The first-ever live-action digital 3-D film, U2 3D is a unique cinematic experience that places viewers within the pulsing energy of a stadium concert given by the world’s most popular band. Marrying innovative digital 3-D imagery and multi-channel surround sound with the excitement of a live U2 concert – shot in South America during the final leg of their “Vertigo” tour – it creates an immersive theatrical experience unlike any 3-D or concert film that has come before. Ushering in a new dimension of filmmaking, U2 3D takes viewers on an extraordinary journey they will never forget.
About The Production
For over a quarter-century, U2 has been recognized not only for their musical invention, but for their incomparable gift for reaching millions of fans through new technologies. Their live shows immerse concertgoers in exceptional and emotional multisensory experiences – whether through their groundbreaking use of video screens during the 1992-93 “ZooTV” tour, LED displays on their 1997-98 “PopMart” tour or, most recently, the use of dimensional, lighted-bead video curtains above the stage at their 2005-06 “Vertigo” tour. As with their embrace of the Apple iPod portable music device, U2 has always innately understood how to make the greatest impact, and to convey messages both overt and covert, through new technologies.
U2 3D, the first digital 3-D, multi-camera production of a live-action event reflects the band’s longstanding embrace of technology, its recognition that digital 3-D isn’t a developing platform – it’s fully here – and its belief that U2 3D has the potential to revolutionize the way entertainment is produced and experienced. Marrying advanced digital 3-D imagery and 5.1 surround sound with the unique excitement of a live show, U2 3D takes viewers on an extraordinary cinematic journey, a quantum leap beyond traditional concert films, and gives audiences the palpable thrill of actually being at a U2 concert.
Says director Catherine Owens, “Bono wanted to go somewhere magical with the creation of U2 3D,” seeking to intensify the already ecstatic feelings evoked by U2’s live concerts. The film, primarily directed by Irish artist Owens, and Mark Pellington, who co-directed the live shoot and provided invaluable creative support throughout post-production, sets out to capture the band’s relationship with each other during their performance and the resonant response of their fans. Owens has been U2’s visual content director on the “ZooTV,” “PopMart,” “Elevation” and “Vertigo” tours, and helmed the video “Original of the Species”; Pellington directed U2’s “One” video and films “Arlington Road” and “The Mothman Prophesies.”
U2 3D came to life through the passion and production savvy of 3ality Digital, one of the world’s leading live-action, full service production companies specializing in advanced 3-D technology. The project leveraged the collective skills of executive producers Sandy Climan (3ality CEO and entertainment industry veteran) and Michael Peyser (“Ruthless People,” “SLC Punk”), executive producer David Modell and producer John Modell (former owners of the NFL world-champion Baltimore Ravens), producers Jon and Peter Shapiro (“Curious George,” IMAX‘s “All Access,” Wetlands rock club) and 3-D and digital image producer Steve Schklair (technology pioneer and CEO of 3ality Digital Systems).
The inspiration to shoot the biggest band in the world in concert using a revolutionary cinematic medium came after Schklair conceived a radically different approach to shooting in 3-D. By utilizing in-camera motion control and real-time image processing, and by eliminating the headache-causing imperfections that plagued 3-D movies made with analog film cameras over the past century, the 3ality digital process is able to capture an event as dynamic as a U2 stadium performance. Schklair knew that the Shapiro brothers, after shooting a multi-act 2-D concert film, were looking for a more flexible, portable and cost-effective way to shoot live events such as concerts and sports for the big screen; they felt that 3-D would completely enhance the audience’s immersion into and connection with what they were experiencing on screen as if it were a virtual reality. Together with the like-minded Modell brothers, a well-known family of pioneers in football and media, they developed the 3ality Digital 3-D camera system and put it through its paces at a few NFL games including Super Bowl XXXVIII. It was footage from those tests that convinced these innovators to pitch U2, their favorite live band, to front the first-ever concert film in digital 3-D. Peter Shapiro connected with Catherine Owens and convinced her to see this futuristic 3-D medium; she immediately saw the potential and lobbied the band to take a chance on the new technology, which was very intriguing to them conceptually.
