No-one has ever seen him, but the hell-raising spirit known only as 'Toby' has been a familiar and malevolent presence throughout the Paranormal Activity series, leaving footprints, slamming doors and even breaking a character's back. Now it's time for him to step out of the shadows...
In 'Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension', the final instalment in the series, the filmmakers unveil the force behind the mayhem for the first time - in glorious 3D. Prime Focus World (PFW) was the exclusive stereo conversion partner on the movie, working closely with first-time director Gregory Plotkin, who has served as editor on the past four films in the series, and Paramount Pictures VP of 3D Post Production Corey Turner.
“This was certainly a unique project,” said Stereo Supervisor James Rees, who supervised PFW’s conversion work on the film from the company’s Vancouver facility. “Corey and Gregory decided that they were going to reserve the 3D for heightened, scary moments, when we actually get to see into the ghost dimension, and the effect is amazing.”
The film follows a young family who move into a new house and discover an old video camera and a box of tapes. There’s something very odd about the footage on the tapes, and when they look through the camera they begin to see the paranormal activity that is happening around them.
“There are some very effective 3D moments in this movie, and you’re never quite sure when they are going to happen, which really adds to the suspense,” continued James. “Sometimes these shots will start flat, and then the 3D effect will suddenly occur revealing the ghost flying out of the screen at you.”
In addition to the big ‘into the audience’ moments, for which Corey Turner had the PFW team bringing elements 300 to 400 pixels negative of the screen, the depth was also used more subtly, to distort what was happening on screen, adding to the general sense of unease.
“There were a number of ways that we used the 3D to distort the on-screen reality,” said James. “We played with the depth budgeting way more than we would on other shows. We used the 3D to stretch hallways and staircases away from characters so that it felt like they would never reach the end, however fast they ran. We also had fun with the glitch effects seen through the camera, leaving most of the shot flat but pulling the glitch effects out of the screen, super negative, to really unsettle the audience.”
In another scene, the ghost appears as a distortion or ripple effect in the walls and begins to fly around the room. As it passes the camera, the PFW stereo team expanded the shot into depth, distorting the scene as the ghost flies by, gradually ramping up the effect as the scene progresses.
“On this film Corey basically told us to ‘go big or go home’,” concluded James. “Nothing was off limits - we had a whole lot of fun with the big 3D moments, and I think that the 3D really adds to the suspense and the scares in the film.”
‘Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension’ opened on Wednesday 21 October in the UK and Friday 23 October in the US.
RELEASE: October 21, 2015 (UK) & October 23, 2015 (US)
Director: Gregory Plotkin
Studios / Distributors: Paramount Pictures
Stereo Supervisors - James Rees, Ritesh Aggarwal
Stereo Producers - Chad Cortvriendt, Monika Hada
Stereo Production Manager - Cassius Vaz
Editorial Supervisor - Richard Pring
TDs - Isaac Guenard, Charlie Luce
Stereo Digital Production Team - Tim Sharp, Naline Amaral, Reshma Jhangimal
Stereo Conversion Leads - Grant Robertson, Rio Harrington, Matthew Lutes, Andrew Paxson
Stereo Editorial Team - Ryan Loates, Bec Cranswick
Executive Producer, View-D™ - Gaurav Jain
Head of Production, View-D™ - Franklin Mascarenhas
Stereo Supervisor, View-D™ - Jimmy Philip
Producer - Rajendra Nayak
3D Technical Supervisor - Parminder Chadda
Project Coordinators - Nishita Shetty, Santosh Shukla
Pipeline TDs - Piyush Jain, Swapnil Kulkarni
Creative Supervisors - Bhavya Dixit, Ankit Jobanputra, Rahul Wagh, Manu Jain, Rohan Tirkey, Himanshu Ajmera, Rakhee Ghosh