The 3D broadcast of the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship
on April 5 in Indianapolis,
which CBS transmitted to digital cinemas nationwide, was the first time PACE
CEO Vince Pace had seen his Fusion 3D camera systems at work during a live
event from the audience's point of view.
Pace, who as a 3D technology supplier is famous for his
hands-on approach, was already on location at Augusta National Golf Club
preparing to shoot The Masters in 3D. So, he drove 120 miles to Conyers, Ga., to see the
Duke vs. Butler
contest in a theater there.
"It was very different for me, and it was fun," Pace says.
"I really got into the whole experience of watching the game. The interesting
thing about 3D is it really does capture athleticism and emotion, and college
sports are the perfect medium for that. There's a lot of intensity there."
Pace is a busy man as the technology he began tinkering with
a decade ago has gone mainstream. His stereoscopic 3D camera rigs were
instrumental in the James Cameron blockbuster Avatar, and he is now working
with television networks to make 3D sports production more affordable as new
pay-TV 3D channels prepare to launch this summer.
Pace, 52, got his start in another specialized medium:
underwater. His father's company made waterproof camera housings for films like
The Deep, and Pace, who started scuba diving at 14, became expert in underwater
production after years working with legendary cinematographer Al Giddings.
After taking over the family business, Pace developed the WetSet line of
waterproof cameras and provided underwater lighting systems for the Cameron
films The Abyss and Titanic.
Pace's partnership with Cameron evolved with the 2003
documentary Ghosts of the Abyss, for which he created his first 2D/3D camera
system. As director of cinematography, he also dived 2Â½ miles below the surface
in a miniature sub to capture images of the Titanic wreck. He began
experimenting with 3D sports in 2004, shooting an NFL game for Fox Sports. He
has since worked with the NBA and ESPN on numerous productions, and partnered
with NEP to create a dedicated 3D truck.
Pace still reveres 3D's ability to surpass
conventional storytelling techniques: "It's an opportunity to reshoot natural
history one more time, and document life as we know it out there."