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Principal Photography Begins on BUGS


Written by: Judith Rubin
Date: July 9, 2002


Category: Press Releases

BUGS: New Giant Screen 3D Film From Principal Large Format

LONDON, July 9, 2002 – Producer Phil Streather of Principal Large Format (London) and Executive Producer Jonathan Barker of SK Films (Toronto) announced the start of principal photography, in Malaysia, for the US$9million 3-D Giant Screen film Bugs! (main BMZ Film Page) - one of the most ambitious cinema projects ever undertaken for the global network of IMAX and other branded Large Format screens. Bugs! is a 40-minute documentary set for release in Spring 2003 in 3D, followed shortly by release in 2D.

Bugs! will be distributed worldwide by SK Films Inc and is being produced by Principal Large Format in association with Image Quest 3-D, Co-Produced by the UK Film and Television Production Company Plc and financed with The Film Consortium, in association with Film Council. The film’s sole presentation sponsor is the American home services company Terminix, who have signed up for a multi-million dollar package of cash and marketing support.

This entertaining and educational foray into the insect world is expected to be a hit with family audiences and school groups alike. Bugs! makes the most of two things that fascinate people, especially young people: bugs, and vivid 3D projection. Theater operators are eager for the product, especially in 3D: Although some 100 Giant Screen 3D theaters have opened in major cities around the world since the mid 1990s, very few Giant Screen 3D films have been produced - fewer than 20 titles in all. “These films are both expensive and technically challenging to make,” explains producer Phil Streather. “You have to be very creative in raising money, and extremely judicious in how you apply that money.”

Bugs!, co-written and directed by Mike Slee, will be a magical and illuminating live-action film about the hidden world of insects. This unique Giant Screen experience will tell the story of life and death in the wilds of the tropical rain forest, utilising stunning macro-photography and 3D imagery to accurately convey the tiny dramas of bug life on a grand scale. Mike Slee remarks, “By revealing the extraordinary small world of the insects on the all enveloping and captivating large screen, and adding the extra experiences of the amazing sound in these theatres, Bugs! will give us a new perspective on some of the oldest creatures on earth.”

Executive Producer Jonathan Barker adds, “I had the good fortune to Executive Produce INTO THE DEEP, a 3D film which has achieved great success. That was a compellingly simple film that gave people the incredible experience of being in another world, up close with fascinating creatures. Bugs! has the same potential to be a stunning experience and an evergreen film - a film that reaches out to people of all ages and will still be playing in Large Format theatres worldwide in 10 years time.”

Once the shoot in the Malaysian rainforest is complete, filming will move to Oxford, England for specialist photography on a custom-built soundstage, by two-time Technical Academy Award ® winner Peter Parks of Image Quest 3-D. He has shot sequences for six IMAX films, including Sony’s 3D drama WINGS OF COURAGE. Says Parks, “I have had to go back to the drawing board for some of the systems we will use on this film - you can’t just go out and hire this kind of equipment. It’s been an incredible challenge and we have cracked it, but if it was easy they’d all be doing it!”

Bugs! is producer Phil Streather’s third Large Format film. In 1997 he produced WILDFIRE-FEEL THE HEAT for Discovery Channel Pictures. In 1999, for Scottish Enterprise Dunbartonshire, he produced LEGEND OF LOCH LOMOND - an industry benchmark that demonstrated beyond a doubt the dramatic and storytelling potential of Large Format cinema, traditionally a documentary medium. On both films his producing partner was Alex Ferguson, who partners again as producer on Bugs!

Alex Ferguson, who has worked on six Large Format features, says of working in South East Asia, “Working in the Borneo jungle with a crew of 80 in 95% humidity with a 350lb camera rig – what better challenge could a producer want! One of the most interesting aspects of the location shoot is the variety of nationalities and religious groups including Iban, Chinese, Pidayuhs, Moslems and Hindus, which creates havoc for the caterers!”

Director Mike Slee has directed over 40 films including the TV shows AFTER THE WARMING for PBS and the multi-award-winning James Burke vehicle, CONNECTIONS2 for The Learning Channel. He directed WILDFIRE – FEEL THE HEAT and LEGEND OF LOCH LOMOND.

Contact: Judith Rubin (USA) tel. 510-595-9664,

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