Moscow-based RSS Studios recently relied on its Mistika system from SGO to handle 4K, stereo 3D postproduction for the documentary, Baikal, directed by Alexander Dukhon. Referred to as the Blue Heart of Siberia, Lake Baikal is the deepest lake on earth and magically lures different cultures to coexist peacefully. Postproduction involved editing, color grading, sound design and CG and took two months to complete. Native stereoscopic 3D optimization was successfully accomplished in Mistika by Daniel Ovrutsky.
“Our aim is to make Baikal the first of many future documentary series dedicated to awe-inspiring places on our planet,” said Dukhon, “Innovative technologies, such as Mistika, contribute enormously to enrich our work.”
RSS Production has used Mistika on various projects including Stalingrad, directed by Fedor Bondarchuk. It was heralded as Russia’s first movie produced with stereo 3D technology and digitally re-mastered into the immersive IMAX 3D format.
Baikal’s filming commenced in February last year with eight RSS Production film crew members embarking on a gruelling 10 day trip through the Lake Baikal region. Located in central Asia, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996, and also contains approximately 20% of the globe’s unfrozen fresh surface water. The shoot took place in just seven days in extreme weather conditions of -30 degrees Celsius with few sunlight hours over the short winter days. The team made its way along the lake’s western coast, visiting Olkhon Island and Ulan-Ude, the capital of the Republic of Buryatia in Russia.
The footage was shot using RED Epics and Stereotec 3D rigs, including RSS Production’s unique setup on a small-sized sightseeing helicopter for aerial footage. “This approach makes filming native stereoscopic 3D aerials much easier, avoiding the need to use large vehicles with massive stabilization systems, and reduces costs as well,” noted Dukhon.
The soundtrack music was composed from scratch and produced exclusively for the film. It was creatively intertwined into the sound design to reflect the eerie atmosphere of Lake Baikal’s land and spirit. The film warmly depicts the human element, sharing endearing stories of the local people whose hearts belong to it.