Friday, December 06, 2013

Google Cam Cinema

What if you made an interactive short film with a Google Street View style camera, where the viewer could freely look around through the entire movie. It would be like one of the cut scenes from Metal Gear 4 where you can drive the little robot cam around as the guys in the station have a conversation. Except this would be live action.

You would have to have one man on camera, and all the mics would need to be internalized somehow, so no boom operators. No crew of any kind, really, since all angles need to be visible. The director would probably have to be the camera man.

Obviously the cinematography would be limited, and mostly left up to the viewer. You could cut between shots and scenes, and even camera placement, but angles would be in the audience' hands. For the sake of avoiding disorientation, it would probably be best to have one continuous camera shot per scene.

The camera, of course, would have to shoot video and link every angle in every frame together pretty seamlessly for looking around. It might take quite a bit of processing power to stream it all at once. And you would need some type of software to run it, with controls for looking around, for playing, pausing, stopping, rewinding, and fast-forwarding, etc. It would also probably need a pre-recorded auto-pilot mode that looks around for the audience, if nobody wants to control the camera.

It's likely too much work with too little reward right now, but maybe someday.

Edit: Wow, it's actually happened. Not a feature film, but the camera does exist!