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 video 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.
BTW, Josh was nice enough to give the IFH Tribe an INSANE DISCOUNT on access to the 360 Video Academy (To get over 85% OFF use the COUPON CODE: HUSTLE25) – Click Here for access
How to Shoot 360 Video
Shooting 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’s 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:
Really, anything from Lowepro is fantastic. Having a modular organizing system in your backpack is crucial to keeping everything organized.
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.
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.
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 the headaches in the future.
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.
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.
When preparing for shoots (or when charging from a generator on set,) this will make charging simple.
When importing footage, this is a must in order to avoid having to plug and unplug SD cards over and over.
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.
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.
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 its 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.
LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
- 360 Video Academy – Website (To get over 85% OFF use the COUPON CODE: HUSTLE)
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- Werner Herzog’s Filmmaking MasterClass
- Aaron Sorkin Screenwriting Master Class
- FreeFilmBook.com (Download Your FREE Filmmaking Audio Book)
- INDIE FILM SYNDICATE Filmmaking Community
- IFH’s Online Film School
- Six Secrets to get into Film Festivals for FREE!
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HOW TO SHOOT 360 VIDEO – Transcript
Welcome Indie Film Hustlers to another episode of the Indie Film podcast I am your humble ALEX FERRARI now today’s show is sponsored by Video Blocks. Now if you guys are looking for stock footage, after effects templates motion graphics video blocks is the site man.
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So guys 360 videos a lot of people have been talking about it a lot of people say it is going to take over, a lot of people say it is the future of what everybody is going to be watching and it is going to take over cinema and take over movies as we know it.
I disagree whole heartedly I think it is another tool for storytelling and in its own way same as video games are the same way video games are not taking over movies, movies are movies and will always be movies in more ways shape or form.
360 video can tell certain types of stories but not the kind of stories I don’t see David Fincher using 360 video to tell a story it is an experience and it is a ride in many ways and you can try to tell a good story narrative without question but it is not what we consider cinema. Where a director is editing and telling you where to look in the scene as opposed to getting all the information at one and you got to go find the information.
It is a different kind of storytelling, but I want to bring someone on the show who is an expert in the field, someone who really understands 360 the technology the ever changing technology, how to actually make a living doing it and so on. So I have on the show JOSH GIBSON who is a 360 video specialist.
He is the founder of 360 video.com and pretty much kind of knows what he is talking about when it comes to 360 video so I wanted to bring him on the show so he can explain it to us lay mans on how you can do it, what’s the cost to get into it and if can even make money doing it as a film maker.
So I won’t waste anymore time let’s get right into it and join my in conversation with JOSH GIBSON from 360 video academy.
I would like to welcome on the show JOSH GIBSON and thanks for coming on the show man.
JOSH GIBSON: Hey thank so much for having me ALEX FERRARI it is good to be here.
ALEX FERRARI: I wanted you on the show because I am just, I know just enough to be dangerous on the 360 video world so I wanted to get a professional to come on and I am just going to beat you up with a lot of questions if that is okay.
JOSH GIBSON: No that’s totally great I am excited for it.
ALEX FERRARI: Cool man and so first and foremost what the hell is 360m video for people to know.
JOSH GIBSON: You know that’s a good question it is kind of something that has been around for a while I mean you look at like Google Street View you look at virtual tours on maybe some real estate sites it is sort of this technology of you know the 360 degree panorama has been around for a while but it sort of have been stuck in this still world until you know a few years back when people started messing around with go pros and trying to get smaller cameras and putting them all together so they are shooting in all directions and trying to capture 360 video.
So that’s kind of where the explosion happen and people start realizing hey, go pro is not too expensive you know and a lot of companies like colour and other companies including go pro started seeing a lot of future in this and yes, started building soft ware for it and you know the rest is history.
So basically putting a bunch of cameras together shooting in every single direction and sinking all those cameras up and stitching in every direction later on every computer so kind of a process but you know but pretty simple you know you wrapping a spear/sphere around a video and that’s how it works.
ALEX FERRARI: Now there is from the points of go pro rigs now there are actually coming out with camera that are built into t sphere I saw some in Cini gear last year and companies are coming out with those by themselves by their own propriety software and things like that is that correct.
JOSH GIBSON: Yeah that’s exactly right so there is a few cameras that technically I think there is one that shoot 270 degrees and it is just one lens and one sensor but as a matter of getting the full 360 degrees you actually still technically need two cameras at least and there are some Kodak makes some the SBK where you put two camera back to back basically with super fish eye wide angle lens on each one of those.
So you basically have two half domes that you are getting and you just wrapping them together or you just joining them together and aligning them.
ALEX FERRARI: But what you do with 360 though the kind of 360 that I have seen that looks good is somewhat distorted but not completed distorted like a fish type would be. So that’s good that’s good I mean that’s what we are kind of going for right it’s not like this kind of distorted fish if that’s the point then we are back in BC/Beastly Boys videos back in the day.
JOSH GIBSON: Right so that’s kind of my opinion too I mean ..and gears are example of the two camera systems and those are great and they work pretty well but the issue you run into with those two lens systems is obviously at the very edge of any fish eye lens there is going to be distortion and pixels are going to get stretched.
