3D Studio Goes to Great Lengths to Complete New Museum Science Film
San Diego-based 3D Production Studio PassmoreLab has returned from the islands of the Indian Ocean, officially completing photography on their latest 3D science film, “The Extreme Nature of Bats”.
The film, which explores the truths, myths and dark legends that have stalked the world’s only flying mammal, closely examines three bat species; the free-tailed bat, the megabat, and the infamous vampire bat.
PassmoreLab’s production team traveled the world to film these bats in their natural habitats in order to tell their remarkable story.
Production began last year in October in a Texas bat cave, where the team filmed a resident population of 12 million Mexican free-tailed bats. From there, the crew traveled to Romania to tackle the myths surrounding bats and Bran Castle (better known as Dracula’s Castle), then backpacked through the jungles of Mexico to film the elusive vampire bat. Finally, after arriving in Africa, the team boarded a boat to a primitive island in the Indian Ocean to film the megabat.
“I took the crew over 42, 000 miles to get these bats, ” says Passmore. “We were on location in some amazingly remote places. For instance, the Indian Ocean island was wild, with giant spiders, huge bats, and very difficult terrain. It looked like we had landed in a Jules Verne novel.”
Bats fulfill multiple roles in different parts of the world. For instance, in North America they keep ecosystems in check, yet are symbols of fright; in the Indian Ocean they are a part of the food supply; and in Mexico bats treat animals and humans as a part of their food supply.
Through interpreters and local guides, Passmore began to hear about the legends of his subject matter. “The locals in one remote village in Mexico told us that they can hear the vampire bats making a screaming noise during the nightly cattle hunts.”
To try to capture that on film, the crew had to ditch the jeeps and go in by foot, backpacking for hours to an area where they could film these swarms of vampire bats in the moonlight drinking blood from cattle.
“It was very still, very quiet, and then all at once…yes, there were screaming noises, ” says Passmore. “It was eerie.”
“The Extreme Nature of Bats” is a new, educational 3D science film that chronicles the lives of these unique and interesting animals. Passmore’s objective was to find bat populations in locations where few crews have ever gone before, giving viewers a highly memorable, realistic journey and exposing them to a world they have never seen before.
“I wanted to go deep inside active bat caves and film from the inside out, ” says Passmore. “I needed to understand the risks and rewards associated with large bat populations before I could put it onscreen.”
One sequence shows the megabats in the trees and sky, surrounded by the most incredible natural beauty on the edge of an ancient burial ground. And in the middle of all that activity, the local people are catching them in giant nets.
“Apparently, they go well with rice, ” continues Passmore. “That just reinforced to me the need to better understand these creatures across cultural contexts, ” continues Passmore. “A disease plaguing bats, White Nose Syndrome, is killing off entire bat colonies, and we are unsure why. Hopefully the film can help underscore the importance of these creatures and why we need to protect them.”
The film now goes into post-production to be ready for rollout to museums and theatres. “We traveled far and wide to tell this story, ” says Steve Glum, PassmoreLab’s head of Branding & Distribution. “It’s been an incredible expedition and we think audiences worldwide will be thrilled to experience this journey with us.”
PassmoreLab’s “The Extreme Nature of Bats” (www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQ23ZMBcVMg) is scheduled for release to Science Centers and Museums in March, and will be translated into German and Spanish.
PassmoreLab, the “World’s Largest 3D Content Provider”, is a San Diego-based multi-media production studio that specializes in 3D production. The studio custom-designs and builds its own RED camera 3D rigs for both conventional and rugged film productions, shooting everything from feature films, television and science documentaries, to underwater diving, extreme sports and cave exploration http://www.passmorelab.com/PL2minTRAILER.mov. State-of-the-art facilities include a full 3D production studio, video/film post-production, optical development lab, and a software development environment. Production includes 2D, 3D, high dynamic range time lapse, stereoscopic microscopy and cutting-edge simulation technologies for real time SFX. PassmoreLab has additional offices in Russia and the Philippines. For more information, visit www.passmorelab.com.