After shooting a single-camera test during an early “Vertigo” tour concert at the Anaheim Pond, 3ality ultimately received the thumbs-up from U2 to travel and shoot on the road with the band in South America, with Owens as director. “Bono felt that if we were going to do this right, we had to do it in South America, since the band’s presence after an eight-year hiatus from the continent was certain to draw vibrant and enthusiastic crowds” explained Peter Shapiro.
With what became the largest collection of 3-D camera technology ever used on a single project, the 3ality Digital production crew joined up with U2’s globe-trotting caravan for a month and shot the huge outdoor stadium shows (not seen in North America) at cities in four countries including Mexico City, Mexico; Sao Paulo, Brazil; Santiago, Chile; and Buenos Aires, Argentina. All told, over 100 hours of digital 3-D footage was shot, documenting a set list that includes such seminal U2 songs as “Pride (In the Name of Love),” “New Year’s Day,” “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” “Miss Sarajevo,” “Where the Streets Have No Name,” “With or Without You,” “Bullet the Blue Sky,” “The Fly” and “One,” as well as more recent tracks such as “Beautiful Day,” “Love and Peace or Else,” “Vertigo,” “Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own” and “Yahweh.”
As 3-D producer, Schklair found that an early challenge was assembling “just about every digital camera and recorder in the world” – no less than 18 Sony F950 CineAlta digital cameras and SR recording decks (two cameras per 3-D rig). Tying this together with acres of fiber optic cable, the speed at which the equipment had to be set up and torn down to match the tour schedule required a crew that numbered as high as 140 persons at the Buenos Aires shoot, which was the largest shoot of the project and the stadium where the bulk of the material was captured. Working in “a very unorthodox way from beginning to end,” without storyboards, yet with a clear idea on how to get the shots needed to paint a great story, Catherine Owens was joined by co-director Mark Pellington on a few of the location shoots.
“We set out to honor the prime directive of shooting concerts – don’t disrupt the experience for the fans – so we worked to schedule each day strategically,” explains John Modell. On February 15-16 in Mexico City (Azteca Stadium), they set up exclusively for medium-length shots. Several days later, on February 20-21 in Sao Paulo, Brazil (Morumbi Stadium), two cameras were used to capture mid-distance shots. For U2’s February 26 concert in Santiago, Chile (Estadio Nacional), a single overhead camera caught the stick-flinging of drummer Larry Mullen and surrounding action.
After five days of shooting, however, what the production had was still not enough to create the experience that everyone envisioned. “I felt that this film should be a love letter to U2’s fans and that what we needed, ideally, was to set cameras onstage for intimate close-ups,” said Jon Shapiro. “What we needed was to shoot without an audience.” That need was fulfilled by Bono who, along with the entire band, agreed to perform 10 songs in a cameras-only show the night before two public concerts in Buenos Aires. “It was an incredibly generous gesture, but not surprising,” said Owens. “U2 is about passion, politics and love; in addition, there is an overriding aspect which is their creative generosity. It’s a generosity I’ve personally experienced for as long as I’ve worked with them.”
During the March 1-2 concerts in Buenos Aires, Argentina (River Plate Stadium), the production team set up unobtrusively for mid- to long-distance shots, capturing the performances onstage and the passionate reactions of 80,000 fans from nine digital 3-D camera systems. While crediting all of the incredibly talented cameramen and dozens of technicians who set up and tore down literally tons of equipment and acres of fiber-optic cables in two- and sometimes one-day periods, director Catherine Owens also offers kudos to the film’s two award-winning cinematographers: Tom Krueger (“Committed,” “Fatal Attraction”) and 3-D DP Peter Anderson (“T2 3-D: Battle Across Time,” “Honey, I Shrunk the Audience,” “Shrek 4-D”).
“The challenge of working with U2 and digital 3-D technology on this film has been very exciting. When collaborating with U2 you walk a fine line between making art and reflecting the honesty of their performance,” said Owens. “The band has been involved in each step of the process and having this kind of commitment from them has been very encouraging for everyone working on the film. Between their passion for the project and our extraordinary team, I feel that together we have carved out a delicate and exquisite piece of film history.”
