Successful Test Shoot
We're excited to say we got out to the location for a second time and this time brought along a drone and our VR camera! Seeing our lead actor Max in action with his new co-star, the Mavic drone, was surreal.
The Drone and The Pilot: A Character
A lot of what we tried to explain during this visit was how our DP (Director of Photography), who is piloting the drone, is essentially an actor. The way he flies the drone will create a character for the audience to emulate. It should have quirks and personality. What we're going for with the project is character connection so it's essential that our drone feels like a character itself interacting with the boy.
Most of the pre-production work that goes in on set is prepping the flight paths for Steve. Cin, our director, spent ample time blocking each step for not only the actor, but for our DP. The tricky part is Steve will essentially be flying blind. With only the camera that comes attached to the Mavic as his eyes, he'll be hidden, out of sight of the VR camera, and piloting the drone. This presents an obvious challenge for both the director and DP, not being able to see the performance first hand. So we treat this problem with practice, practice, practice. One of my old high school teachers once told me:
"Practice Prevents Piss Poor Performance," - Larry Wolf's 5 P's for perfection.
Rehearsal and Next Steps
We'll be planning another rehearsal with our actors and drone pilot. We still have yet to put the VR camera on the drone itself and we're hoping to run more tests with the weight and flight control before our shoot date of the 22nd. We have also rented audio equipment that should give us the complex spacial audio we need that will really take advantage of all 360 VR cinema has to offer.
Our ace editor, Isaac Taylor, will be running sound on set with a 4 channel set up and directional boom mics that are positioned on the 0°, 90°, -90°, and 180° marks. Essentially what that means is when the audience is looking forward in the VR world, straight ahead is 0°, turning your head to the right is 90° and to the left -90°. Recording audio like this will allow us to place spacial sound and direct our audience's attention with "audio cues" for the more curious audience members who tend to look at the beautiful scenery rather than the story.
Here's a sneak peak of some of the Behind The Scenes footage of our test shoot date. They're unlisted on our youtube page, so you won't find them anywhere else!
We recently sent out our first email update to all of our CHARLIE project backers on Kickstarter with some cool information and pictures. Hopefully we can get those rolling out more regularly now that we're moving closer to the shoot date and onward to a final product. As always, if you have any concerns or questions with the emails you can use our Contact page on the website down at the bottom in the footer. Thanks for all of your support! Until next time.