September 26, 2017

A 360° view.

I used to think 360° video robbed videographers of the creative aspect of capturing a shot, but after some arduous time in the field, and some infuriating time at my computer, I am starting to reconsider. The time that goes into creating a video that encapsulates all of your surroundings in order to create a virtual reality would shock you. An incredibly sophisticated technology and we somehow found ourselves on the Oregon trail. The good, the bad, the maddening, all to offer an exhilarating new way to engage students, all completely worth it.

For brevity sake let’s say we’ve already picked a project, loaded our six customized suitcases full of camera equipment and scuba gear- with clothes for padding- and traveled seamlessly to a remote location on the planet. Now, the cleaning, charging, assembling and prepping may commence all in time to make our check-out dive. Assuming we’ve gotten to this stage without any hiccups, we begin filming. Still with me?

Twenty minutes. That’s all we have. One of the charming aspects of being 360° pioneers is that we’re on the trail with wagons instead of hybrids. Our particular vehicle only lasts twenty minutes from the time we descend below the surface. Camera checkFortunately, in the ocean, anything can happen. We could jump into a massive school of jacks or a screaming current teeming with life, but once we’re in, we’re rolling. At this point we’re hoping all the cameras are working properly and we don’t spend too much time with our faces in the frame checking each one. Next, we look for a shot. Be it a swarm of sharks hunting around the reef or a group of divers observing a coral restoration project, everything counts. As a videographer, you’re now not only responsible for capturing one shot, but six of them.

Paying attention to everything going on around us, all the while maintaining distance, vision, and buoyancy takes focus, skill, and patience, and it is with all of this that 360° filming becomes an art. Capturing a shot now involves capturing a moment in its entirety which is a sensory-loading and thrilling experience… even if it only lasts twenty minutes.

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