Photo: Leonore Guenther
When I was approached to direct 'Performance in Action'™ for Extreme and STANLEY® I was instinctively drawn to the script.
The treatment included none of the usual issues that dominate 'VR' or '360' videos - it had a simple story that could easily be told in a short time and it was to designed to be immersive, essentially 'put the viewer in the driving seat' on a downhill race between a MTB and MotoX.
It sounded sick right?
Photos: Leonore Guenther
This immersive or 'POV' concept lent itself to a different approach to 360 content - something where we could escape the typical 'lookaround' videos - where the viewer is struggling to understand what is going on, turning around in circles trying to find the action. We could keep it fast paced, never let the viewer get bored waiting for things to happen. We wanted the camera to never be static, like a 'head stuck in the air' trying to work out what is going on ... and in the end, the only static shot is the credit sequence.
I trained as an illustrator before moving to film and firmly believe in extensive preparation ahead of filming any complicated project, so from early on I decided to create an 'animatic' - a sort of hand drawn sketch animated to music - of what the viewer would see in each scene.
Animatic by: Anton Nelson
This acted as a guide on set so when I was directing the athletes on their movements they could see exactly what I wanted to show on the 360 view.
This was particularly useful for 360 because the camera films in every direction, meaning when we were shooting a take - I had to hide behind a rock or in a bush so as not to be seen!
One of the hardest things with 360 is to direct the viewer - to guide them through a story without the getting lost.
The team designed 'Performance in Action' to never leave you confused as to where the action is - early on in the edit there is literally a finger pointing in the direction you should be looking!
Photo: Leonore Guenther
The most important of these 'guides' is from scene to scene - so for example; from the RAZR Polaris RZR journey to getting out the car had to be trimmed down to make sure the viewer was looking straight forwards - otherwise you start that scene staring into the sky.
This complicated project was made infinitely easier by a great team - fantastic performances from the athletes, Nicholi Rogatkin and Ethan Nell, and the onset support of the amazing production team at Extreme.
Anton Nelson is an action sports and music video director whose clients include Redbull Media House, The Northface and The Extreme Sports Company
Please follow this link to watch the ‘Performance in Action – Behind the Scenes’ video.
More of hisAnton’s work can be found HERE