So if you are going to try to stretch those back out to make them undistorted and 360 degree you know viewing space you know it is going to be a little bit blurry you are going to see them you know aliasing or whatever on those edges so that’s why people start moving into the multi camera rigs where you have ten gropers twenty gropers or you know any other small camera like the black magic you know camera that you can put on there.
So people have been experimenting with all sorts of different set ups but obviously the other downside is when you have more cameras you are going to run into more stitching complications weird lines and stuff.
ALEX FERRARI: We will get into stitching later I have questions about stitching everyone is asking like what the hell is stitching don’t worry we will get to it soon enough ladies and gentlemen so a real basic question is what’s the difference between 360 and VR virtual reality because they are kind of similar.
JOSH GIBSON: They are similar and they use interchangeable a lot that’s a good question. So VR you know if we want to throw the dictionary at it is basically kind of like the video games that you see out there that people are walking around in an actual 3D space they have goggles on it is usually hooked up to high powered PC or something a computer and they also have those little things they are holding in their hands they interact and you see the cool video games where you shoot zombies or something.
So that’s VR where you can interact completely with the environment you can walk you know with your actual two feet and the goggles on your face is just basically you know just displaying what you should see in the video game or whatever. So there aren’t a lot of actual VR video if you will, but so and before I get into that I’ll talk about the difference.
360 video on the other hand is basically captured video wrapped in this sphere around a user and the only thing that the user can actually interact with in the video is where they are looking in which direction they are looking in.
The film maker still has control basically on how tall the viewer is and where they are standing in that space so the 360 video you can look around you can move your phone around if you are watching it on a phone or a tablet or on a computer you can lick around move your direction you can’t actually walk anywhere. Oh what’s that rock over I want to go see what’s behind it you can’t do that quite yet with 360 video but in a VR world it’s all build on a computer so everything is there all the data is there you could walk around and see what’s behind the rock ex cetra.
ALEX FERRARI: Got it so I actually saw that thing on face book once I was watching I think I was watching KC.. with the Samsung brig and he posted something on face book and move your phone left, and I am like what does that mean, oh my God, Jesus this is witchcraft this is insane it was the weirdest thing ever how did I know and face book has it I guess you can upload 360 video ion face book now.
I was like that’s insane just the things you can do with that are amazing which brings me to my next question what kind of stories can you tell with 360 videos can you shoot a feature film with 360 ?
JOSH GIBSON: Yes that’s the million dollar question there has been a lot of really cool experimentation going on so I thing the big question right now at least in my mind is you know what future does 360 video have like documentary versus like narrative fiction film making right so there has been a lot of like horror the horrors has been all over 360 because you know you have all of this new space to work with jump and scare people and I have seen a lot of recreations like historical recreations in 360 video and of course by background is in documentary film making.
That’s kind of where I have been working mostly but yes the short answer is everybody has been doing 360 and the feature films made in it.
ALEX FERRARI: There has? Can you name some?
JOSH GIBSON: I actually don’t know the name off the top of my head it has been pretty recent but there has been few like TV networks and stuff that has thrown pretty big chunks of money at VR and 360 and there is a lot of experimentation going on right now and it is living a lot in the documentary world and I can look up some of these and give you links from the show notes.
But it has been living a lot in the documentary world and I think a lot of fiction film makers and like horror and stuff like that has been really interested in doing it but another kind of unforeseen huge genre of 360 film making is the education world.
There have been a lot of universities especially at the most recent NAB when I was out there I met up with a lot of you know professors and administrators education people that was from all over the country all over the world wanting to implement VR and 360into their teaching which is awesome because you know obviously you can take people out on a virtual field trip where ever you want.
Whether that be mars or just a canyon up the street of the school you know as a matter of fact that’s a project I am working on right now with the local universities here their geology department is hiring me to do some work with them to do, to basically do some drone footage and some really cool like virtual walk through of the canyon, this really interesting canyon nearby to show their students.
ALEX FERRARI: That’s insane so like basically lets go to the pyramids at Giza or the Great Wall of China or any of these places.
JOSH GIBSON: Right you can overlay graphics and put the cool you text or you can even throw you know 3D animated time laps if you want like okay this is what it looks like ten thousand years ago now its jumped today.
ALEX FERRARI: Stop it, stop it.
JOSH GIBSON: You can just be standing in the middle of this really cool experience right, so it’s awesome and then the cool part is people can watch it on their phones now they can watch it on their tablets they can do it anywhere so you don’t need to go to some fancy planetarium or anything it’s very acceptable.
ALEX FERRARI: So unlike VR you don’t need a helmet or a pair of goggles to look at 360 video as long as you have it on a it is been projected in the proper way correct?
JOSH GIBSON: Right you can technically watch it on a computer just on a lap top or you know or whatever and click around with the mouse or you can watch you can hold your phone out in front of you or your tablet obviously the most ideal way to watch VR or 360 is through goggles it is little bit more immerse that way and put some headphone son and stuff you know and there are special audio that interacts the audio so they can actually contract to your head too so that’s a whole other topic as well.
ALEX FERRARI: I was just going to say audio mixing for this must be a bitch.
