The latest in our 'Close Up' series takes a look at the 3D behind Brad Pitt's apocalyptic horror movie World War Z. Prime Focus World SVP Production Matt Bristowe and Creative Director, View-D Richard Baker give an account of the 3D work we contributed to the movie, accompanied by some exclusive 3D breakdown footage.

Prime Focus World is proud to have delivered View-D™ stereo 3D conversion services for Brad Pitt’s apocalyptic horror movie World War Z. Directed by Marc Forster (Monster’s Ball, The Kite Runner, Quantum of Solace) for Paramount Pictures, and based on the novel of the same name by Max Brooks, World War Z sees United Nations employee Gerry Lane (Pitt) travelling the world to stop a deadly zombie pandemic that is defeating armies and bringing down governments. The film opens in the US and UK on 21 July 2013.

As befits a story that sees its hero traversing the world, Prime Focus deployed its global View-D™ conversion teams to deliver the 2076 shots it contributed to the movie. Paramount Pictures VP of Post Production Corey Turner creatively oversaw the stereo conversion of World War Z for the studio, working closely with PFW Senior Stereographer Richard Baker who led the global PFW team from London. With nearly 400 artists working on the conversion across London and Mumbai, PFW utilized its global pipeline to ensure that Corey and the filmmaking team were provided with the scale, experience and flexibility they required to ensure their stereo vision was realized.

‘We are very proud to have contributed to the successful conversion of World War Z,” said Merzin Tavaria, Co-Founder Prime Focus and Chief Creative Director, India. “As lead conversion house on the movie, delivering over 2000 shots, this was another big show for us. The fact that the show was delivered so efficiently, so gracefully, and to such a high creative standard, is testament to the talent, skill and passion of our artists and production staff in Mumbai and London.”

Prime Focus World were brought in on World War Z in October 2012, providing test shots to Corey to set the style for the depth in the film. In line with changing stereo tastes amongst audiences, the decision was made to create lots of depth for this show, pulling elements out from the screen into theater space and providing ample opportunity for ‘3D moments’ – including zombie attacks and immersive environments.

But this project wasn’t all about ‘jump out of your seat’ 3D moments, according to PFW Senior Stereographer Richard Baker. “Zombies are obviously a key part of this film,” commented Richard, “but as the hero character, Brad Pitt has a lot of screen time; and I was very conscious that there were many close-ups of Brad’s face in the cut. Everyone knows what Brad looks like, so we had to be extremely careful to ensure that we were accurate in creating depth in these close-up shots. Using reference material, we modeled Brad’s face extremely accurately and used this geometry throughout the film to create our depth mattes, match moving the model to each shot to generate accurate Zdepth and ensure consistency.”

In addition to providing the 3D conversion of World War Z, PFW also managed the 3D edit of the movie, mirroring the 2D live cut and maintaining the 3D reels at its London facility. This allowed PFW to become the stereo hub for the movie, facilitating daily 3D reviews with Corey Turner and showing the shots in sequence rather than in isolation, to allow Corey and the filmmaking team a greater understanding of how the stereo was playing in the film. The reviews continued uninterrupted, even when Corey was in LA, through PFW’s live dual stream 3D review system, which allows 3D playback in London to be viewed in PFW’s LA 3D theater in real time.

“The delivery of World War Z is another important milestone in the development of our global View-D™ conversion offering,” concluded Matthew Bristowe, Senior VP, Production, View-D™. “On every show we deliver, we develop new creative and technical skills and techniques that ensure that we remain at the top of our industry. We are delighted to continue our strong relationship with Corey and Paramount Pictures, and look forward to many more opportunities to work with them in the future.”


RELEASE: June 21, 2013

Hollywood Film Festival 2013 - Hollywood Movie Award for Marc Forster
People's Choice Awards 2014 - Favorite Action Movie

Director: Marc Forster
Producers: Ian Bryce, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Brad Pitt
Studio / Distributor: Paramount Pictures

PFW Supervisor: Richard Baker
PFW Producer: Matthew Bristowe
PFW Scope of Work: 3D Conversion, 2076 shots
PFW Lead Facility: London
PFW Associate Team(s): Mumbai



PFW World War Z brochure

PFW World War Z brochure