The Cambrian

Castle in 3-D for 1st time

Wealth TV stereographer Chris Schickedanz (in black shirt) prepares to film in 3D at Hearst Castle.
Wealth TV stereographer Chris Schickedanz (in black shirt) prepares to film in 3D at Hearst Castle. CAMBRIAN PHOTO BY DAVID MIDDLECAMP

It’s a first: A production company filmed Hearst Castle in 3-D for an hour-long program expected to appear on the WealthTV Channel later this year, according to producer Laura Kunsman.

She and three stereographers— 3-D videographers— were at the palatial retreat of media magnate William Randolph Hearst on June 15 to 17.

“Hearst Castle is one of the most magnificent estates ever built in the U.S.,” Kunsman said. “The estate is rich with history and stunningly beautiful. The artwork alone, which is of museum quality, is worthy of a 3-D shoot. We’ll cover much more.”

June 15, two different camera rigs, each with a pair of lenses, captured shots in “active 3-D” of the iconic Neptune Pool and the statuary, artifacts and the esplanade that surround it.

“This is brand new, cutting-edge technology,” stereographer Chris Schickedanz said. “3-D is all about depth.”

And, peeking through glasses with one red and one blue lens, it was obvious what he meant, as the image of a white marble statue popped out from the image of greenery about 100 feet behind it, and the Santa Lucia hills beyond that.

Think super-duper View-Master

(the hand-held device for viewing with both eyes slides mounted on a paper disk).

Viewing the show in all its glory will require a 3-D TV set, special black-lens glasses and, locally, a hookup to Charter Cable’s Digital Plus package with access to WealthTV on Channel 137.

WealthTV is not currently carried on Dish TV or DirecTV satellites.

Kunsman said people can watch the show on a regular HD TV set, minus the 3-D capability, “but it just won’t be the same.” She said about 1.8 million 3-D sets have been sold so far.

It’s the second complete show WealthTV has commissioned in 3-D, Kunsman said. The first was on the Mercedes Benz Classic Center in Irvine.

WealthTV showcases profiles of wealthy people, where they live, where they go and how they spend their money, from fishing to helicopters. It covers art and museums, travel, culinary adventures, philanthropy and fashion.

Kunsman said WealthTV may soon launch a 24/7 3- D network. “It’s still in the works.”

This is the second show she has produced at the Castle. In 2007, she produced for WealthTV the first hour-long, high-definition show ever filmed at the State Park. “It remains one of our most popular shows ever,” she said.