schneberger

Ghost Car by John Hart
A pair of 3-D ghost stories to celebrate the season. Ghost Car was made by John Hart with the support of the Stereo Club of Southern California’s very active 3-D film division. Ghost Car is based on a true incident that happened to a terrified hitch-hiker one cold and rainy night. The rider shares his ordeal with a sympathetic bartender, only to learn a simple truth.

Master William and the Governess by Christopher Schneberger
Master William and the Governess is the latest work by Chicago-based artist Christopher Schneberger whose other presentations at the 3-D Center have been thoroughly enjoyed. William Clarke was born to wealthy parents in 1887, but he was primarily raised by the family’s governess, Sophia Ashton. Tragically, Sophia died suddenly when William was only thirteen. The legend holds that as Master William became a young man, he was visited on numerous occasions by the spirit of his governess who continued his education.

The 3-D Center of Art and Photography is located at 1928 NW Lovejoy in Portland, Oregon. Call (503) 227-6667.

The 3-D Center of Art and Photography has regular monthly Stereo Theatre and 3-D Art Exhibitions. Open Thursday - Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. First Thursday (Free), 6 to 9 p.m. Admission for adults (over 15) is $5.

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Night of the Living Dead: Origins in 3-D

Scream queen Danielle Harris (Halloween 4, Halloween 5, Urban Legend) will join the cast of the upcoming 3-D/CGI film Night of the Living Dead: Origins.

Night of the Living Dead: Origins is remake of the George A. Romero original. It will retell the original tale by providing some background on some of the characters. The film will also be stylized with “ American-style anime” that will allow filmmakers to direct CG performances the same way they would direct real live actors.

George A. Romero is not involved in the project. He’s busy with his own zombie feature Survival of the Dead, which debuted at this year’s Toronto Film Festival.

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Take a 3-D Holliday Trip

Holliday eyes

Holliday is an experimental artist specializing in three dimensional stereoscopic art and photography. A traditional artist since childhood, she studied painting, traditional animation and stereoscopic art at the University of California in San Diego (receiving two U.S. Grants for animated films and a Bachelor of Arts in 1988).

When did it all start and where does Holliday trace her love for 3-D to? "Andy Warhol’s 1980 - 3-D film Frankenstein, though viscerally nauseating and excruciatingly vile was one of the most visually exhilarating experiences of my life," she says. "It put a 'new twist' in my career path as a lifelong artist and soon to be animator. Experiencing a stereoscopic film was like waking up into a dream of a whole new dimension and I knew from that point on that it was the only way in which images were meant to be seen, in stereo with two eyes...just as we listen to music in stereo with two ears."

"Stereoscopic art and animation have been my passion and I experiment with new techniques daily. With over 20 years of work experience in high end 3-D computer animation and (2 camera) stereoscopic art, I am using digital stereoscopic techniques to produce 3-D projected images that look like virtually "sculpted drawings or scenes” that feel as though they can be touched and handled in a floating 3-D space (using polarized glasses and a digital projection system)."

She began her career as a 3-D animator at the San Diego Super Computer Center (SDSC) creating computer animation for companies such as Nasa, JPL and the Rueben H. Fleet Center (an Omni Max film, Formation of the Solar System, narrated by Patrick Stewart). While working at SDSC and being an artist in a science environment, she had the unique opportunity to dedicate part of her time to “art research” which involved three dimensional stereoscopic experimental rendering techniques on a Cray XMP supercomputer, including "bending space" studies and the creation of illusionary portals.

During that time she also lectured and exhibited her work internationally and has taught classes in 3-D Computer Animation, Color Theory (using Interactive Color: A Guide for Color in Computer Graphics a software program she designed with a grant from the National Science Foundation) and Introduction to Macintosh for UCSD Extension.

In 1992, she shifted gears into the video game industry to work as a 3-D animator and Lead Artist for several interactive software companies including industry giant Sony Computer Entertainment of America. Following seven years of employment by SCEA, Holliday became the art director and senior shareholder of RedZone Interactive Inc., an entertainment software development studio responsible for the creation of video game titles for the Sony Playstation and PS2 game consoles.

Holliday has two additional 3DS books in progress along with a 3-D movie. Holliday recently updated her Web site. Read more and check out the 3-D images here.

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Seven Hollywood Studios to Use Technicolor 3-D Projection

Seven Hollywood studios have agreed to use Technicolor’s stereoscopic viewing system. DreamWorks Animation, Lionsgate, Paramount, Overture, Universal Pictures, Warner Bros. and The Weinstein Company plan to show some of their motion pictures in 3-D through existing 35-mm film projectors specially adapted by Technicolor.

The strategy, announced on Oct. 22 by Technicolor Business Group, offers a lower-cost workaround to digital cinema’s 3-D model, which requires theatres to invest in new equipment. Technicolor CEO Frederic Rose said in a statement his company’s proprietary, celluloid-film-based technology will “address the 3-D gap and ensure every exhibitor who wants quality 3-D will be able to afford it.”

So far, there are seventeen 3-D movies are slated for 2010 release, including How to Train Your Dragon, Piranha 3D, Shrek Forever After, Friday the 13th: Part 2, Alpha and Omega and Oobermind.

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Sony's Glasses-Free 3-D Prototype

Sony glasses-free 3-D prototype.Sony’s new glasses-free 3-D tech looks good for consumers and advertisers alike...still in the prototype phase, of course.

Sony showed the new 3-D technology at the Digital Content Expo in Tokyo Oct. 22 through 25. With a look reminiscent of a space heater, and sitting only a foot high, Sony’s 360 degree 3-D display is certainly unique.

The 96 x 128 pixel display uses LED lights to show a 3-D image all the way around the cylindrical base. Sony said this will be able to be used for digital signage, as well as for home use, such as in photo frames and of course, televisions. This is still in the prototype phase and they still need “to continue with further research and development," said a Sony spokesperson.

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Auction Results  

View-Master Celebrity Cruise Viewer

A Celebrity Cruise View-Master® ship sold for $22.50 with two bids. This travel agency display model is from the days before the Internet when to book a cruise you went to your travel agency and were shown photos of the ship. This plastic ship is 41" long and 10 "high. It is flat bottomed to sit either on a desk or mounted on a tripod. The top is removable to reveal the original D batteries and View-Master® viewer. Everything works, from the light, to the View-Master®. It has been used for years and does have some dings. The most visible is the repaired crack above the red button on the stern, and the scratch on the back end where someone with glasses scratched the paint. Based on the design of the ship (lack of balconys) and the plastic used, the seller dated this ship from the late 90's. It appears to look like the Celebrity Mercury, which was launched in 1997. Weight about 4.5 lbs.
Note: The shipping cost was set at a ridiculous $51.69, which the seller would not alter. The most you should pay for UPS Ground shipping would've been around $27 for this item if properly packaged.

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