Case Study:

3D Filming of River Monsters


The Brief

Icon Films approached Inition to help them shoot ‘Pack of Teeth’, the first ever 3D episode of their hit series River Monsters. The challenge was to put together a 3D camera package and crew capable of handing the rigours of shooting in difficult environments, including underwater, from small boats and from the air without compromising the observational style of the series or adversely affecting the schedule.

Our Solution

Inition’s 3D filming team assembled the 3D camera systems at their London Studio and completed a test shoot with Icon in late 2011. The main camera system was designed to be as small and lightweight as possible without compromising quality or 3D versatility. Inition had the advantage of having worked closely with River Monsters DP Brendan McGinty on several previous 3D projects.

Inition’s stereographer Campbell Goodwille and 3D Rig Technician Peter Collis supplemented the River Monster’s normal 2D crew for the trip to Botswana, with extreme angler Jeremy Wade on a mission to track down and identify a terrifying monster in the murky waters of the Okavango Delta.

The main 3D camera system was built around lightweight SI-2K Mini cameras on a Pulsar rig and weighed in at just under 20 kilos. This, supported by a custom EasyRig, enabled the team to capture 3D footage without disrupting the ‘run and gun’ aesthetic of the show.

A backpack-mounted recording and monitoring system allowed Campbell to control and adjust 3D settings on a touch-screen and hand-controller.

Find out more about how Pack of Teeth was created in this behind the scenes video from 3D Focus:


The Result

The show was premiered on 3net in April 2012, playing its part in making the fourth series the most successful yet. The episode is now being distributed by ITV Global Entertainment, who are pursuing sales for the program in territories around the world.

Jeremy Wade, in an interview with 3D Focus reported that he was initially sceptical, worrying that the 3D filming would slow things down. However, he describes the end result as “incredible.”

“It wasn’t too different from a normal 2D shoot… If you are showing an unfamiliar animal, 3D does really give you a better sense of what that creature is like.” (Jeremy Wade)

Barney Revill, the show’s director, indicated to 3D Focus that he was also pleased, stating: “This was my first 3D project and I loved it.”

Inition are delighted to announce that Pack of Teeth has been shortlisted for a 3D Award at the prestigious Wildscreen Panda Awards. Pack of Teeth is one of three nominations in the 3D category, selected from a highly competitive field of over 20 submissions. The Panda Awards celebrate the very best in natural history film-making and took place on 18th October 2012 at Passenger Shed – Brunel’s Old Station in Bristol.