Gaba VR, Pioneering Hungarian 360 Vlogger Invents New Generation Media Solutions
About: Szidor N. Gábor is a Google Trusted Photographer who focuses on creative 360 media solutions for storytelling, vlogging and video marketing. He owns New Generation Solutions, a production company specialized in helping its clientele utilize new media.
After buying his first 360 camera, Gabor was slightly disappointed, realizing that the image quality didn’t touch the minimum level he expected for professional work, or even average YouTube content. Being an experienced photographer and cinematographer, he decided to focus on panoramic photography while searching for the best camera and rig options, and started shooting 360 videos about a year and a half ago on a bike-ride sightseeing series.
For Gabor, 360° and VR videos right now are facing the same situation like motion pictures back in the 1800s. “The first movies ever made now look like some simple B-roll shots from a movie,” such as the “Arrival of a Train” or “Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory”, yet “people were amazed by the sight itself”. Similarly, 360 and VR are going through the same evolution trajectory, growing from simple stories without complicated concepts, to an important tool for improving storytelling and creating complex videoscapes.
For shooting 360, Gabor always plans out every detail carefully before getting started. Framing varies considerably between 360 content and traditional videos, limiting cinematographers in selecting different lenses and zooming in and out—you would have to “bring the action as close to the camera as you can, or you have to move the camera itself”. He also writes down all dialogues to control the length of his videos, as he realizes that improvised speeches are always longer than needed.
When filming is done, he selects snippets of the raw footage to edit, and after the whole movie is compiled, he records narrations, select soundtracks with an eye on atmospheres and audio recordings before he color-grades and renders the movie.
Gabor likes to create short and fast cuts in his music videos, commercials and short movies to create a dynamic rhythm. In approaching 360 videos, he tries to maintain his personal style and create a perfect mix. Here he offers an example: “I usually shoot different takes in a single location, moving the camera just a little bit, so I can cut between the shots even the location itself doesn’t change. It makes the movie more dynamic but gives the viewers enough time to look around.” He also uses moving scenes to bring life to static setups.
For 360 photography, Gabor argues, the image is not just a piece of the reality anymore, instead creators have to be the inventor of “a whole world”. The challenge that excites him the most is figuring out new ways for using the 360 format for storytelling and showcasing interesting places and scenes.
Besides building his professional career as a 360 content creator, Gabor also keeps his Instagram feed well-curated with original content. In his opinion, a simple 360 photo or a little planet for that matter can get old, so he feels compelled to experiment constantly and renew his style over and over again. To that end, he’s invented his own techniques such as a blend of a little planet and an inverted planet, and the “flying cam” effect.
For the future, Gabor has plans to product short feature films and branded content, but the most important thing for him right now is to focus on his video blog. “In my country I’m the only one who creates such contents, and as I see, there are very few people shooting vlogs or even daily vlogs in 360° in the world,” Gabor explains.
He also remains invested in 360 photography, and on top of updating his daily photo blog on Instagram, he created a premium collection of his best 360 artwork. He’s also going to hold his own photo exhibitions and releasing his own merch in the next couple months.
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