EXCLUSIVE: Fury Road scraps initial 3D shoot, stereoscopic conversion planned

28 June, 2012 by Brendan Swift

Plans to shoot the fourth Mad Max film, Fury Road, in full 3D have been scrapped and it will now be converted to 3D in the post-production process.

The trouble-plagued production is currently filming in the poverty-stricken African nation of Namibia after several delays and a shift from its original location in Broken Hill, Australia. The film stars Charlize Theron, who recently shaved her head for the role, and Tom Hardy. The first Mad Max film was released in 1979 with Mel Gibson in the lead role.


Filmmaker George Miller was understood to have been developing new 3D cameras and rigs based on technology originally developed by Dalsa Corporation although there was some scepticism that an untried system would be able to withstand the tough desert conditions and extensive stunt work the film requires.

“We are doing 3D on Fury Road – we are shooting with real 3D cameras,” Miller said in July, 2010. “Seven years ago we were going to shoot in 3D but the technology in cinemas wasn’t geared for it then but I always loved 3D or stereo.”

Several films have been criticised by audiences and filmmakers for the quality of their 3D post-conversion although the standard of work is improving from the much-criticised Clash of the Titans in 2010.

Legendary cinematographer John Seale ASC ACS said extensive tests had been conducted on digital gear and Fury Road is now being shot with:

• 4 ARRI ALEXA Plus cameras (for standard sound shooting)
• 3 ARRI ALEXA M cameras (for the interior of trucks)
• 6 Canon 5D cameras (for stunt situations)
• 7 Olympus P5 cameras (as pure “crash” cameras).

The decision is another coup for ARRI which has gained extensive market share with the ALEXA. At NAB 2012 it unveiled the Plus 4:3 (which brings a Super 35 sensor to the ALEXA Plus) and the ALEXA M (an ALEXA effectively chopped in two, which allows highly flexible shooting such as in a helicopter).

Contact this reporter at bswift@if.com.au or on Twitter at @bcswift.