Sydney producer’s 3D short a hit overseas

15 September, 2010 by IF

Press release from Courage Films

The sci-fi short S21-3D, directed by Olivier PARTHONNAUD and produced by Laura SIVIS (Courage Films, Australia), which won the 2009 SMPTE Dimensionale’ 3D Film Festival, was released earlier this month in France by CGR Cinemas.


S21-3D is the first stereoscopic 3D short to be screened on the big screen this year. It will screen in sessions just before PIRANHA 3D.

Nearly three years ago, Olivier Parthonnaud was one of the very few filmmakers to believe in Stereoscopic 3D as a viable release format. So while James Cameron worked on AVATAR in New Zealand, Parthonnaud began moving forward in France with Australian Producer Laura Sivis, and a very small but experienced Stereoscopic 3D team.

Parthonnaud wanted to prove that it was technically possible to make a sci-fi live action film in S3D, which was suited to the pace of the big screen – back in a time when the world was still full of unbelievers!

“We were out there trying to convince people that with the latest technology, Stereo3D was the future of cinema. Now the box office results speak for themselves.” says Sivis.

It was a very exciting experience, which required pioneering workflow, extensive R&D and many tests. In July 2009, the hard work paid off when they won First Prize at SMPTE’s Dimensionale 3D Film Festival, in Sydney.

Parthonnaud, now finds himself as one of the most experienced S3D directors worldwide with not only experience in directing and shooting in S3D, but also S3D visual FX. Today things in the S3D arena are moving very quickly.

Sivis elaborates: “S3D televisions, whose scheduled consumer release was originally planned for 2-3 years time, were rushed onto department store shelves to try and beat the 3D blue ray release of Avatar. Every other week there are new 3D rigs, cameras, or support software being announced.”

The short – which tests and incorporates 3D lunar landscapes, lunar space stations and lunar vehicles, futuristic city skyscrapers, and fight sequences – is the second phase in the research and development for the feature film “Station 21: 3D”.

“Right now the market is being flooded with rushed rehashed remakes, and there is going to come a point where audiences will be fed-up and simply want to see a good original story. That’s what we have.” explains Parthonnaud.

The feature is an ambitious project, but an exciting one. The story kicks off with a lunar prisoner who escapes to earth via a holo-transport link. The lunar station commander finds himself trying to stop a killer hologram that can hold a weapon, but against whom weapons are completely useless.

However the commander then discovers this dangerous prisoner is the creator of the holo-transport link, and must be kept alive at all costs. Moreover, this mentally disturbed prisoner is the key to saving their very existence from the designs of a morally corrupt global corporate giant, which is hell bent on reaping the financial gains to be had in a world where the energy crisis and global warming have already become a way of life.

“Visually it will be amazing, with a brand new spectacular way to represent holograms and how they manifest themselves and interact.” Parthonnaud explains enthusiastically.

Sivis has already begun assembling an award winning creative and technical team.

“In the last 6 months we started preliminary modelling of the interior of the space station, and it’s exhilarating seeing it come to life.”

Sivis plans to shoot the film in Australia to make the most of the 40% producer tax offset, and is in the process of determining the most attractive finance partnerships, with a view to shooting in the first half of next year. It’s a moment Pathonnaud is impatient for – when he can finally call “Action!”.