Kraftwerk Rocks in 3D with Vantage

Vantage plays key tech support role in bringing the iconic band's vision to 3D screens

When German techno-pop pioneers Kraftwerk envisioned a cinematic depiction of their high-tech, multimedia stage show, they turned to Vantage Film for crucial technical support and equipment. To solve the technical issues involved with 3D capture of a presentation that incorporates 3D video – not to mention eventual 3D exhibition – Vantage brought aboard director/cinematographer Sebastian Cramer, whose company, Screenplane, specializes in the development and manufacture of stereoscopic gear.

Cramer and Vantage collaborated on an extensive series of tests to determine the best approach. The 3D rig was equipped with a pair of Arri Alexa cameras and carefully calibrated Zeiss Ultra Prime lenses. Vantage provided the cameras and lenses used to shoot shows in locations across Europe, including the Tate Modern in London, the Norske Opera in Oslo, Paradiso in Amsterdam and the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin.

3D cinematography requires precision in every aspect, including filtration and exposure, and these challenges were magnified by the extremes of Kraftwerk’s epic stage show, which spans the almost 50-year history of the band. The logistical puzzles were considerable as well.

“Working with Kraftwerk on The Catalogue was a unique challenge,” says Vantage Film co-founder Wolfgang Baumler. “True to their reputation, the band insisted on the highest quality technology in every regard, an attitude in tune with our philosophy at Vantage. The band has created a fantastic show, and it was a thrill for us to help faithfully translate that production to the screen.”

The film’s title, 3-D The Catalogue, is an echo of the band’s 2009 box set, which includes digitally remastered versions of all the music on the original eight albums released from 1974 to 2003. 3-D The Catalogue is similarly available in a Blu-ray box set with the eight classic Kraftwerk albums performed chronologically.

The film has been finished in Blu-ray, DCP and HDR formats, and has been a success in theaters and as a long-term visual document of the Kraftwerk’s unique, groundbreaking music. The comprehensive edition (220min, plus concert version = 436 minutes!) has been edited down to an abridged 77-minute version as well.  

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