Hunting witches in 3D

STEREOTEC supported the Paramount production »Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters« with the latest 3D technology and on-set stereography

It took only one weekend to make Tommy Wirkola‘s “Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters” become a box office hit. After five weeks, and even before being released in larger areas of Europe, the Paramount production has already grossed more than $205 Mio. worldwide (Meanwhile “Witch Hunters” is also No. 1 in Germany). As most of it was earned in 3D screenings, it proves that 3D is still very popular and maybe more than ever before.

The German based company STEREOTEC was wholly responsible for the live action 3D shoot which took place in Germany, most of it was shot at Studio Babelsberg close to Berlin. STEREOTEC supplied two of their Mid Size Rigs and a crew headed by Lead Stereographer and STEREOTEC CEO Florian Maier.

The movie was originally planned to be shot in 2D and then to be converted to 3D. “The schedule was extremely tight. Jeremy Renner was between two other projects and there were only few weeks to shoot the part”, remembers Florian Maier. The assumption was that a 3D shoot would take much longer than a 2D shoot, Shoot in Braunschweigso the production decided to shoot only the final action sequence in real 3D. STEREOTEC was invited to a test shoot, and also a competitor from the US. After half a day of testing with each candidate, STEREOTEC was chosen to film the 3D sequences. “The production was very pleased with our quick workflow and the 3D quality”, said Florian Maier. Another reason was that DoP Michael Bonvillain liked the stereography of the feature film “Vicky and the Treasure of the Gods” which STEREOTEC had just finished filming recently.

During the shoot it became clear that not only the quality of the live action 3D material was much better compared to a conversion, but also the pace of shooting on set could be kept within the timeframe. “We were originally planning to shoot only three scenes in 3D and convert the rest. When we saw how quickly we could move, I pushed to shoot as much as possible in 3D and the finished film turned out to be about 50% native”, said DoP Michael Bonvillain (“Cloverfield”, “Zombieland”). The producers were also very supportive. “I have to say the producers backed me all the way when they realized we’d get all the setups we wanted and still make our days”, he adds.