Post-production was led by editor Olivier Wicki, who had previously worked with Owens on the “Original of the Species” video. Sassoon Film Design also took animated sequences from the live show and recreated them for the movie’s 3-D space. Given the impracticality of screening 3-D scenes for each of the band members, the decision was made to initially edit the project in 2-D, then conform the 3-D to match. The visuals were cut first, then handed over by section to music producer Carl Glanville, who has brought his skills to such feature films as “Gangs of New York” as well as previous U2 albums including the band’s most recent hit, “How to Dismantle An Atomic Bomb.” Glanville complemented the stereoscopic look of the project with equally immersive 5.1 surround sound. By necessity, the team at 3ality Digital created a world-first post-production facility delivering the stereoscopic images and multi-channel music in a new dynamic dimension. Their goal: to transport audiences from their seats to virtually become part of one of the band’s greatest tours.
“What’s exciting about seeing U2 live is that their concerts are totally engaging and take you on a powerful journey through the songs,” commented executive producer Sandy Climan. “U2 3D is neither just a concert film nor a front-row seat at a live show, but a new cinematic experience that brings viewers into the pulsing energy of a stadium concert in an unexpectedly intimate and surprisingly realistic way.”
U2 3D marks the most recent addition to a more than century-old technology legacy for National Geographic Entertainment, which is distributing the film worldwide. In 1888 it was publication and distribution of a monthly magazine. In 2008 it’s the distribution of a movie that redefines both the cinematic and concert experiences. “Music is a powerful means of cultural expression,” said David Beal, president of National Geographic Entertainment. “The impact of combining U2’s music and performance with next-generation 3-D technology has resulted in a film that breaks boundaries and is an inspiring celebration of the world.”
As the first-ever live-action film to be shot, produced and projected in the digital 3-D format, U2 3D will be exhibited in theaters around the world equipped with digital 3-D projection systems and will also be seen in giant screen IMAX 3D® cinemas, which are located in 38 countries.
New Year’s Day
Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own
Love And Peace
Sunday Bloody Sunday
Bullet The Blue Sky
U.N. Declaration Of Human Rights
Pride (In The Name Of Love)
Where The Streets Have No Name
With Or Without You
About The Filmmakers
Catherine Owens (Director) is an Irish artist living in New York. Her work originates from drawings and ideas that evolve through sculpture, photography, sound and video. Owens is known for her work as a director for visual content for U2’s “ZooTV,” “PopMart,” “Elevation” and “Vertigo” tours, and more recently for her directorial work with U2 in their 2005 music video, “Original of the Species.” She has also directed video content and animation for the Kronos Quartet and Chinese Pipa player Wu Man, whose Carnegie Hall debut last April featured a mesmerizing 20-minute animation created by Owens.
Mark Pellington (Director) a native of Baltimore, is internationally recognized as one of the world’s premier music video directors, whose credits include Pearl Jam’s “Jeremy” video, which earned him Best Director honors at the 1992 Billboard Video Music Awards and picked up four 1993 MTV Video Music Awards, including Best Director and Video of the Year. Pellington’s feature film directing credits include his debut, “Going All the Way,” starring Ben Affleck and Jeremy Davies, which bowed at the Sundance Film Festival; “Arlington Road,” starring Jeff Bridges and Tim Robbins; “The Mothman Prophecies,” starring Richard Gere, Laura Linney, Alan Bates and Debra Messing; and “Henry Poole is Here,” starring Luke Wilson, Rahda Mitchell and Academy Award nominee Adriana Barraza. Pellington also directed the pilot episode of the CBS series “Cold Case” and helped to create the multi-screen image environment for U2’s highly acclaimed “Zoo TV” tour.
