‘Exploring New Frontiers’ has been a long-standing slogan and motto for us here at Polar Productions, so when we got the chance to work with 20th Century Fox to shoot a 360 Ad for DeadPool, we knew we would rise to the challenge and make it great. Our role on this project was the 360 shoot team, meaning that Fox provided the amazing mise en scene, while we were responsible for capturing everything you see on the screen. Our approach with this project was to stylistically match the DeadPool ad themes, so we went for an over the top, dark yet funny feel.
As one of the first 360 ads for a major motion picture, we could not have been a part of a better movie than DeadPool- the movie that plays by its own rules, advertises by its own rules. This was, naturally, a very exciting opportunity for us, and one we took very seriously. We definitely wanted to show 20th Century Fox that they made the right choice to hire a local production company for this pioneering promo. Plus, we wanted to make this piece stand out – though inparting a bit of uniqueness to an already new technique is not an easy task.
360 shooting is an emerging style that presents many unique challenges to overcome; being that this is a fairly new medium in film, there are very few ‘standard’ solutions. But, this also means that by being a part of the shoots taking place right now, we are writing the book on best practices and literally pioneering the art form as a stand alone sub-sect of cinema.
So for the filmmakers that follow where we left off, here are a few challenges we encountered along with our solutions to them. May these tips help you to move more quickly and efficiently in your future cinematic journeys. The biggest challenge was lighting- where to do you put lights in a scene where everything is seen? The answer for us was practical lighting and natural lighting. We turned on the practical lights, great for his dancing on the bar, but relied on the sun to light the majority of the room. This, however, meant a very tight timeframe to accomplish the shoot before the lighting changed. Having decided to shoot quickly, the challenge transitioned to overheating issues.
When shooting 360, you have six or more cameras clustered closely together. Over time, the combined heat from the cameras pools, and can cause overheating when continuously shooting. We solved this by taking two minute takes, with DeadPool in his various spots throughout the room cutting between each spot and cooling the cameras with compressed air. After solving the technical problems, the last thing for us to do was to ensure a clean stitch for the post team at Fox. This meant working with Fox to choreograph DeadPool’s actions so that the actions wouldn’t cross stitch lines and doing two rounds of takes- one with the camera rig static and then again with the rig pointing at the action (moving the stitch line but capturing the action straight on). This allowed for DeadPool to be uniquely close to himself within the scene.
To accomplish this ad, we had to think out of the box, push the 360 form forward and generally just ‘explore new frontiers’. And, from where I am standing this ad looks great, is hilarious and stays true to the DeadPool Universe.