Synthespian Produces 3-D Film for Radio City
Created 11/20/2007 - 00:00
This year Synthespian Studios produced a new version of the 70mm stereoscopic 3-D film that has opened "The Radio City Christmas Spectacular" since 2001.
For this year's show, Synthespian Studios Directors Jeff Kleiser and Diana Walczak worked closely with the show's director/choreographer Linda Haberman to plan an extension of the film. While previous editions of the film started with Santa arriving in New York (just over the Statue of Liberty to be exact), this year Haberman wanted Santa's journey to start at the North Pole.
Approximately 47 seconds of new material was created for this year's film. The film opens on a screen filled with clouds and then suddenly Santa and his reindeer burst out of the clouds and take us on a thrilling journey through a canyon of ice, past a Polar Bear with two cubs who throw snowballs at us (creating a startling a 3-D effect); over the Canadian tundra and woods where we pass a gaggle of geese (in another 3-D effect); and up and over Niagara Falls before we swoop down the Hudson river and under the George Washington Bridge to seamlessly hook-up with the old film at the Statue of Liberty.
The imagery for this year's film was produced by a small team of artists working from studios in Hollywood, Western Massachusetts. Blocking; layout; character animation; research and design for the clouds; and compositing were handled by four artists in Hollywood. Artists in Massachusetts took on the task of changing the color of Santa's sleigh in the older material from blue green to red. They also created a 3-D gold 75 logo that was placed on the Radio City marquee that appears at the end of the film.
"We were thrilled to be able to update our film, which has now been running for six years at Radio City, and we hope the new footage will be as well received as the rest of the film has been in the past," said Kleiser.
A 2-D version of this film will be included in CELEBRATING 75 YEARS OF THE RADIO CITY CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR, a one-hour high- def broadcast of the Christmas show to be shown on NBC on Dec. 1. Don Hewitt is the special's exec producer, which will be hosted by Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira.
Other credits include:
* Producer: Amanda Roth
* Lead Artists: Caleb Owens, Kenny Jackson, Edward Quirk
* CG Artists: Travis Pinsonnault, Eric Wilson, Benjamin Fiske, Ron Hui, Stephen Sen
Synthespian Studios is a boutique story development, design and character animation studio launched by Creative Directors Diana Walczak and Jeff Kleiser who, as partners, helmed the bicoastal animation and effects house Kleiser-Walczak Construction Co.