JOSH GIBSON: It’s complex man and I am not an audio engineer by any stretch of the imagination so I can’t speak to the nitty gritty too much but they are making it more simple I have been messing around the beta testing for a few companies some soft ware that basically allows you to mix the audio in like adobe surround sound format you know 5171 and then basically what happens is you tell the software where is like your point one.
You know your base point and then as soon as your head turns the software in either the phone or goggles has to actually process and change and mix that audio on the spot so that’s pretty wild.
ALEX FERRARI: Come on that’s insanity man, I mean we are starting to get into Star Trek world man.
JOSH GIBSON: We are only a few steps away from the Holy Deck maybe the next thing is being able to create hamburgers from you know the little touch screen.
ALEX FERRARI: Oh great imagine the little did you by the way I hope the audience enjoyed my sound effects.
JOSH GIBSON: I know that I do.
ALEX FERRARI: I appreciate it so now that we are going to go out and shoot some stuff, what’s some pre shoot equipment that you would need to just do a basic 360 shoot.
JOSH GIBSON: So yes that’s a great question. I mean with the thing with 360 cameras you can go as small as a the Samsung gear or you know Kodak got one of those set ups too to where it got the two cameras back to back but really with 360 video you could go all the way to the Ouzo to the Nokio that’s like a forty five thousand camera you know that’s completely professional global shutter you know thirteen stops dynamic range kind of thing so that one is great, but with 360 video you can go as small as you really want and you know it is kind of threatening and it feels scary when it shoot it but as long as you are holding you arm steady and or if you are on a tripod you just shooting things like landscape stuff you know piece of equipment all you need is just the camera and kind of a sense of imagination.
ALEX FERRARI: Really and how do you record the audio?
JOSH GIBSON: So the audio can usually be recorded on the device same gear as a few micro phones and that does it was well there are actually are even a few I think it is called the instant 360 company from I am not even sure where they are from, but they have a cool little disc it is a 360 camera you can plug into the bottom of your phone either android or Andres and you can stream live 360 videos now on face book or you tube.
So I mean if bloggers and stuff are going to be all over this and want to be into that so that’s kind of fun you can take people a tour and stuff if you are vacationing or talking to the camera and they can look at you and they can look back at you.
ALEX FERRARI: Or if you are on a film set and you want to give the people a tour of the film set that would be a great marketing for listening that would blow peoples mind as far as great content great material they can use for marketing. Imagine just doing a 360 table read of all the actors you my marketing is turning on now.
JOSH GIBSON: I am sure they are going to implement it with Skype and with any other you know I am sure it is going to be a business solution here pretty soon where if you want to beam into a meeting or something or across the country or across the globe you can sit there and it will be like you are actually sitting there you can look around see who is talking it won’t be like a web cam that they set up in the corner trying to see everybody it will just be a 360 camera sitting in a chair somewhere and CER or whomever can sit there and look around and chat.
ALEX FERRARI: Like the Jedi council.
JOSH GIBSON: Yes exactly, that’s the goal.
ALEX FERRARI: That’s the goal Jedi council just with better dialogue but, so what are some of the pit falls that you should avoid when shoot 360 videos.
JOSH GIBSON: So with 360 video I think one of the biggest complications one of the newest thing, well not complications one of the biggest difficulties is a lot of creative control is ripped from the creator so I think a lot of people going to it and expecting to still be able to like frame the shot if you will.
ALEX FERRARI: Its 360 how can you frame the shot
JOSH GIBSON: exactly so that’s kind of a new frustrating thing and I even remember going out and doing you know like pre diz or like text gals (18:33) location for different shoots and it is kind of weird and you stand there and you are like oh that’s a nice angle that’s a nice frame oh wait I can’t actually have an angle you know this isn’t a 3D thing in a box where I say here is a edges of frame you know there is no lens that I chose to shoot with I can’t really change a lot of those things all I can really chose is where the person standing and how tall they are.
So obviously there are still a lot of cool things you can do with that with movement and drama guns or whatever you can come up with but that is kind of the first hurdle that people have to get over is understanding that when you are framing a shot in quotes you got to basically stand in one place and kind of look in every single direction.
Is this interesting over here is interesting over there and then you also going to say maybe I don’t want it to be interesting other than this one little place I want to draw attention to that one part of that 360 degree space. So there is a lot of new questions to ask yourself and that’s kind of one of the bigger you know artistic hurdles to overcome there is plenty of technological and other ones we can get into but that was one of the bigger one I remember going through as a creator you know coming from the two dimensional world of film making.
It was kind of interesting to be like wow this is a totally new way of thinking and a totally new way of storytelling.
ALEX FERRARI: Now I saw I was watching you demo on your website and I saw you in the corner which brings me to my next question how do you hide or remove gear crew camera operator etc.
JOSH GIBSON: Right that’s a great question that’s something actually I go into a lot you know and the things I teach in the course, but basically you have to you know make a decision whether or not you can even remove yourself like I was filming at that Holy colour festival and that was practically impossible.
I mean I have tried to paint myself out but basically the short answer is simple techniques like you have learned at photo shop or after effects where you are compositing out on a 2D space on a 2D shot but with a 360 video obviously you know how many more ever times work to make sure everything is painted out in that 360 space.