Sanford R. Climan (Executive Producer) is president and chief executive officer of 3ality Digital LLC. In addition, he is also president of Entertainment Media Ventures, Inc. (EMV), an L.A.-based company active in media investment, advisory work and film/television production. Current advisory clients of EMV include Ford Motor Co., Harrah’s Entertainment, Pure Video, SendMe Mobile, Beliefnet, One Key World and Imagination Entertainment. Climan served as co-executive producer on the CBS primetime series “Robbery Homicide Division” and as a producer of the feature film “The Aviator,” directed by Martin Scorsese, for which he received BAFTA and Golden Globe Awards.
From 1986 to 1999 Climan was a member of the senior management team at Creative Artists Agency, building its corporate representation practice from its inception and representing a range of companies including Sony, Matsushita, Coca-Cola, Seagram and several regional Bells. As a talent agent he handled actors, directors, writers and producers such as Robert De Niro, Robert Redford, Kevin Costner, Danny DeVito and Michael Mann, as well as production companies including Jersey Films, Wildwood, Tribeca and Tig Productions. From 1995-97 Climan briefly left CAA to serve as executive vice president and president of worldwide business development at Universal Studios, where he oversaw corporate international strategy, strategy marketing and five studio operating divisions.
Prior to joining CAA, Climan held various executive positions in the entertainment industry, including: president of Lion’s Gate Studios; president of Wescom Productions, a subsidiary of Chronicle Publishing; and vice president of production for The David Gerber Company, a major independent television company. He began his career at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, overseeing pay-television, international theatrical distribution and, later, working in feature film production.
Climan serves on the boards of the American Cinematheque, The Fulfillment Fund (an educational mentoring program in L.A.), UCLA School of Public Health, The James Redford Institute for Transplant Awareness, and the Chief Executive Leadership Institute of the Yale School of Management, among others. He is also an advisor on entertainment and media to the World Economic Forum and its annual gathering in Davos, Switzerland.
Tom Krueger (Director of Photography, ASC) is a long time member of the International Cinematographer’s Guild, as well as The Director’s Guild of America, and has written, shot, and directed a wide range of projects from feature films to short films, documentaries, music videos, and commercials.
As a cinematographer, Krueger has shot countless projects, including “Fishing With John,” starring John Lurie, Dennis Hopper and Matt Dillon; “United States Of Poetry,” directed by Mark Pellington; “Manny And Lo,” starring Scarlett Johansson; and “Committed,” starring Heather Graham, which won the Sundance Award for cinematography. Additionally, he has shot many documentaries and music videos for artists such as U2, David Bowie, Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Lenny Kravitz, Public Enemy and many more. Krueger also wrote and directed “Fuzzy Logic,” which was an official selection at the Sundance Film Festival as well as the Cannes Film Festival and won New York’s Gen-Art Film Festival, and he is currently set to direct his first feature film this spring.
David Modell (Executive Producer) currently serves as chairman of 3ality Digital Holdings LLC, a company he helped found. Modell is also a veteran of 20-plus years in the National Football League, serving the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens in various administrative capacities, including as executive vice president and then chief operating officer for the Ravens. Modell was integrally involved in every aspect of the formation and management of the organization, from the selection of team colors, logos and uniforms to spearheading the selection process for the team’s head coach. The 2000 Baltimore Ravens won Super Bowl XXXV.
John Modell (Producer) is co-founder of 3ality Digital Entertainment. Prior to founding 3ality Digital, Modell and his family were owners of the Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League. The Modells led the Ravens to Super Bowl XXXV, where their victory brought the 2000 NFL World Championship home to Baltimore. Modell headed the entertainment, broadcast and technology division of the Ravens, creating the groundbreaking multi-media technology and content for the team’s in-stadium experience, which is acknowledged to have re-defined the way live sporting events are presented.
An alumnus of Cal Arts, Modell is also a musician, composer and music producer and served as the executive audio producer for U2 3D. Additionally, he is president of Modular Entertainment, a music and multi-media production company.
Michael Peyser (Executive Producer) is an accomplished producer of both major studio movies as well as cutting edge independent films, and has spent his career mastering the challenges of the film industry both as a producer and a studio executive.
