Filmmaker Greg MacGillivray talks Arabia 3D

June 1, 2011 – 6:03 pm

The Los Angeles Times talks with Giant Screen filmmaker Greg MacGillivray on his film Arabia 3D:

Director Greg MacGillivray knows a thing or two about shooting large-format films in tough locations: For 1998’s “Everest,” for example, he designed a lightweight, all-weather Imax camera to take up the highest mountain on Earth. But he says his new Imax movie, “Arabia 3D,” opening Friday at the California Science Center, was his hardest endeavor.

“At times we were in 120-degree heat” in the Saudi desert, recalled MacGillivray, 65. “When we would change rolls, which is every three minutes, we would actually put a tent over the camera. We had a tent that was tied down and then we would lift it up and over the camera, so that the camera assistant could change film in the tent where dust wasn’t blowing around.

“That worked fine, except that it would get to be 130 degrees inside the tent, so he would come out sweating. There were these huge sandstorms that curtailed filming. I tried to film in them and got nice shots, but you end up not knowing where you are.”

The first major film shot entirely in Saudi Arabia, the 45-minute movie spans 2,000 years of history and the three “golden ages” of Arabia: the Nabatean Empire, the Islamic Age, and the current era of oil wealth and technological development (which also touches on women’s struggle for equality).

Read the full interview here: Link >>

UPDATE: More on Arabia 3D

Hollywood in HiDef: Eye-opening Arabia via IMAX 3D Arabia 3D, by veteran Imax filmmaker Greg MacGillivray

Beck/Smith Hollywood: Imax ‘Arabia’ Production Took Discomfort to New Level