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/ 19.09.2018

REWIND’s Top-5 Tips For Shooting 360º Video

Richard Clark, Photography & Film Creative, REWIND

Today, shooting 360º video is as simple as picking up a cheap camera and pressing a single button. Facebook lets you upload native 360º content, YouTube has a dedicated 360º mode that works in and out of headsets, and these experiences are rapidly becoming a favourite on lower-end VR hardware. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? But creating top quality 360º video requires more than just the press of a button. So, let’s have a look at my top-5 tips for shooting in 360º. Some of this may seem like common knowledge to you, but if you’re just starting out, it’s important to keep all of this in mind.

Get A Sturdy Stand

There’s nothing worse in 360º video than content that’s wobbling – and this problem is made even worse when you view it in a headset. Shaking footage can lead to extreme motion sickness, meaning that even if you’ve captured some lovely content, nobody’s going to be able to stand watching it for more than a few seconds. Invest in a good strong stand – one that’s portable, easy to set up and if you can, bring sandbags along to stop even more unnecessary vibrations.

Invest in Spare Memory Cards And Batteries

OK, maybe there’s something worse than shakey 360º video, and that’s not being able to capture it in the first place. This may sound obvious, but running out of either storage space or going through all your batteries, is no joke. Make sure you’re ready for what the shoot is going to throw at you, and bring at least a spare of each one. Don’t risk losing out on a once-in-a-lifetime shot, always better to turn up to a 360º shoot over prepared.

Mic Up Important Subjects

You can spend so much time capturing the video component of a 360º shoot, that you forget the other half of the experience – audio. Be mindful of what can help tell your story, and what you need to do in order to get the best soundscape possible. In 360º, Ambisonics are your friend – a full-sphere surround sound format. In essence, it is a technique for storing and reproducing a sound field at a particular point to an arbitrary degree of spatial accuracy. This is made possible via some specific microphones that will record spatial audio, or mic up separate sources in your scene, and mix in post to create your ambisonic audio. There are plenty of helpful guides online to help you through this fairly daunting challenge. Audio sells stories, don’t let your film down by not paying attention to one of the most important parts.

Be Careful With Camera Placement

This one is simple – you have a lot of space to play with, and a lot of framing to consider, so make sure you set up in the right place. Use the environment to tell a story, and don’t be afraid to let the subjects get close to the camera. The location of your shoot can speak volumes, and the best thing about 360º filming can also be the worst thing – the viewer can look wherever they like. Make sure that no matter where they look, the environment serves the story itself.

Get Good At Hide And Seek

Yes, really. Nobody wants to see the cameraman! Let your viewers get lost inside the experience, don’t do anything that would draw them out of it. Make sure you know where you’re going to be once the camera starts capturing your footage, and give yourself plenty of time to get out of sight.

This is only a handful of things I’m always thinking about, no matter what I’m filming. Hopefully, these tips will help you get started off on the right foot. Now get out there and get filming, practice makes perfect!

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