Currently in production on the fantasy action film “Laundry Warrior,” starring Geoffrey Rush, Kate Bosworth, Jang Dong-kun and Danny Huston, Peyser’s extensive credits encompass a wide range of commercially and critically successful films, including: “Ruthless People,” starring Bette Midler and Danny DeVito; “Big Business,” starring Bette Midler and Lily Tomlin; “Hackers,” starring Angelina Jolie; “Desperately Seeking Susan,” starring Madonna; the children’s classic, “Matilda,” directed by Danny DeVito; “Imagining Argentina,” starring Antonio Banderas and Emma Thompson under the direction of renowned British writer/director Christopher Hampton (“Dangerous Liaisons,” “Atonement”); “The Distinguished Gentleman,” starring Eddie Murphy; “Camp Nowhere,” with Christopher Lloyd and “The Night We Never Met,” with Matthew Broderick and Annabella Sciorra. He also launched the cult classic comedy “Haiku Tunnel,” which premiered and was snapped up for distribution at the Sundance Film Festival
Additional production credits include Milos Forman’s musical “Hair,” the classic thriller “Marathon Man,” and many great Woody Allen films including “Manhattan,” “Stardust Memories,” “The Purple Rose of Cairo,” “Broadway Danny Rose,” “ Zelig” and “A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy.” Peyser also served as executive in charge of production on the hit comedy “Arthur,” starring Dudley Moore, Liza Minelli and Sir John Gielgud in his Oscar-winning performance.
In addition to his producing credits, Peyser is a professor at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts and was the founding senior vice president of Hollywood Pictures at Disney where he supervised creative development, production and a broad release schedule for an extensive slate of films
Jon Shapiro (Producer) has been involved in the conception, development and production of high-profile mainstream entertainment in virtually every professional format, including animation, digital 3-D, HDTV, 35mm & IMAX 15p/70mm film and 5.1 audio. Currently serving as chief executive officer of 3ality Digital Entertainment, Shapiro’s previous credits include serving as producer of Universal Pictures’ “Curious George,” starring Will Ferrell and Drew Barrymore, and executive producer of the spin-off Emmy-nominated PBS TV series, now in its second season; producer of IMAX’s “All Access: Front Row. Backstage. Live!” featuring Carlos Santana, Sting, Sheryl Crow, Dave Matthews, Mary J. Blige and others; executive producer of Warner Bros.’ “Richie Rich,” starring Macaulay Culkin; executive producer of “The Big Brass Ring,” starring William Hurt, from a screenplay by Orson Welles; and producer of the Grammy-winning 11-hour DVD & CD series “Rendezvous in New York,” featuring Chick Corea.
Peter Shapiro (Producer) has forged an eclectic career whose acclaimed, groundbreaking projects include the IMAX concert film “All Access,” the Green Apple Festival (America’s largest Earth Day event), the annual Jammys awards show and concert, the VH1 hip-hop documentary “And You Don’t Stop” and his current efforts with 3ality Digital, of which he is a founding partner, to help digital 3-D become a significant component of the out-of-home and in-home entertainment experience.
After producing the Grateful Dead documentary “Tie-Died” in 1995, and directing the short film “American Road,” which premiered at the 1997 Sundance Film Festival, Shapiro became the owner of the celebrated downtown New York music venue The Wetlands Preserve, which was hailed as a “landmark rock club” by Rolling Stone and hosted the first New York city performances by the likes of Pearl Jam, Rage Against the Machine, Oasis and Dave Matthews.
In 1999 Shapiro took his love for both film and music to another level, producing (with his brother, Jon) and serving as musical director, for the critically-acclaimed IMAX concert film “All Access,” which featured performances by Santana, Dave Matthews Band, Al Green, Mary J. Blige, George Clinton, Sheryl Crow, Moby and Kid Rock. Dubbed an “exceptional concert film” by The New York Times, the film received two thumbs up from Ebert & Roeper.
