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SCENE STEALER

Making 'G-Force' 3-D

July 30, 2009|Patrick Kevin Day

Visual-effects-supervisor-turned-first-time-feature-director Hoyt Yeatman had a unique challenge on his hands with "G-Force." Not only did the film mix animated characters with live-action characters -- always tricky -- but midway through shooting, producer Jerry Bruckheimer had an unexpected request. "Jerry came to me and said, 'Guess what? It needs to be 3-D,' " Yeatman said. Luckily, he was able to take the live-action portion of the film that was already shot and "dimensionalize" it in the computer. But he also found a simple, low-cost, yet effective way to heighten the 3-D effect. Discreetly placed black bars at the top and bottom of the screen cropped the screen image to the appropriate aspect ratio and served as a false frame for the images to break. When things like explosions happen, they appear to literally burst from the screen. "I think ['G-Force'] plays in front of the screen a lot more than other movies," Yeatman said. "You have to have a frame of reference for the human eye to detect something coming out of the screen. Human heads in front of you used to work, but modern theater design, with stadium seating, prevents that. So we came up with the black bars."

-- Patrick Kevin Day

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