Facebook recently introduced its Surround 360 camera, used to capture the story of experiential VR film ‘Here and Now’.
On a medium usually reserved for the more visceral and otherworldly, ‘Here and Now’ uses VR to do a remarkable job depicting ordinary moments as intimate, relatable hellos and goodbyes in New York’s Grand Central Terminal. The film cleverly makes the iconic transportation hub its main subject. Both ordinary and grand, ‘Here and Now’ perfectly illustrates Facebook’s brand message.
Directed by Smuggler’s Jaron Albertin, the shoot involved 20 principal actors and 500 extras choreographed in a single space for a single take. Albertin was able to make the epic main concourse of Grand Central feel energized and buzzing. This was no easy feat in the dead of night. Facebook had only three 90-minute windows (between 2 – 4 a.m.) to shoot in over three days.
MPC worked closely with the Facebook engineering team and Smuggler production crew to push the boundaries of what is possible with the new Surround 360 camera. Using Facebook’s new software, MPC was able to control the stitching across the picture and add subtle CG elements to augment the scene, such as a flying pigeon that crosses the space to draw the viewer’s eye line.
MPC VR Executive Producer Tim Dillon commented, “It was amazing to collaborate with the Facebook team and create one of the first films made with this new innovative camera system. The end result speaks for itself—it’s really great to push the bar on creating a clear and crisp 360 image for VR.”
Mike Wigart, Executive Producer of MPC Creative LA, added, “In one fell swoop, Brian Cabral and the Facebook team have drastically improved nearly every aspect of 360 video — from image acquisition to how we view it. It was an honor to take part in this big step forward for the medium."
The Surround 360 is a 17-camera array first revealed at Facebook’s F8 developers’ conference in April.
You can watch the 360 film on Facebook and it is also available on Oculus VR.
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