Hollywood counting on local company for 3-D magic - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Hollywood counting on local company for 3-D magic

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SAN DIEGO, Calif. (CBS 8) - Hollywood magic is being made right here in San Diego. A Sorrento Valley company is creating a wonderland of 3-D.

It's something that up until now was looked at as a fad with no real consumer benefit, but now tides are turning and 3-D is not only changing how you view movies, but where the companies are that are making it all happen.

Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland" walked into theaters and took the box office by storm. But getting the 3-D film to the big screen took a San Diego company to make it happen.

Claudia Amatulli is one of many 3-D Artists at Legend 3D in Sorrento Valley who worked one frame at a time to bring "Alice" to life.

"One second can take up to three days to do," she said.

Sony Pictures assigned Legend 3D 25 of the most difficult minutes in the movie. The technology behind the 3-D effect is so top secret that the News 8 camera wasn't allowed to shoot up-close video of any of the screens. Additionally, those who work at Legend 3D are on a gag order.

"Right now we are considered to be the leader of this," Barry Sandrew said.

Sandrew first dipped into the movie business when he created a better way to colorize old black and white movies. That technology is also a heavily guarded secret, and helped him propel Legend 3D into the middle of Hollywood's future.

"The same technology that we use for colorization is about 70 percent of the technology that is necessary to convert a movie from 2-D to 3-D," Sandrew said.

"Alice in Wonderland" is Legend 3D's first feature 3-D film - something everyone at the company thinks is a cool thing to be a part of.

As a result of Legend 3D's work on "Alice," News 8 has been told they have three more movie projects lined up. While the technology is cool, the fact the company is expanding by leaps and bounds is truly the main headline here.

The company is actively looking to immediately hire 200 3-D artists.

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