Sometimes when you start with an idea the first step is to make a prototype. And sometimes that prototype has teeth. The teeth are very important to the process. The teeth remind you that those cameras that you velcroed to a piece of wood which you then double stuck to a tripod head are not just an collection of things but a unit, and not just any unit but a little alien with eyes and teeth. Your first try.
First tries are hard. They usually don’t work, or maybe it works a little bit and you can just see a glimmer of the dream lurking behind those eyes. But glimmers are hard too. Glimmers show you every thing you need to do, and the work and space and time between where you are now and where you want to be, what you want to be making, what you think you can, should, will be eventually making. And that space is frustrating.
We made this prototype a month ago, and looking back on it now I think: What took me so long to figure out my current set up! Its so simple! But its only simple now because I understand how it all works. Thats how research works. You do a thing to learn a thing. Its not fast but it is fun.
The process of making spherical video is frustrating because its new. The rigs are custom, coaxed into shape with velcro and hot glue. Shooting only works when you can convince your half a dozen finicky cameras to all record at the same time. Then theres the quicksand of getting those dozens of files in the computer and organized and lined up and stitched and exported in any reasonable about of time.
Film was this way in the old days too. It wasn’t just shoot and edit like we do now, whipping out our phones every second to generate a mountain of easy footage. Film had finicky cameras and nightmarish postproduction and each and every shoot could be easily ruined by any number of tiny mistakes. This is where we are with shooting footage for virtual reality. It might be slow and painstaking right now, but it wont be that way for long and we want to share with you every step of the way!