In summer 2016 YouTube Germany launched #NichtEgal its latest campaign to promote respectful and tolerant conversations both online and in the real world.
The #NichtEgal YouTube 360° Challenge was set and YouTube creators were invited to submit concepts for 360° videos that would generate empathy and encourage openness and tolerance.
Flucht ist Flucht ist Flucht (Escape is Escape is Escape) devised by YouTuber Philipp Leisner was voted first place by a jury, with the reward having his story made into a 360° video. Visualise was invited to be the 360° production partner by Matthias Taugwalder, executive producer from CONCEPT360 who produced the film in association with Vice Media Germany.
One family, three moments in history
The main production challenge we faced was to work out how to shoot the film in 360° based on the creative concept.
Flucht tells the story of one family escaping persecution across three social/political events in history. In Philipp Leisner’s winning submission, we follow a family of four; taking refuge in a bunker during World War II, making a dangerous border crossing from East into West Germany in the 1980s and arriving at a refugee centre in present day Berlin.
To respond to the challenges and complexities of each scene transition, a solution was needed to find a way to hide the camera rig inside one of the props, this turned out to be a bag, a symbolic object that travelled with the family through each scene.
During pre-production various configurations of bag and camera rigs were explored, this resulted in a prototype which combined a gyro stabilser and a carbon fibre mount secured inside the bag, weighing around 10kg!
This working prototype was the best solution to achieve optimal stabilisation but we found the case to be too heavy for the actor playing the father to comfortably carry, especially in the more active scenes when they are running. Working with the German props team, a new bag was designed that didn’t compromise on the rig’s functionality.
Practical lighting was used to great effect on the shoot, seen at its most effective in the first bunker scene. Jonathan Curran, director of photography ensured the lighting naturally blended in such a way as to achieve the vision of first time VR director Richard Boehringer.
Finally a huge amount of work went into post-production with the team heavily relying on The Foundry’s tools including NUKE and CARAVR to stitch, stablise and remove the rig from the footage.