Hannay to produce S3D film
By Zona Marie Tan
Veteran and legendary producer David Hannay (Stone, The Man from Hong Kong) is teaming up with editor/writer Anthony Egan to produce what could potentially be Australia’s first feature film in stereoscopic 3D.
Hannay hinted to INSIDEFILM that Flies, expected to commence production in the first quarter of 2009, has already piqued the interest of a prominent sales agent at Cannes this year.
Written by Egan and set to be directed by Jamie Blanks (Long Weekend, Urban Legend), the horror comedy Flies will be about genetically altered insects that escape a laboratory that attacks a town about to open a tourist attraction in the shape of a giant blowfly.
“It was a concept we thought that no one has really touched on the subject of ‘nature goes nuts’ in Australia,” said Egan. “So we thought up an idea that would fit that genre and have appeal in the national marketplace.”
Egan said he was confident that stereo 3D would make a big comeback at some point, and had the concept of Flies with that very much in mind while writing the script. He then approached Hannay in 2003, with the deal breaker being that Flies had to be produced in S3D. Hannay was excited at the prospect and agreed to take on the project.
“We have a huge level of enthusiasm to bring new technology to value-add to the entertainment factor of the movie,” said Hannay. “We’ve been hearing Zemekis and Cameron talk about what they’re doing [in S3D] and we just knew we had to be in on it.
“We have to embrace new technologies, because the audience expects it. But there’s no point in just showing technology. We have to find things that excite and move them into a future space. Otherwise, we’ll have no audience.”
Egan scored once again, when shortly after, he spoke with cinematographer Tom Gleeson and discovered that Gleeson and Leonard Coster were building an agnostic modular, remote controlled, motorised stereo camera rig.
“I thought, ‘This is great, Australians have developed something in 3D!’” exclaimed Egan. “Just the thought of having the ability to get S3D gear locally was so exciting. Because when digital technology took off, I got in touch with the people who designed James Cameron’s gear [for Avatar] to talk about where the technology was headed and what was possible.
“While it was all great, at the end of the day, it would mean importing the crew and equipment from the US, and I wasn’t keen on that because it would add to the budget.”
Already in production in stereoscopic 3D in Australia is the remake of Mark Lewis’ 1998 Cane Toads documentary, and Animal Logic’s Guardians of Ga’Hoole that is set for a 2010 release.