Pro Moviemaker Summer 2018


is the S1 fromZ Cam. This is a 6K resolution output model that can deliver 360° filming and live streaming, and it can be powered with an external battery to provide hours of operation. It’s so lightweight that it’s usually set up on a light stand, which itself can fold down and be carried in a backpack. “It’s a great camera,” says Dylan. “It handles like a traditional model, uses full- size SD cards and is really easy and quick to set up. It’s also supported by a really cool Facebook group that acts like an HR department. If you have any issues you just key in your query and you get an answer back withinminutes.” The next VR project undertaken by the pair was in Nepal, where they documented the lingering effects of the 2015 earthquake on the nation’s children - revealing their exposure to trafficking, earlymarriage and child labour in the process. It was a project that went behind the headlines using a format that didn’t allow its viewers the luxury of looking away. Another highly successful VR project was a film that focused on the watery aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in Houston, a story that was very close to Dylan’s heart since it was a town that used to be his home. “When the hurricane was on its way I contacted the New York Times to tell them I was going to travel to Houston and to see if they

civil war going on there, determined to provide a first-hand perspective froman under-reported conflict. The result was Welcome to Aleppo , said to be the world’s first virtual reality footage within a war zone, and this extraordinary production covered the conflict like never before. “Probably themost unsafe thing you can do is to film360° in a conflict zone,” Dylan admits. “You need to leave the VR camera standing alone. Then you somehow need to get out of the shot - which is hard, especially when there isn’t much room to hide from crossfire.” What made things evenmore difficult was that filming was being carried out using a GoPro rig, which had a habit of freezing up at themost inopportune times. “If this were to happen then you needed to take the batteries and the SD card out and then put themback in,” says Dylan. “So youmight be in a position where there was absolute chaos going on around you and you would need to be out there with a screwdriver taking the rig apart and then putting it all back together again. It was a nightmare and we were regularlymissing shots as a result.” After working for a time with the Go Pro Omni, an all-in-one solution that was much easier to handle than a third party rig, the product Dylan and Christian nowwork with

ABOVE Nick prepares to film a VR sequence using the S1.. BELOWAND TOP Screengrabs from The Freelance Society’s VR films on the Yazidi women fighters and the afthermath of Hurricane Harvey in Houston.



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