Case Study:

Distant Thunder: Exploring Africa in 3D


The Brief

World-renowned filmmakers Deeble & Stone partnered with Inition to co-produce a 3D wildlife pilot in Africa called Distant Thunder 3D.


The shoot took place in Kenya and was produced in association with equipment manufacturer P+S TECHNIK. During the production process the team identified and perfected the 3D rigs necessary to shoot wildlife in the field of Africa. Being an environment of widely varying scales, Inition used equally a large variety of interaxial lens distances to capture the extremities of the landscape, from extreme close ups of chameleons eating lunch to the final dramatic time-lapse sequence of the Kenyan night sky where two still cameras were positioned 30 metres apart.

Over the space of a month Inition used a variety of 3D rigs – both commercial models and custom built. These included mirror rigs, 3D time-lapse set ups, side-by-side configurations and gyro stabilized, using SI-2K Minicams and shooting uncompressed RAW, recording to solid state drives so full creativity could be achieved in the post production process.

Every evening, the team reviewed the daily rushes on a large 3D screen to develop what was working and what was not. Over a two week period and in challenging stormy condiitons, we obtained enough spectacular footage to edit together a stunning 10 minute pilot.


The promo premiered at the Dimension 3 S3D expo in Paris in 2010 and was later shown to audiences at the Berlin Film Festival 2010 and the Cannes Film Festival where it received a highly postive response.

Victoria Stone, producer and director of the pilot, in an interview with Creative Planet Network said, “Digital 3D is so immersive and experiential that it is perfectly suited to natural history storytelling. We were delighted that it was possible to achieve so much in such a short time. It was an extraordinary and very successful collaboration.”