Magazine article Variety

3 Legged Dog Does Pic Tricks

Magazine article Variety

3 Legged Dog Does Pic Tricks

Article excerpt


In the avalanche of world premieres and new titles announced for the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, it was easy for legiters to miss one they'd almost certainly recognize.

That would be "Charlie Victor Romeo," the film version - in stereoscopic 3D, no less - of the downtown stage hit that's been around since its 1999 bow spawned a national tour, international incarnations and a handful of lauded return visits to Gotham.

The play's film incarnation reps the first offering in an ambitious effort to bolster a recession-battered downtown arts org with a revenue stream flowing from a new crossplatform distribution network.

"By 2010, we had lost 90% of our foundation support and 72% of our total philanthropic support," says Kevin Cunningham, exec artistic director of cross-media production company 3 Legged Dog, listed as an exec producer of the film alongside Patrick Daniels, one of the creators of "Charlie Victor." "We realized that if we wanted to keep producing cutting-edge art, we were going to have to find another way."

With its distribution network, named 3LD/3D+, the company aims to do just that. The program accesses affordable 3D production through a partnership with NHK Cosmedia America, an arm of the Japan-based public broadcasting org, and has ties to iTunes through a partnership with Tendu TV, a digital network for arts programming.

According to Cunningham, the move seemed a natural one for 3LD, which is dedicated to Uve performances that incorporate experimental multimedia elements and innovative tech. "Our work is inherently cross-platform, and our artists are all digitally adept," he says.

3LD/3D+ispartofa growing trend among performing arts orgs aiming to exploit newmedia content opportunities to bring in fresh coin and expose auds to work. The success of Wim Wenders' 3D doc "Pina," which danced to $3 million-plus at the domestic B.O., demonstrated that there's a market for arthouse 3D, while high-def cinemacasts of theater, opera and dance have become staples of exhibitors' alternative-content programming.

Originally created under the auspices of Gotham arts group Collective: Unconscious, "Charlie Victor Romeo" is an intense slice of docu-theater in which performers re-enact verbatim "black box" transcripts from the cockpits of airplanes in realUfe emergencies. A complex, immersive sound design also contributes to the you-are-there re-creation. …

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