Shapiro also lent his talents as executive producer of a concert series to singer Sheryl Crow, which led to a DVD and TV special; “Rendezvous In New York,” a 10-DVD box set and album spotlighting jazz legend Chick Corea at the Blue Note in New York, which received the most Grammy nominations of any jazz album that year; “And You Don’t Stop,” the acclaimed, five-part hip-hop documentary for VH1; and “Live From Central Park SummerStage,” a TV special on ABC’s Tri-State affiliate, featuring performances by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Ben Folds, Devo and Guster.
In addition to developing several 3-D films in his capacity as a founding partner of 3ality Digital, Shapiro is also founder and executive producer of America’s largest Earth Day event, the Green Apple Festival, which will take place in eight cities simultaneously on April 20, 2008; co-founder of the environmental consulting firm GreenOrder; a founding board member of Headcount, the largest event-based voter registration organization in America; and a co-owner of The Slipper Room, a popular performance venue in New York.
Steve Schklair (3D and Digital Image Producer) has been working at the front edge of new technologies for most of his career, and is the founding principal and chief executive officer of 3ality Digital Systems, which is the technology development and production arm of 3ality Digital. Currently focused on the development and production of new digital 3-D motion picture technologies and the real-time broadcast of 3-D programming, Schklair has been acknowledged as one of the world’s leading experts in digital and live-action 3-D production and exhibition by an international list of clients, and is one of the primary catalysts behind the recent resurgence of 3-D in Hollywood films.
His recent credits include the world’s first real-time live-action 3-D transmission to autostereo monitors (no glasses needed to see 3-D), first demonstrated at the 2005 IFA in Berlin; shooting with multiple 3-D camera systems at Super Bowl XXXVIII in Houston for the NFL and NFL Films; and working for and with numerous commercial clients such as Toyota, Texas Instruments, FIFA, NASCAR, and Sony.
Schklair previously served in various capacities at a number of media companies including as vice president of Digital Domain (the special effects studio responsible for films such as “Apollo 13,” “The Fifth Element,” “Titanic” and “Terminator 2:3D”); as a creative director for R/Greenberg Associates, and as executive producer for computer graphics and interactive media pioneer Robert Abel. During this time, he produced a number of industry-defining and award-winning projects, including Mattel’s exceedingly successful Barbie Fashion Designer software title, and the Columbus Interactive Application which was chosen as a cornerstone of interactive media by the Library of Congress.
As one of the first pioneers to utilize high-definition cameras, Schklair co-produced and photographed the award-winning film “To Dream of Roses,” which was produced in partnership with special effects wizard Douglas Trumbull for release at the 1990 Osaka World Expo. This project broke new ground through its innovative use of real-time motion control and compositing, and was also the first large format film released that originated in high resolution video.
Schklair has several patents pending and is a frequent speaker on new entertainment technologies. A member of the Advanced Technology Committee at the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC), he is an alumnus of the Masters program at the USC School of Cinema.
Olivier Wicki (Editor) was born in Geneva, Switzerland, where his flair for editing was realized shortly before coming to New York in 1991. Finding his feet as an editor at Bluerock, he has been leaving his creative mark since 1999.
Credited with an education in graphic design from Geneva’s Ecole des Arts Decoratif, and possessing a finely honed eye for design, Wicki is able to be an Editor/Designer on any given job. An excellent example of his ease with these dual roles is his work on “Negative Forces,” a short documentary revealing 24 hours in the New York subway system, produced by New York’s The Attic. He also cut a graphics-heavy experimental film for MAC Cosmetics that landed in department stores nationwide.
Wicki’s expanse of high-profile work includes projects with directors Tony Kaye and Kevin Smith as well as for such clients as Hollywood Video and Panasonic. Wicki has offered a creative edge to projects for numerous companies including Garnier and L’Oreal, and worked on a number of notable PSA’s including one for the Partnership for a Drug Free America. Music credits include videos for Wyclef Jean and The Bravery, as well as a television and Internet album teaser for the group Velvet Revolver. Wicki also edited U2’s music video for “Original of the Species,” which was nominated for an MTV Video Music Award for best editing in 2006.