Adrift Pictures | 360° Filmmaking Becomes Easy When You Are Having Fun
If you can make it a mission to let yourself and audience simply
Creativity, Quality, and Popularity are bound to happen
Despite a growing eagerness to try out this nascent medium, we are still at a place figuring out exactly what to do in a VR/360° production. It has no apparent rulebook and very few good examples.
When I first came across a simple 360° short The Body Still Breathes by Adrift Pictures, a small UK-based 360° film production company, I exclaimed, and immediately showed it to my colleagues at VeeR because 1)it made me laugh, and 2) I knew the film crew had fun making it too.
Here, Adrift gracefully shares with us their stories, favorite 360° films, and some tips on 360° filmmaking.
Dare to see if the amateur professor can launch you across the room, without touching you?
Teleport Me is a comical 360° short film.
“Teleport Me was our very first 360° short film. We all see faults in our work, but it will always hold a special place with us. It’s a great advert for Adrift, not taking itself too seriously whilst pushing the boundaries and trying new techniques.”
What are the members of Adrift Pictures?
Adrift Pictures: There is an old saying in business. ‘Never work with family’. Well… that went out the window here – and why not. They are the people who know you best, support you the most and the cheapest crew you will ever find.
Everything here is predominantly split between siblings. Grace Monroe is a Broadway-trained actress and singer who takes care of the production side. Having a background in screenwriting, I (Harry Chadwick) pen the ideas, Direct and handle the post-production.
We have had the privilege of working with some very talented crew in the past and shall continue our journey with them, but as for the core team, it’s all produced in-house.
Your stories are funny and personable, where do the ideas come from?
Adrift Pictures: I’m interested to know that myself! For me, it’s about trying to imagine what I and the audience would like to watch, or with 360, be a part of. Inspiration comes from anywhere – music, friends, travel. Getting out into the world is an important part of creativity I think. Having said that, most of my ideas come when I’m trying to sleep and my brain refuses to stay quiet.
Why did you choose 360°?
Adrift Pictures: The challenge. 360 filmmaking is exciting but above all else, difficult. I think everyone has heard of the term ‘immersion’ when talking about virtual worlds, but what that simply means is it’s quicker and easier to get lost in the story, in the space. That’s what excites us most, because who wouldn’t want to be ‘in’ their favourite film.
The Body Still Breathes
The job is simple. Dump the body. But what if the body still breathes?
My personal favorite – a simple setup here, yet a very appropriate use of 360°.
What does your typical workflow look like?
3 am: Concept is written on the pad beside my bed.
8 am: Call Grace, discuss the idea, arrange shooting schedule and potential actors required.
Shoot Date: Film the scene, laugh and generally the best part of the process.
Stitching: Sit at my computer, nervous, upload the footage onto Autopano, stitch, refine in Giga, render out. Watch the footage, cry because you’ve noticed a fault, rinse and repeat.
This process takes about five turns.
Edit: So much easier than conventional filmmaking as we like to shoot a single scene. Patch the base, colour and render.
VeeR: Upload onto our distributor’s site and head to bed… when… 3am.
Mirror Man was made to celebrate Halloween. Shortly after release, it got featured in VeeR Halloween Special – Ye Spooked?
“Mirror Man is a perfect example of our love for horror. In 360, everything is enhanced so the horror genre just got even more terrifying. It’s an example of where we want to go with the genre, mixing some new story based mythology with some classic jumps and scares.”
What are the interesting things you’ve learned since you started making 360 content?
Adrift Pictures: That 360° content is hard. Like… really hard. You can’t move the camera for fear of making viewers sick. You can’t hide crew and equipment easily and oh, you can’t see what you’re filming – at least on our rig.
We’ve film numerous shorts we didn’t release because we weren’t happy with them. However, with each filming experience, we learn a new technique for the future.
I’ve learnt many things since filming 360. Stitching, editing, colouring, audio, camera work and directing but above all else, patience and how good the feeling can be when others enjoy your work.
What gears would you recommend to aspiring 360 creators?
Adrift Pictures: With 8K camera’s being released for professionals and Ricoh Theta’s new 4k camera now here, making 360 content only gets easier. We shoot on the GoPro Omni rig, which is a nice middle ground. If you’re just starting though, Ricoh and Samsung are a great place to begin.
Also, look into a Monopod. They are a great way to manage the logo patch in post but I would recommend researching their weight capacity before buying.
Do you have any tips regarding 360° filmmaking for our readers?
Speaking in regards to narrative content specifically –
Tip 1. Remember it’s 360. Sound simple but it’s the key. You have an amazing scene written – two actors discussing their affair for instance. If it’s a comedy, place her husband in the room looking awkward behind you. If it’s a thriller, have him walking towards the front door that only you can see. Use the space to elevate the scene, but beware of…
Tip 2. Stitch Lines. I’m sure you’ve heard it, and with technology rapidly growing it won’t be a problem for long, but for now – it really takes you out the story. We’ve had actors accidentally stand in stitch lines for the whole scene when we were starting. A few moments planning the camera position can save a project.
Tip 3. Explore. Some of the greatest 360 experiences so far are on wingsuits and rollercoasters, but that shouldn’t limit you. Think of new and exciting ways to place the camera. The Body Still Breathes was shot in a boot of a car at a sideways angle. Whether it works… that’s up to you. But 360 filmmaking has opened up a new realm of storytelling, so don’t be afraid to wonder.
What are you hoping to achieve in making these videos?
Adrift Pictures: To be completely original and boldly go where no man has gone before. (Little joke there)
We are looking to develop an archive of original content, ranging from comedy to horror, for people to enjoy. We have an exciting new drama series set for release on VeeR in early 2018 and all our films and lessons learnt are leading towards our 360 feature film, which we’re very excited about.
We are yet to seek any funding but with VeeR, we can distribute what we make now and express ourselves, talk to people and hopefully create a fan base.
Welcome to the trailer of Seance, a 1920’s ouija reading with a twist. Come sit at our table as each confesses a deadly secret when the past comes back to haunt them.
“Seance was our second 360° experiences and the one with a budget. It is an example of what we’re capable of and combines narrative-based content with the 360 spectacle. We hope to produce more short films like this in the future as our company grows.”
I hope this exclusive interview with Adrift Pictures has brought you some inspirations as well.
We are giving away loads of VR headsets and cameras from various brands from Dec 11th 2017 to Jan 26th 2018. Learn details here.