Viewers get a 3-D take on US Civil War
History buffs in the United States can watch something very old and very new on their televisions these days. Fields of Valor, a four-part documentary of the US Civil War, follows the men of the 1st Virginia Regiment and the 20th Massachusetts, also known as the Harvard Regiment.
The series uses technology as old as the war. The majority of Civil War photographs were shot in 3-D stereoview, a process that used two cameras for one shot which, viewed together, lent the images an extra dimension, a process used today in 3-D film-making.
Much of the film’s perspective is deep into the television, what filmmakers call positive space.
Some elements leap out at you, blood mostly, but sometimes cannon smoke or bullets.
‘‘You want to save the negative space for the moments when you want to have impact. You don’t want to be too gimmicky,’’ Tom Cosgrove, chief executive of the responsible studio, 3net, said.
The image pushing back into the television also gives a more realistic perspective, Cosgrove said.
The 3-D sweep allows viewers to get the full scope of battlefields, which may not seem so grand on a 2-D panel.
Meanwhile, dialogue is drawn largely from diaries and letters, but some of it is scripted to limit the use of heavy narration, said 3net vicepresident and executive producer of the show, Tim Pastore.
Each episode is an hour long and follows the major battles of the east, including First and Second Bull Run, the Peninsula Campaign and Antietam. The two regiments come face to face at Gettysburg. 1. X Factor 2. American Idol 3. Entourage 4. Survivor Redemption Island 5. Castle 6. Amazing Race Australia 7. Supernatural 8. Bones 9. Survivor South Pacific 1. Downton Abbey 2. American Idol 2011 3. Jersey Shore 4. Campbell Live 5. What Now 6. 3 News 7. One News 8. Bones 9. Shortland Street 10. Good Morning
Bull Run: Union forces fire on Confederate lines during a re-enactment of the first Battle of Bull Run, in Virginia. A new documentary on the war creatively uses photographs from the era to create a 3-D effect.
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