So there is a few plug ins like sky box metal the metal sky box suite is really awesome that is the one I use. I also use a mixture like moco a pro moco VR you know premiere after effects to and I have a little bit of background in visual effects not tons and I had enough that I could figure out basically how to convert this weird sphere video this rectangular whatever they call it video.
It is something that I could work with as a visual effects artist but it’s basically the same techniques its painting out people in two dimensional video it’s just being able to convert that back and to store it properly so that it looks right in that sphere and that 360 video.
ALEX FERRARI: So I was going through your site and I want to ask you what is auto panel video pro?
JOSH GIBSON: Oh, yea that is my favourite software. It is basically the stitching software for, it is kind of the first step in the process so once you shot everything whether you got ten cameras or three cameras or whatever basically you have a bunch of SD cards you have a bunch of different files however you get them and what auto panel video does it basically takes all those videos and it will smartly sink in allows you to easily either by audio queue or plat or something you can sink them up and then it basically finds all those little intricate points and stitch them all together.
Obviously the idea with 360 video is when you are shooting with ten cameras you want to have over lap on each one of those camera so that there is a little bit of wiggle room as far as how you stitching and how you are melting them together to make the edges look seamless.
That’s what kind of auto panel video takes care off and it gives you a lot of tools to customised and to really tweak and make things look just right and there is also partner for it called auto panel gig that I believe has been around lot longer than auto panel video and auto panel gig is just basically another program that has done these still versions.
So people that did Google street view or you know they are really awesome people that would go on at 360photos of the Eiffel Tower or something on Google earth I remember even looking at those as a kid they all use programs similar to auto panel gig. So the auto panel video is basically the same thing but just for video.
ALEX FERRARI: So stitching basically if I am for layman terms is basically just because you over lapping the video all the video frames of all the cameras you using in the rig they over lap so you kind of melt them together or composite them together in some way, stitching is the term to use and that’s what basically stitching is, is an auto panel video kind of does it helps you tremendously by doing that.
JOSH GIBSON: Yes that is exactly right. Do there is, I know a few people that but there is people that I heard do their stitching in programs like fusion from black magic or they use nuke and stuff and that’s funny but there is always a million ways to skin a cat as far as the post production goes but the one that I really like to use that makes it pretty simple and use power use customerization auto panel video.
ALEX FERRARI: Now is there I saw some and I think I saw some set ups that were doing auto stitching like it was automatically was doing it for you, can you talk a little bit about that.
JOSH GIBSON: They go I mean the Nokia properties has got software I believe the aunt is entirely cloud base so when you go out and shoot with a jaunt camera you just up load your media to the cloud and they do all the process and stitching for you.
ALEX FERRARI: Stop it!
JOSH GIBSON: Yes so it is pretty efficient obviously you know and I am sure you pay for it on the back end its really awesome the only downside to that kind of solutions in this isn’t really downside but you do need to go in and add finishing touches, so if there are minor stitch problems obviously the human eye can notice weird the aberrations a lot more easier and more efficiently than the computer could but with that said it won’t be you know another two or three years before computer stitching is completely awesome.
You know Google got a software Google jump program they are working with all sorts of they haven’t open their EPI yet but they are working with all sorts of camera companies and they have got some really, really awesome like API driven stitching and face book even have some stitching solutions as well.
I think that’s kind of the holy grill right now is that a lot of companies is looking for you know a seamless a perfect hundred percent awesome stitching solution so that film makers no longer having to worry about all that you know technical stitching stuff like that but when you do want to fix minor issues or polish thing off make things look little bit better or add little embellishments here and there you still need to work in that format so. Yes that’s stitching hopefully eventually very sure it will be automated soon.
ALEX FERRARI: Are there any tips that you can give the listeners to do a perfect pitch, just a couple tips.
JOSH GIBSON: Yea, couple tips I think with stitching the big thing is just being detailed oriented I think a lot of people either just try to run through it quickly and they don’t want to spend time looking through each possible angle of their shot and the best way to do that is to go through and watch it over and over again and look up stuff and make sure it looks good. Sorry did you hear that?
ALEX FERRARI: No it’s good keep on.
JOSH GIBSON: There is a little notification that came on, but detail oriented I think is important, being able to watch your shot notice things. The biggest draw I think well the biggest important thing with stitching for me is as soon as somebody notices an obvious stitch area it kind of pulls them out of the magic as a viewer and obviously you don’t need to be. You don’t need to pull your hair out about it.
I spend thousands of hours making everything look flawless but I think that is the biggest thing is to realize how important a good stitch is and then I think the other thing is to just identify and be smart about your shooting. Honestly that’s the best advice I can give anybody is the magic really doesn’t happen in post production as much as it happens in production and shooting.
So if you shoot smart and you understand the limitations and the possibilities of your camera then you are going to avoid a lot of headaches in post production.
ALEX FERRARI: Now did you I am assuming you saw Justin Lynn’s short film Hell/help?
JOSH GIBSON: Yes awesome.
ALEX FERRARI: That’s a 360 short film that’s a really good example of a narrative story.
JOSH GIBSON: Yea, yea it great they shot that on reds so the got
ALEX FERRARI: When you got that Justin Lynn money and I think it was Google who paid for it.
