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How to Shoot 360 Video & Actually Make Money with Josh Gibson

This week on the show we have Josh Gibson from 360 Video Academy. I know just enough about 360 video to be dangerous, and not in a good way. I wanted to bring Josh on the show to really break down the myths and techniques on how to shoot 360 video. I also wanted to dive into how filmmakers could ACTUALLY MAKE MONEY shooting 360 Degree Video. 

Josh goes over not only the technical aspects of shooting 360 videos but he also discusses how filmmakers can make money and a living shooting this exciting format. Check out Josh talking shop on 360 Degree Video.

The 360 Video Academy is your one place to learn how to create professional-grade 360º video content. So get your GoPro 360 Rig rig out and take some notes. Enjoy my conversation with Josh Gibson from 360 Video Academy.

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How to Shoot 360 Video

Shooting a high-quality 360° video is very different from shooting the tried and trusted 2D video we’re all used to. There are a lot of great 360° cameras and gear being developed which make things easier, but there are still plenty of things you’ll want to remember before firing up your camera (or cameras.) Having the right gear for the job is crucial for a high-quality result, but the best piece of gear in any filmmaker’s toolkit is a thorough understanding of their tools, and when to use them.

360 Video Cameras

With the way 360° video works today, multiple cameras are required to capture a full sphere of video without any blind spots. There are single-camera setups like the 360Fly with extreme fish-eye lenses that capture a ~270-degree field of view, but for this post, we’ll focus on full, true 360° video.

The simplest of camera systems are the two-camera, or back-to-back setups like the Samsung Gear 360, Ricoh Theta, or Insta360 Nano/Air. A total of two cameras capture the front and back of an environment and you stitch the two domes of video together later.

Camera rigs get larger and more complicated from there. Rigs like the GoPro Odyssey utilize 16 synchronized GoPro cameras to create the final panoramic output. Companies like Kolor and 360RIZE make rigs that carry anywhere from 6 to 12 GoPro or similar cameras. There are even tens of thousand dollar rigs like the Nokia OZO and Jaunt systems with professional features like global shutter, higher dynamic range, etc.

In the end, regardless of how you choose to capture your 360° imagery, the principle is the same: use multiple cameras to simultaneously record video in all directions and stitch each video feed together so that it forms a seamless sphere of video.

Making your sphere of video “seamless,” as you’ve probably heard from anyone who’s dabbled in 360° video, is much easier said than done. The most common stitching problems you’ll face with 360° video don’t need to be fixed with post-production wizardry however, most of them can be avoided altogether by planning and shooting smartly before you even begin your stitching process. Here are a few tips that will help you capture immersive, professional, and easily stitch-able footage:

Keep Your Distance

Generally speaking, the closer a subject is to your rig, the more likely it is to be obscured or distorted by a seam or stitch line. Once objects are more than 20 or so feet away, you won’t have to worry about it. Also, this is mostly a non-issue with two-camera rigs, but for most other rigs, this is something you’ll want to keep in mind.

“Frame” Your Shot

While 360° video is filming in all directions, it’s always wise to try and put all important action in front of, and centered in one of your camera’s views. Even with two camera rigs, you’ll want to try and angle your camera so that important stuff happens at either the front or back. Sometimes this isn’t possible, but do the best you can. You’ll save yourself sometime later on when stitching.

Smooth and Steady Wins the Race

Always remember that when shooting 360º video, you are only in control of where the viewer is standing, and how tall they are. Therefore, there is no need to swing the camera around, spin the rig to get them to “see” somewhere else, etc. etc. When moving your camera, do so in a smooth and steady way to avoid making your viewers nauseous.

Be Creative When Placing Your 360 Video Camera

While there are some limitations and things to remember when shooting 360º video, try to always push the boundaries. Where can you place the camera other than on a tripod in the middle of the action? Get creative. Figure out what works, and what doesn’t.

360 Video Gear List

Below are some of my specific gear recommendations:

ProTactic 450 AW Camera Backpack From Lowepro 

Really, anything from Lowepro is fantastic. Having a modular organizing system in your backpack is crucial to keeping everything organized.

JOBY GorillaPod Focus

Something that should be in every filmmaker’s toolkit. The amount of flexibility you get from being able to mount your camera anywhere is invaluable.

GoPro Hero 4 Black Edition

I prefer shooting with GoPro over other expensive rigs (like the Jaunt or OZO) due to the portability and lighter weight of the rigs. I also haven’t moved to the Hero 5 yet because the sensor is largely the same from the Hero 4.

Lexar Professional 1000x microSDXC 64GB UHS-II/U3 Micro SD Card  

When shooting with GoPro rigs (and I admit, this is one the downfalls with shooting with multiple cameras, all with individual memory cards,) one of the worst feelings is walking up to your rig to stop recording after a great take, only to find out one more of your GoPros had an “SD ERROR.” Do yourself a favor and buy high-quality micro SD cards to avoid headaches in the future.

Wasabi Triple Charger

I love Wasabi batteries. I’ve used them on many shoots, and they usually last even longer than the stock GoPro batteries. Plus, the triple charger makes charging batteries a breeze. Usually, I like to have at least 3x the amount of batteries that my rig uses with me when shooting so that I can have two sets charging while I’m shooting with the other set. Think ahead, and make sure you’ve got enough batteries.

Anker PowerCore 26800mAh USB Battery

When shooting out on location, charging batteries is vital to having the shoot go without any hiccups. These Anker batteries are powerhouses and make charging easy and efficient.

Anker 60W 10-Port USB Wall Charger

When preparing for shoots (or when charging from a generator on set,) this will make charging simple.

Anker 10-Port USB 3.0 Hub

When importing footage, this is a must in order to avoid having to plug and unplug SD cards over and over.

Zoom H1 Audio Recorder

Having solid audio recorded when shooting can really add to the immersive nature of your 360º video. Whatever you do, never use the GoPros’ audio.

Slim Light Stand

I prefer to use light stands to hold my rigs due to their slim and low profile which then makes it easier to paint it out in post-production.

Rode Boompole

For any handheld shots, I love to use audio boom poles – this one is my favorite.


Another thing that’s easy to forget is continually making sure the lenses on all your cameras are clean. All it takes is one lens having a nasty fingerprint or smudge to ruin a shot (and you usually won’t notice it’s there until you’re editing, which is too late for a re-shoot, so always clean your lenses!)

Know your gear backward and forwards. Know where it excels, know where it falls short. Having all the right gear is important, but knowing when and when not to use something is the most important.


  • 360 Video Acadamy – WATCH


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