Stereographer & Editor Ben Kolak filming Westermann sculptures

Stereographer & Editor Ben Kolak filming Westermann sculptures

Brian Ashby and Ben Kolak filming with Pentimenti’s 3-D rig

Brian Ashby and Ben Kolak filming with Pentimenti’s 3-D rig

3-D Artistic Approach

Our documentary aims to explore the themes of Westermann’s life and work: the scars and lessons of his experience as a veteran; his position as a source of inspiration to other artists; and the empathic and hopeful spirit that courses through his artwork and relationships. These themes will be woven into a visceral essay-film format (as opposed to a biopic or didactic art history lecture), which will invite the audience to interact with Westermann’s story in a visually lush and meditative way. The film’s 3-D format is symbiotically related to its thematic content. Westermann was enamored of the creative potential of tools, and their ability to transform raw materials into objects of totemic power. For us as filmmakers, the 3-D format is the ideal tool to convey the literal and metaphorical multidimensionality of Westermann’s works-—both their physical shape as well as their humor, horror, absurdity, and exquisite beauty.

The 3-D approach will position this project at the forefront of emerging currents in independent documentary filmmaking. Wim Wenders’s Pina and Werner Herzog’s Cave of Forgotten Dreams are two critically-acclaimed examples of the revolutionary ways that documentarians have begun utilizing 3-D technology in order to eloquently represent artworks and artists to audiences. Pentimenti will take advantage of brand new tools and techniques that can further enhance the audience’s experience of Westermann’s engrossing artwork and life story. The shooting format is two RED Scarlet cameras (4K), operated stereoscopically with beam-splitter and side-by-side rigs created by Goat&Yeti and Redrock Micro. 3-D filming that replicates fire on water, burial at sea, and sunken ship salvaging will all be achieved using miniature scaled production sets.