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ARRI Alexa and GoPros Capture Interactive Footage of National Parks

Google’s The Hidden World of the National Parks is an interactive site that combines 2D footage, 360-degree video, aerial photography and more to take users deep inside five of the country’s 52 natural parks. NoFilmSchool spoke to director Adam Newport-Berra to discover how he captured the impressive footage that makes up the project.

“The 16:9 shots were done on the Alexa. It’s the camera I work with regularly and was confident in its performance. Capturing the 360 footage became more of a question of, what tech were we to going to use? What sort of situations can we place these cameras in that will use the 360 to its utmost potential, but not be overwhelming given that the quality and resolution are not the same as the Alexa?” says Newport-Berra. “After extensive testing, we knew we wanted to capture climbing, horseback riding, kayaking in 360. We needed to then figure out how to stabilize for each shot in the project. My operator, Soren Nielsen, captured almost all of the Alexa footage on the MoVi. He is incredible and found saw so many great shots. All of the 360 rigs were comprised of a GoPro array in different cages and stabilized by a variety of manufacturers like the Kenyon Gryo Stabilizer and the Nodal Ninja Travel Pole. The stitch tests were done by Zach Shukan at Omaga Darling. With Zach, we looked at how much distance our 360 cameras needed to our subjects without falling apart, and to still be engaging. Finally, we did a lot of testing with Google for the right compression rates to achieve the optimal stream quality for instantaneous playback and still looking good. Color correction tests with Michael Rossiter at the Mill helped massage the look of the GoPro footage alongside the Alexa’s superior image.”

Read the full story here.