Ocean wonderland 3D is the first Large Format Film shot entirely in digital, using two Sony HDW F-900 HDCAM 24P cameras, rigged inside a specially designed 3D underwater housing. The cameras were supplied by Melbourne-based rentals company Lemac, under the technical supervision of Ben Cunningham. The film recording involved transferring the film digitally to a negative print, with the help of a CELCO Nitro Digital Film Recorder. The Paris-based Gulliver/Arane and Lynbrook Films supervised the post-production and film laboratory works.

3D Entertainment was used to shoot this film digitally. Their previous 3D films were produced on Digital Betacam and were projected in 3D in video format in numerous 3D theaters around the world. The results were such that many viewers had difficulty distinguishing their films from 35 mm. Shooting on HDCAM is becoming increasingly popular, as working in 3D with such cameras doubles the resolution, allowing an optimal picture for large format theater.

Unlike the conventional 1570/3D camera, digital cameras allow a great deal of freedom of movement. The compact nature of HDCAM cameras enables the cameramen to move around easily, following schools of fish and other exotic marine life. Another advantage of digital cameras is their capacity to shoot footage using natural light.

Most underwater movies shot the traditional way add a maximum of reds, thus giving to the pictures many bright colors, which are beautiful but not faithful to the real light underwater. Shot almost entirely with natural light, Ocean wonderland 3D shows you the underwater world as it actually is. Even for scuba divers, the result is stunning: “What you see on the screen is what you see underwater. It is the first time that we feel as if we were actually diving, without getting wet”

When underwater, our cameramen could shoot for up to 45 minutes - rather than for 3 minutes like with 70 mm film. This flexibility gave them time to find the best angles, choose the best shots and achieve a better 3D result. In fact, most of the sequences in Ocean wonderland 3D would have been impossible to shoot in 1570/3D.

Shooting on HDCAM has another advantage: the 3D image quality can be checked right after the shoot on the boat itself. A workstation was built aboard the vessel, allowing the team to check the rushes in full resolution projected onto a screen in 3D.

Everyone watching Ocean wonderland 3D on a 25 to 30 meter screen will feel as if they are on a fantastic dive on his or her own!