We’re fortunate enough to have another fine 3D video from New Media Film Festival to share with you here on 3DVisionLive—a pop music video from Italy called “The Way,” which you can view here. Even better, New Media Film Festival has provided an interview with one of the co-directors of the video, Edoardo Ballanti, which provides insights on how the video was created and the vision behind it. Enjoy! (Alice Corsi also co-directed the video.)
What was the Inspiration behind “The Way”?
"The Way" is a music video that was born as a university project for the final exam of a master’s degree in new media and ICT. We had several experiences with shooting music videos, so we wanted to test the difference between a 2D and a 3D production. Moreover, there were only a couple of 3D music videos released in Italy at that time, and none was of a pop-dance song. [So this was viewed as a great opportunity] to make our work more visible outside the university walls. As technology enthusiasts, we started working from this idea: "What if social networks were in 3D one day? And if notifications could be embedded in real life?" In 2012, when the project started, these were a little bit risqué sentences. But after two years we can say that technology is not so far from that goal. We wanted the audience to have a sort of preview of what [we may be] able to experience in the near future.
What were some of the challenges you faced in creating this video?
This was our very first production in 3D, so we were very careful to make the right choices. However, the main problem was that we had no budget (except for the 3D rig from the university lab). So the main challenge has been to build a good 3D product without money to spend for people on the set or equipment.
What achievements are you particularly proud of with the final release?
We are very impressed by the nominations that this video received from international festivals, and after two years "The Way" continues to be selected and screened from Europe to USA. This is something that we never expected. We are particularly proud of the fact that the 3D looks so good on the big screen: initially, "The Way" was designed for viewing on home screens. However, before we started shooting, we decided to lower values for depth, to have the capability to project video on larger screens if necessary, without causing visual discomfort. We knew that our calculations were correct, but we've never actually had the chance to see our video on a large screen, until a few weeks ago when we attended the New Media Film Festival, where we could see "The Way "projected onto a movie screen. The effect was really good, immersive and not at all bothering, and this made us very proud—especially considering that it was our first experiment in 3D!
What was your goal with the video?
The main goal of this video was to try to conjugate two elements that are very different from each other: on the one hand we had a pop-dance song that often requires a very rhythmic type of editing, with a lot of short and lively shots. On the other hand, to have a good effect, we wanted to do a product specifically designed for 3D, which has almost opposite requirements: long shots, slow camera movements, wide angles and as much depth of field as possible.
Describe the production process—how did you make the video?
To be able to get a result close to our original idea, we started to simplify the script, keeping only those elements that would have made sense in 3D. Having to use many wide angles and having few opportunities to move the 3D rig, it was important to somehow make every shot lively and bustling. For this reason, we decided to include two ballet companies, and use many extras. We have also built a homemade dolly, which has allowed us to make some slight camera movements and make some shots more dynamic. In addition, the introductory part of the video takes place in the virtual world of social networks, so that we could make camera movements faster and without cuts, using a virtual environment in computer graphics. Finally, to simulate the experience of augmented reality, we added in compositing graphics of the social network notifications on live shot scenes. From the point of view of editing, we paid much attention to the rhythm of the cuts. To have a good 3D effect it is necessary to maintain the same shot for several seconds, but the song needed a higher pace to engage the audience. So we have worked very hard to try to find the right balance between good 3D and the pace of the song.
How long did the production process take?
The video took a total of 9 months of work, from the first phase of pre-production to the final post-production. The video was shot in just two days with regard to all the scenes with the singer, dancers and actors. We then added a half-day for the playback of the two singers. The post-production was obviously the longest phase. How many people worked on it? With two people we dealt with each stage of production: writing the script, the design of the 3D effect, the casting, the organization of the shoot, the management of the actors, directing, filming, editing and post-production.
What equipment/tools did you use during production?
For filming the music video, we used a mirror rig with two Canon XF105 cameras. For the editing, we used Adobe Premiere CS5, without the use of any specific plug-in for 3D. We have created a system of custom sequences to speed up the stereo assembly and allow us to check alignment and convergence of the shooting. Photoshop and After Effects were used for the creation, animation and compositing of the graphics. We also filmed the backstage with the Sony HDR-TD 10 3D camera, and edited the footage with Sony Vegas.