JOSH GIBSON: I mean there was a huge undertaking but yea that was also a good example of kind of the mixed media if you will you know the real life captured footage and the reds and that 360 rig that they built but then also adding 3 dimensional elements that hid a lot I am sure of those any stitching problems they had they could kind of paint out or hid behind monster or whatever but that’s actually what a lot of people are moving towards and a lot of filmmakers that I have seen they are actually shoot a lot of just kind of base plates in actual 360 and then they actually go in and shoot a lot of assets and all that the characters that are happening in the frame on like a green in normal studio and then they composite those in that 360 space.
So there is really a lot of ways you can do this and a lot of people are you know experimenting with a lot of different ways so it is exciting.
ALEX FERRARI: So what programs you use to edit 360 video?
JOSH GIBSON: I just use a W from here so basically the same exact thing you are editing how you would normally would 2D stuff. Premier has just recently had upgraded and added a kind of a 360 view button like a toddle you can chose on the programme monitor which is really handy so you mostly you can edit in a (28:34) rectangular video format that’s what they call it looks like it is really wide angle that’s weird but the you can click a little button and actually hit play on your keyboard and actually watch in real time on what your viewer would be seeing or they could be seeing.
So Premier is really good at adopting the technology as well but technically it is exactly the same as you know editing 2D video.
ALEX FERRARI: And then for visual effects and any standard visual effects packages would work?
JOSH GIBSON: I mean that’s kind of a difficult thing when you wrapping 360 video in that sphere from the eckra (29:08) a lot of like blur effects or pixel delayed you know or whatever effects you might have added initially even colour crush might sometimes be a little difficult because at the very end at the one hundred and eighty degree mark line kind of viewer sometimes you will get a hard line because the effect doesn’t know how to basically know how to repeat infinitely in that sphere so it actually has to sort of recalculate in sky box or metal.
The company has been doing a really good job in coming out with transitions, coming out with effects like blur and sharpen and things like that basic stuff right now but I am sure it will get more advanced you know in the near future. They are coming out with the effects that are actually 360 ready so right now it is kind of a lot of experimentation to see if it will work and most of the time they do but as far as having you know 360 degree.
Your VR ready effects I think that’s still something that need to be worked on and a lot of companies I am sure are doing it now so.
ALEX FERRARI: Now how do you deliver your final product like what format do you deliver it on.
JOSH GIBSON: So the format is still the same it is just a quick time video but with Premier what you do when you actually export there use to not be this actually before Premier updated there is a little perimeter download from you tube that uploaded medi data in to this video file however, your export whether it be MP4 or MOV and then that medi data basically hold whichever player you uploaded to that was a 360 video and that it needed to be treated differently right.
So the big issue with delivering 360 video right now is you needed to be able to deliver it on a platform that can view 360 video because if you just play it on you know without that medi data on like a TV or anything it will just playback you know at that weird stretch out format which is not what you want obviously.
So when you working with clients you know Premier updated their thing where you click a little box that says this is VR video or this is 360 video and it will actually automatically uploaded that medi data into that video file and then you just deliver the video file and if you are sending any 2D video and then obviously you just need to make sure that you are watching it on you know a headset or if they are wanting to do like web distribution you need to use a programmer.
Use like you tube or face book or something like Wister or Vimeo even have 360 video now so I am sure affluent in the future but yes you just need to make sure they understand that you can’t just watch it absolutely anywhere you need to upload it to a programme like you tube or a service that can actually support that can back 360 video.
ALEX FERRARI: So with all this said after all this stuff we talk about it is fair to say that this is not, this is you need to know your stuff to kind of shoot this, it is not like grabbing a camera and going out and you know shooting like you really need to understand the technology, you really need to understand the work the post work flow which is a lot come complicated than just shooting a narrative on a 2D situation.
JOSH GIBSON: I mean it is definitely, I mean there is simplicity and stuff and I have been in it for a long time it is very hard for me to step back and see, but I remember starting out how complex it was and you know basically having to experiment a lot, a lot of hair pulling a lot of getting super mad I want to punch the computer and stuff.
But honestly once you understand the big picture it makes the whole process a lot smoother and I think that’s probably one of the frustrating things is people start to jump into it without really understanding the end and the beginning and the middle and like you said how the work flow goes.
So it is still very complicated there are it is not as complicated as I think, people I definitely don’t want to scare anybody away that’s kind of my goal with what I have been doing I definitely want people to come and be creators and I think that was a pleasant surprise that I had too.
Okay this is complex this is hard there is things to learn but you know it is doable even a dumb guy like me can figure it out and you know learn how to do all of this stuff and have fun doing it so it is kind of that blend where you know people can save themselves a lot of headache if they do a little bit of homework in the beginning, but yea I mean if they wanted to jump in they could if they have you know hundreds of hours of free time.
You know Google and stuff sure go ahead there is plenty of random places and over the internet to learn how to do it just like anything I guess right.
ALEX FERRARI: So you have been doing this for a while you have seen the technology change dramatically in the course of the time that you have been in this and so it is getting easier things that use to take you hours to do you can do now in minutes purely because of technology.
JOSH GIBSON: Yes and I say I haven’t been in it as long as some people have and even in the past few years that I have been doing it the tension that it is getting from big companies is the best new that can be having right now all that money and research are now going into it and companies I think is the best news that we are having right now because all that money and research is now going into it and companies are coming out with awesome technology that helps you know.
Obviously with the stitching that’s the biggest thing right now that I think people are going to be trying to simplify and then obviously as well shooting with 360 is going to become better and better as well as you look at like the Nokia Ozo that camera professional is great but it is also weighs like 20 pounds it is very difficult to work with as far as like a documentary film maker wants to go out and shoot right.
It is battery power you need so much gear I mean you kind of look at the evolution of the DSLR right where that sort of blew up you know the idea that Indie Film Makers can just go out and make a movie, right they can go out.
ALEX FERRARI: Don’t get me started please don’t get me started with the DSLR’s I mean Gog.
JOSH GIBSON: I hope they are 360 videos the technology get’s to the place where it’s simpler and obviously I mean in the future it will but yes as of right now it still pretty hard to do complex it takes a little bit of expertise but it is also something that if somebody really want to do they should and they can.
ALEX FERRARI: I mean I would equate 360 video a little with the 3D resurgences back 2009/2010/11 where 3D was all the rage and everything was going to be shot in 3D and everybody was running around trying to get their rigs together and oh, my God I need my software I can’t edit 3D I can’t colour grade 3D and all this stuff and I remember all that.
I was sitting in presentations and rental houses and they were all trying to sell their new 3D rig and Jim Carron was coming out and the only 3D I have seen in life was avatar and Hugo was really good too view master working in the format nut I think that’s a lot a little bit of that happening with 360.
Unlike 3D in my personal opinion I think 360 has a much brighter future I think it is something that will be around for many, many years to come and will evolve into something that will eventually turn into volideck.
JOSH GIBSON: That was honestly the first thing I remember getting into 360 when I was working with. I worked at a place called the Good Line and that was kind of my full time gig and my boss and my colleagues was talking to me about 360 video a few years back and that was kind of the first thing I thought.
Okay is this another smelly vision you know is this another gimmick we kind of started thinking at first it was but as you say once everybody start catching on to the marketing the possibilities the education possibilities the entertainment possibilities it really just fits all these different you know needs that a lot of companies medical, yeah you name it all sorts of ways to train people. I have seen really cook studies done with people that are end of life care elderly folks that are going through a lot of pain and they are Alzheimer’s and they actually give them 360 goggles and VR goggles to like sit at a beach or to go on a walk and they have actually shown you know MRI’s and stuff that its helping with their depression their anxiety. You know it’s awesome it really goes across the whole spectrum of how it help people.
ALEX FERRARI: It is turning into like total recall and all these old Si-Fi/ Syfy it really is was like the six day I remember Michael Rapapore and Arnold Schwanagger it was called the Sixth Day and he had you know a 3 dimensional girlfriend and you know all the I am not saying that this is turning into that but wow, but we are all getting to that place where you can sit on a beach and I can be in Hawaii I can have the sound and I can feel the heat of the sub but I can see and almost smell the sea.
JOSH GIBSON: Oh they are getting there I am sure they are going to have they are doing research where you put on gloves and it actually will give you tack tile feedbacks. You can touch things and feel like fur you can feel you know like glass it is getting scary.
ALEX FERRARI: It is the matrix we are getting into the matrix.
JOSH GIBSON: Oh, totally is I mean there might even people in I think it is you know inception where people are dreaming an being paid to go to this little underground places just to stay in their dreams because they like it better than real life and I honestly would not think that is too far off.
Eventually we are going to get to that point where I mean its wild people are even using it for. I even hear of a dentist he is not needing to use pain killer all he is do fillings or root canals because people are so into the VR experience I mean they just use VR goggles instead of pain killers its wild.
It’s crazy and I think the exciting thing that I remember seeing any beaches this last time we are actually very close to getting VR video so as I explained before VR is when you can walk around in space and look around objects and stuff it is not just looking around where you at.
They are actually coming up with cameras like the litro (39:19)and other cameras that are basically light field captured so it is more than just capturing you know the brightness of the reflection of light like the normal camera does or the colour whatever the reflection is.
It is actually capturing dept information and it will be able to 3D scan an environment in real time and then you can literally walk around you know at a sporting event or it will take virtual field trips to the next level because you can go up and who knows maybe you can touch rock s and you can I mean it’s crazy.
The sky is the limit really on how this technology will develop so and that’s kind of where we saw it too, to kind of comeback to your original question that it is definitely more than a gimmick at this point because people are realizing this is kind of the future of how we present information to people remotely make the world that much smaller.
You can go swimming in the ocean and then the next second you can be walking on mars from 3D scans from the rover you know.
ALEX FERRARI: I think at this point for film makers it’s I don’t see how it can turn into something for narrative film making per say like I saw the Justin Lynn thing and that’s great it’s awesome but that’s not a film that’s an experience it’s almost like a ride it is almost like a not carnival ride but some sort of Disney universal ride where you kind of experience something.
Its different from film making its different than the television of movies or anything like that, that medium is about creator director telling you I need you to look at this now I need you to look at that now you cant get that with 360 but the other things that are available what you can do with it is massive so can you real quickly tell the audience a few places like I am going to get into the 360 world. I am a film maker where can I make some money?
JOSH GIBSON: That’s a great question obviously the biggest place right now I think is education that is the biggest market right now to get involved with so there is a lot of schools all over the country all over the world whether that be high schools or you know universities obviously have little bit bigger budgets they all looking for anything from consultants to actual practitioners which is what I am doing with the university here in Utah where they wanting to create this 360 content they wanting to make it interactive and interesting and fun.
So there is a huge, huge market in education and I would think the next one real estate is obviously a big one because people you know real estate agents are also always looking for you know ways to sell homes innovatively and better there is also other cameras like the that do the photos still over (42:10) …those are cool but I think 360 video has a space there but education and real estate i think are kind of the biggest low hanging fruit right now.
As far as actually doing branding and marketing I think that’s also another big area that’s kind of where I have been beyond my will in the past like I was in the Philippines directing a video showcasing a factory seller for a company name Kodak foxy where we followed a sewer in one of their factories in a day in a life time of what is really an adorable family and his home and everything.
So I think there is a lot of companies that are wanting to do that as well we have seen a lot of like liquor companies or you know like companies that want to show okay this is how this product is made.
ALEX FERRARI: The factory origin.
JOSH GIBSON: Right they want to see the people working with their hands and stuff so I think there is a lot of marketing and branding work that will be coming out as soon as well and I think and I actually agree with you narrative film making is cool with 360 but as you say it is more experience and I think documentary film making can still have a place with 360 I think it still will.
I don’t know if it is still called the documentary you know film it is definitely different because like you say you not really directing where people looking.
ALEX FERRARI: Like planet earth or national geographic or any kind of wild life documentary I mean it’s built for that kind of stuff but you can just see you know Fahrenheit 911, 360 I don’t think so bowling for Columbine not really the movie but I think for those kinds of documentaries those, anything nature base or anything that you like I am going to see how olive oil is made for like I am going to go there or wine I am going to go to the winery and you walk through.
But it is an experience its different it is not narrative, it is kind of narrative but it’s different so you I think we are still in the infancy basically of this whole.
JOSH GIBSON: Absolutely I think people are still feeling out where it is used for you know why we should use it over another tool and I guess it comes back to that foundation something I have always they to work live by in my career is that story is king you know your content is what matters it doesn’t matter if you are shooting with fancy camera or not fancy camera.
Obviously tools are important you want to get a set of gears you can but 360 video camera that kind of thing is just another tool in the tool box right so if you got a story or an experience or message or anything that you want to share with somebody you know you should always still consider 360 as a possibility, but also I think people should avoid and try to avoid the pitfall of shooting a 360 just because it is cool you know.
You see a lot of stuff where even commercials and stuff like that’s cool with 360 but I don’t know why they decided to shot a 360 other than just to have 360 in the (45:12)right is I think it is another tool in the tool kit and people should respect it obviously and understand its power and how it can be used but also avoid using it just for the sake of using it.
ALEX FERRARI: Now can you tell us a little bit about your awesome course on 360 because I know you have a course telling us how to master this technology Sir.
JOSH GIBSON: No, I appreciate that it is fun project of love basically I put a lot of time into it, basically it is problem that I wanted to solve where if you don’t want to spend hours on Google if you don’t want to watch random tutorial video and there is lot of great stuff out there I don’t mean to bash anything but I kind of just wanted to put everything in one place and I kind of was about that.
I had a lot of fun organizing it figuring out the process and workflow and I wanted to put it all in one place to learn the A to Z rights of pre production, everything from pre production to all the way to delivery and you know and while I am talking about this I am continually adding to the course.
I do kind of these virtual job chats if you will where I will editing and putting together videos of me actually out working and I have got that geology shoot coming up in a few weeks and I have got the whole crew ready to go out. We are going to go shoot the video obviously, but I am also going to be doing education and teaching while I am doing the projects.
I will be talking to the camera explaining while I am doing certain things so people can kind of come along and see how it work and see the choices that I am making and how I am making them and why I am making them. So it is a really cook course it is a place it is kind of a community as well that I would like to build where you know serious 360 film makers are wanting to come for feedback they are wanting to be able to learn new things and kind of come to a place that is continually updating with you know the latest and greatest information and that’s kind of why I did it because I love 360 video and passionate about it and you know I feel like people need to come together and learn together and I think it could be really cool place.
ALEX FERRARI: And hustlers JOSH GIBSON has given us a cool discount on the course and I will leave that in the show notes and I will talk a little bit about that after we have done with this interview but I will give you all that cool information so.
Now JOSH GIBSON I have a few questions I always ask all of our guest so please prepare yourself for the Oprah questions, okay. First and foremost what advice would you give a film maker who just want to jump into the 360 whelm.
JOSH GIBSON: That’s a good question, you know the best advice I can give is to worry more about creating and getting stuff made than (a) what people are going to think about it and (b) how you are going to market it. I think that’s one of the biggest downsize I see about people starting out they worry so much about their key words.
They are worried about their SEO they are worried about you know all the technicalities of it but they are not stressing as much on the actual creating and making and going out and making mistakes and you know having fun and enjoying the process so that’s what I would say go out and make it and work later about how to get you know the clients or the views or whatever. I think the important part is going out and creating and going through that process.
ALEX FERRARI: Now what is the lesson that took you the longest o learn whether in the film business or in life?
