Siemens: Future Makers 360 VR Shoot - India

Ridley Scott and his company RSA Films do not need much of an introduction when it comes to world of cinematography. The excitement within the M7 office when we were commissioned to produce their London office’s first set of 360 VR Video was incredible. Juriaan Booij was the director selected to take on this 360 shoot from RSA Films.

The films had been commissioned by R/GA for their client Siemens.  It was to depict their concept ‘Future Makers’, documenting the lives of Siemens staff from around the globe. Each film allows others to teleport themselves into that person’s life.   Understanding the breadth of what Siemens does across their multiple business units from around the globe. The videos are primarily to be used by connecting their 350,000 employees and to attract future talent to Siemens.

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Connect Staff around the world with 360 VR

Working with RSA, stories were created for key personnel and locations. Our first location was chosen as India featuring Ashok Rane who discusses how “Electricity is Life”. Mr Rane is a Siemens employee of over 40 years and has also setup a trust helping the people of Mumbai gain basic skills with using electricity.

The next step and probably the most complex was how do we get permission and visas to shoot all of this in India. Thanks the expertise of Lisa Joseph and Andrew Barratt of RSA this was all sorted. Profilms under Riyaz were to be RSA’s local production team. Again, having such a well communicated local team was critical shooting a 360 video of a fast pace.

360 VR

The challenges for this shoot were huge.  Maintaining a schedule whilst travelling through Mumbai and ensuring our kit didn’t malfunction in the heat and humidity. Another challenge was whenever we put a tripod or camera mount in Mumbai, the locals assumed it was a Bollywood blockbuster.  They would then swarmed the cameras and crew. With the introduction of a 360 Headset the crowds grew even further.

Bollywood Hype

This was Juriaan’s first 360 film as a director.  He was amazing and took to it very quickly due to his exceptional skills of proximity and intimacy, something that all 360 films benefit from. We also had an exceptional 360 sound specialist Pascha Shilov a seasoned RSA films sound man.

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Opening Shots…we searched for a location where Mr Rane could stand and introduce Old Mumbai with New Mumbai as the backdrop.  Gaining access to an old fort took quite some time as local Councillors had to understand the film before granting permissions.

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The tut-tut shot was difficult due to the vibrations coming through the vehicle and the proximity of the interior. We went for a gopro izugar 4 camera rig, which is ideal for enclosed spaces such as cars or in this case tut-tuts.
In the factory, we made use of the machinery where possible, using workers to block and operate cranes where possible. The crane hook was used on the first shot to travel with the 360 camera rig.  We then immerse the viewers  inside the robotic machine as an unusual position for the shot.

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Gimbal moving shots were all particularly tricky as we had to ensure we could be removed from the base.   The gimbal also drew attention when walking through the streets. It's a strange looking device at the best of times.

We loved sharing some our 360 VR footage in a headset with the children and their reaction was priceless. This is was a  great end to a successful shoot.

The Barber shop shot was relatively easy as we could control the street from outside and were very clever in aligning the camera location out of the mirror reflections. We also turned off the red LED flashing record lights too.

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Shooting in the school was humbling yet magical at the same time. Lisa Joseph unknown to all the crew had brought a suitcase full of children’s clothes and donated these to the school as a gesture of thanks for allowing us to film. The discipline of the children and their enthusiasm was amazing. The teachers asked the children not to stare at the cameras and they didn’t look once which was perfect.

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The ending shot had most of the crew close to tears watching children having so much joy playing games with one another, they all had found their best outfits too on hearing a film crew was coming.

One of our favourite 360 VR today.

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