Northern Territory to be broadcast in 3-D

By Amy Middleton 7 November 2013
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A new tourism stunt will show Australia’s red centre to the world in 3-D. It’s just like life… only more expensive!

ANOTHER MONTH, ANOTHER MILLION (or more) spent on enticing overseas visitors to Australia in the name of tourism.

The latest attention-grabbing stunt comes from Tourism NT. Introducing, for the first time in Australian tourism, the digital enhancement that has people muttering over popcorn buckets the world over… 3-D film!

I should probably admit that I’m no advocate for this once novel technology entering the mainstream. That looming third dimension is threatening to render all our TV sets obsolete, turn Avatar-creator James Cameron into a pioneer and, worst of all, make fools of us in our own living rooms with outlandish mandatory goggles.

Whatever your take on the impending wave of hyper-real programming, there’s one thing you can’t deny: Australia’s epic landscape would look pretty flash with digitally enhanced depth-perception. So Tourism NT and Panasonic have teamed up to create just that – a 3-D film of the Northern Territory’s finest.

Tourism NT chief executive Maree Tetlow notably pointed out to press that it was a good time to create engaging 3-D content, because 3-D outlets are rapidly increasing but available content is still minimal. “The perception of being in the image, rather than passively looking at it, will create a stronger emotional reaction to the footage, and enhance the viewer’s understanding of what a special place this is,” she said.

Filming will be in the hands of director of photography Jules O’Loughlin and digital systems engineer, John Turner, two techno-frontmen from James Cameron’s 3-D follow-up to Avatar. It seems appropriate, given that the northern region’s vivid landscape can look somewhat alien at times — take a look at the video below (sorry, only available in quaint, old-fashioned 2-D). The new James Cameron film, incidentally, is an action drama about cave-diving shot on Australia’s Gold Coast.

As well as a swish, new-look tourism campaign, the NT in 3-D will be broadcast to audiences around the world to promote Panasonic products, including the world’s first professional-quality, fully integrated full HD 3-D camcorder — the very device with which NT landmarks are being filmed as I type this blog.

My bet is that Tourism NT will do its best to send this thing viral. So in the coming months apply your absurd goggles, surf your social networks, and get ready to experience Australia’s Red Centre as it’s never been seen before! Except, you know, in real life.

Amy Middleton is the online editor for
Australian Geographic.

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VIDEO: Time-lapse film from Kakadu to Uluru