JOSH GIBSON: Oh man that is a good question.
ALEX FERRARI: I told you.
JOSH GIBSON: That’s deep, I would say I am struggling with it I would say getting a little bit better at not worrying about what other people think about my work. so obviously you need to make money you need to you know your work need to be what other people want a lot of time but I have learned that the reason anybody gets into film making or any kind of art for that matter is to obviously.
I mean it is full filling to you right for making it for whatever it is worth and sometimes people don’t like it sometimes people do, I think the biggest thing you know is to go through that world and take note of feedback take note of constructive criticism but also don’t take it too personally you know and don’t let it affect your work don’t let it discourage you from moving on you know if you have to make stuff that people hate for a few years you that’s part of the process and go through that and make it and learn and grow and eventually you will be making stuff that everybody want to see.
It think that was kind of a lesson you know I am still learning even you just want to learn how to I guess have thick skin in a way.
ALEX FERRARI: You definitely need that in this business in any 180 in 360 in 90 in all degrees you need think skin, so name three of your favourite films of all times. It won’t be on your grave stone just three that comes to your mind
JOSH GIBSON: That comes to mind so I always answer this I probably get judge by my film school you know nerds but Tommy Boy it is kind of a shameless but I love that movie, it’s classic it’s got everything you need you know the laughing crying it’s totally one of those movies for me. Let me see here.
ALEX FERRARI: I know when you do this you like (50:49) and bird man, no man Tommy Boy. So Tommy Boy okay.
JOSH GIBSON: I mean I could get into film school one of the most recent ones that I saw I absolutely love is Logan.
ALEX FERRARI: Oh I have seen that it is so amazing.
JOSH GIBSON: I love it, it is so, so good.
ALEX FERRARI: it is an experience.
JOSH GIBSON: Absolutely I was blown away with how down to earth how super hero movie could be and that’s what I was really impressed with had all that super hero action but it just felt so raw and gritty and it was great, so that was one I really loved too and then let’s go into the documentary world and I think one that I saw at Sun Dance a few years back and it’s called Pervert Park I don’t know if you have seen that.
It is basically a RV Park where a bunch of basically sex.
ALEX FERRARI: Perverts?
JOSH GIBSON: Yes sexually deviance I guess you could say people who have been convicted of all sorts of terrible things they basically can’t find living anywhere else other than this RV Park so there is a bunch of paedophilia you know rapist terrible things that happen at this one place, but it is interesting because it kind of takes you into their world a little bit and interviews with them talk to them about what their history is.
How whatever happened happen so it is kind of, it definitely doesn’t give you know like an okay to what they did but it definitely humanized it a little bit and it kind of open my eyes to that world and so if anybody is looking for a nice depressing really serious documentary go ahead and go watch Pervert park. It’s really well made it is a fantastic documentary film making if you ask me.
ALEX FERRARI: And also after than watch Tommy Boy and you will be fine.
JOSH GIBSON: Yes and watch Tommy Boy.
ALEX FERRARI: So JOSH GIBSON where can people find you.
JOSH GIBSON: So I am on pretty much any social media platform of course you find me at the website the course website you can even chat with me at anytime down there at the bottom if you like. I am on twitter at JOSH GIBSONlgibson, face book you just search for me my website is JOSH GIBSONgibson.me most if you want to go there you can find I think it is the bottom left there is all my social media icons and stuff.
ALEX FERRARI: If anybody needs a good 360 video guide give JOSH GIBSON a call he will help you out. Hey JOSH GIBSON thank you so much for answering all of my questions man I really appreciate it.
JOSH GIBSON: It is my pleasure I was very happy to come on it is great time.
ALEX FERRARI: Well if you didn’t know anything about 360 video you know now. JOSH GIBSON was amazing and thank you JOSH GIBSON for coming and for dropping some major knowledge bombs on us about shooting 360. I think it is honestly a really interesting tool to tell some stories in a unique way I don’t think again as I said before it is going to replace cinema as we know it, but it is definitely not a fad like smellivision or something like that.
I do think it is going to be around for a while and there is some definitely some potential for film makers to go out there and make a living make money, do projects with it so definitely check it out and if you actually want to take JOSH GIBSON’s course which is the 360 academy.
JOSH GIBSON usually sells that course for seven hundred and eighty nine dollars which honestly is a bargain based on what you are going to be getting if you getting into the 360 world, but with the coupon code hustle you get six hundred and eight nine dollars off so the course turns into a hundred dollars.
So that’s a hell of a gift for all the Indie Film Hustle tribe looking into getting into 360 video. so just go to www.360videoacademy.com and type in the coupon code hustle to get six hundred and eight nine dollars off the course.
Again if you guys are really interested in 360 video JOSH GIBSON’s course is really great I did attend it, it is pretty awesome to tell you the truth I learned a lot so if you into 360 video definitely check it out I will put a link and for everything we talked about in the show note at indifilmhustle.com/157.
Guys if you like the show please head over to www.filmmakingpodcast.com and leave an honest review at iTunes it helps out a lot it really does help me out a lot. Helps the show get out there to more and more film makers so please head over to film making podcast.com and leave hopefully a good review.
Until next time keep the hustle going keep the dream alive and I will talk to you soon.