Sony PlayStation VR "Lost in Music"

Sony Playstation VR Lost in Music

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THE PROJECT

I was contacted by a U.K. based agency to produce a promotional video and event video for Sony PlayStation VR. They launched a new campaign in early 2017 entitled "Lost in Music", an event combining PlayStation VR demos with national music artists and amazing atmospheres. We were tasked to shoot the main kickoff video for this campaign.

The shoot took place at LA Hangar Studios in Los Angeles. I was fortunate to work with an amazingly-designed set that was in place for the event. It involved two rooms with very distinct looks - one was winter and one for summer. Attendees would enter in "winter", which was filled with trees, snow and smoke effects, after which they would enter the VR rooms to watch a short demo. They would then emerge in "summer", which was a huge room filled with summer trees, clouds and a huge performance stage for the artists. The headlining act of the night was The Chainsmokers, and Lost Kings and Vanik were also performing.

We shot the event itself, as well as a scripted walkthrough with our amazing talent. Here is the walkthrough video:

THE SETUP

Since the agency was relatively new to the L.A. area, Imperium Productions handled all the crew and equipment for this shoot. Because this was a Sony-sponsored shoot, we shot this on 4 Sony PMW-F55 CineAlta cameras. Camera A was on steadicam, B and C were shoulder-mount using Easyrigs. Our fourth camera was on a Jimmy Jib in the main room. I selected the Fujinon 19-90mm Cabrio for all four cameras due to its versatility - it could be remotely operated for both our steadicam and the jib operator. I also shot selected scenes with the Sony cine primes (30mm, 50mm and 85mm) which had an extra stop in the lower light.

For lighting, we supplemented the existing stage lighting with an Arri Skypanel S-60. Because we only had about an hour and a half to shoot the entire walkthrough with our talent, the Skypanel was essential due to its output and ability to match the color of each scene quickly and easily.

Our talent Monette Moio did an amazing job at invoking the right emotions as she walked through the scene. For the walkthrough part we shot with two cameras, with the steadicam (Thor Wixom) being the primary. I directed much of the action as I shot with the second camera. Our focus puller, Hiro Fukuda, did an amazing job, keeping our takes down to a minimum.

 

I also had to direct the placement of the Skypanel as we moved through the scene, and alter the color of the output to match. For the forest scene, we went full 10,000K on the temperature to offset the dominant blues.

The VR booth was really tight-quarters, so we shot wide. We placed the Skypanel outside and I dialed in a purple hue, while our grip hollywooded a tungsten ringlight in the top corner for contrast.

Everything was framed at 48fps, a balance between the motion we wanted and the exposure that we needed to keep for the scene. That meant the Fujinon had to live at 2.8 while my primes could go all the way to 2.

The final scene was the exit into "summer". I placed the Skypanel outside angled down, set to a warm orange glow to simulate sunset. It made it seem our talent was walking out into the sunlight, which played beautifully off all our foliage.

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After the walkthrough, we shot another walkthrough with The Chainsmokers, plus an interview with them and several of the event attendees. It was a crowded house, with several hundred people and lots of pyro and stage effects. Definitely one of the most fun projects I've had the chance to work on!

Below is the official event video featuring The Chainsmokers: