Horrid Henry is one of the first major British features to be shot in 3D, and to mark its release we managed to get the film’s stereographer Adam May (‘3D Producer’) to answer a few questions about how he and the team used the new dimension to its fullest effect.


On the new opportunities 3D offers

3D gives a Director a brand new set of creative tools, that can be used to enhance the story and tone of a film. Altering the inter-ocular distance [the distance between the lenses of the two cameras used to shoot the film – IO]  affects the depth and very importantly the shape of a shot and scene. It’s very important to imagine 3D as much more than a series of objects at different depths, but to also think about the space in between these objects and how this will affect the overall shot. If handled incorrectly, that’s when it can result in the horrible ‘card board cut out’ look.

Audiences new to 3D may not even be consciously aware of a lot of the inter-ocular changes, but we vary the depth in tune with the script to give a 3D movie something extra. The Stereographer often even varies the IO in shot, depending on what the Director is looking to achieve. The first stage of the process is for the Director, DoP, and Stereographer to meet and create the Depth Script – which details how depth will be utilised across the whole film. This Depth Script keeps the 3D consistent throughout the whole project.

On the creative process for the stereographer

The most important thing is that 3D should creatively enhance the project, and bring new possibilities for the Director.

As mentioned above, in Pre Production, Stereographer will create a ‘Depth Script’ – which works very similar to Storyboards in giving the production a broad view of how the project will play out in 3D.

The Stereographer’s influence extends beyond the camera department and involves working closely with Production Design, Editorial, VFX and even sometimes Make Up Departments to bring it all together for a great 3D project.

On the effect that this achieved on Horrid Henry

With Horrid Henry, there was a clear intent to push the Colours and 3D quite bold – as it was intended for kids and was meant to be quite fun and silly. The production was mostly set around a single rig style of shooting, and focussed on creating a ‘hyper real’ feel that brought the world of the cartoon to life.


Horrid Henry is released in cinemas today. All our coverage here.