JS: What’s the most important advice you can give a producer of a 3D film?
MG: Producers shouldn’t fear making a film in 3D. Naturally it costs more, but if you do your research and get a great team who have experience in 3D, you will be fine. The critical thing, of course, is to put the story first and not rely on the 3D to make up for deficiencies in the story.
JS: Are there alot of distribution opportunities for 3D around the world?
MG: There are countless opportunities for the distribution of 3D and the options keep growing. The key issue for us is finding distribution channels who are willing to pay for our content up front. However we are lucky that we have a range of properties including a ten part micro-documentary series that is going out on a wide range of platforms including Yabazam, and 3D Experience Channel that’s available on Sony, Samsung and LG 3D TV’s. In terms of 3D TV the market is growing, but they have small audiences so they aren’t able to pay high acquisition license fees yet. The most exciting platforms for us is VOD (video on demand) as there are now enough 3D TV’s out there to make this a viable market and we are in the unique position of having a great movie in the documentary genre.
JS: What was the reaction at the Toronto International Film Festival?
GM: TIFF was a hoot. So much fun. The audiences seemed to really love the film and we ended up being voted as the first runner up in the documentary part of the festival. We had three screenings scheduled which sold out so they scheduled a fourth screening. We are now in discussion with a number of distributors. We’ll let you know the minute we sign.
JS: What’s been the best platform for your film?
MG: We made the movie to be a big screen experience. So the most exciting opportunity for us is knowing there are loads of 3D screens out there, especially in the new markets like China.
JS: Which country has been the most aggressive over buying 3D content?
MG: The USA is by far the biggest market for 3D, hands down! The UK are also into 3D and in Australia we have a very enthusiastic cinema going audience which is great.
JS: Where have you found most of your distribution opportunities?
MG: The traditional platforms of film and TV are still the biggest markets. But we see 3D mobile devices as an important emerging market for us.
JS: What was 3net’s involvement?
MG: We did a co-production with 3net on the four part TV series spin-off from the feature film. They had seen the first two TV films (2D) that we had done for Discovery Asia and were convinced that we could translate that in to a series in 3D. They were hugely supportive and that early belief in the project was critical to the successful delivery of a really exciting series.
JS: What are all the different ways you’ve re-purposed “Storm Surfers 3D” so far?
MG: Four (hour long) TV episodes for 3net, ten 3D webisodes, a game, an eBook and a soundtrack too!
JS: Have you been getting your 3D trailer on 3D cell phones?
MG: The 3D Trailer is on YouTube. We will begin distributing it on mobile devices as the film rolls out globally.
JS: When I saw the YouTube 3D trailer I was really impressed with the intriguing story, incredibly fun characters and how the depth added to the feeling of danger. At the Variety 3D Summit Marcus projected the visceral 3D trailer off of YouTube onto a big screen and the entire crowd erupted with applause! Everyone also laughed and cheered when Marcus first walked out on stage, grabbed the mic and with a blast of Aussie enthusiasm said, “We’re stoked to be invited!”
In “Storm Surfers 3D” Q&A PART 5 – Australian Fan Review