Wheelhouse spinning 360-degrees!

This Spring saw the debut of a new division here at Wheelhouse Creative — 360-degree video production!

IMG_0202With 360-degree video, multiple GoPro cameras record simultaneously from different vantage points, covering a full 360 degree layout. Once these recordings are stitched together through digital software, viewers can explore from the center of a 360º world.

In April and May, Wheelhouse Creative created two major 360-degree VR videos for VOGUE: the red carpet for the Tribeca Film Festival Opening Night Film and the star-studded red carpet for the famed “First Monday In May” Met Gala!

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Both were incredible experiences that taught us a ton about this new technology and the future of immersive cinema.

See these 360-degree videos on the links below

Met Gala Red Carpet

Tribeca Film Fest Red Carpet

To experience 360 video in all its glory, viewers don’t need to wear a virtual reality head-set. Just click on that link and explore the video space directly in Facebook.

2016-04-13 18.27.27The Met Gala 360-video garnered over 6,000 views in under an hour and should soon surpass 100k views. The video offers viewers the unique experience of participating in Met Gala’s red carpet event, gaining an up-close encounter with some of the biggest A-list celebrities, including Taylor Swift, Amy Schumer, Naomi Watts, Stephen Colbert, the Olsen Twins, Claire Danes, and Beyonce.

Wheelhouse Creative Executive Director Rob Lyons and Head Of Post-Production Zac Castellano discussed the challenges of 360-degree production and Wheelhouse’s entry into this exciting new field.

What do you hope viewers will get from 360 video footage that they won’t get from traditional footage?

Rob: The amazing thing about this technology is that it puts the viewer right in the environment. At the Met Gala, we were able to put the camera right on the carpet. That is a view that very few people are able to see, and with this technology we can put you right there in the middle of things.  It’s an amazing vantage point.

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What are some challenges with 360 video production?

Rob: Shooting is fairly easy, but the GoPro cameras have some serious restrictions. The real challenge becomes in post production, stitching together 7 or 10 cameras is not an easy feat.

Zac: One of the biggest challenges of 360 video is the disparity between the images from each camera. The concept of parallax comes into play here, where the distance of an object from the camera affects where the “stitching point” between cameras should be. Many times, you’re forced to prioritize between stitching the foreground or background in certain points of your video.

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Senior Creative Ze’ev Gilad looks on as Zac works on the stitching

Rob: Another challenge is the time it takes to create a video. Just viewing all of the footage is complicated, because you have to multiply the running time by however many cameras you are using. The stitching process requires a ton of CPU processing power and render times are extremely long.

What events will/could Wheelhouse cover in the future?

Rob: We’re game for anything – looking forward to doing some more live events, behind the scenes on a few films, hopefully some concerts, and maybe we’ll go into space!

Wheelhouse Profile: Zac – our ace post supervisor!

 

This month we’re profiling Zac Castellano, Wheelhouse’s newest Assistant Editor and post-production supervisor. After starting his career at Showtime, Zac’s joined Team Wheelhouse as a specialized uber-tech who’s all about getting the final product perfect!

Tell us a little aboIMG_6151ut you and your background. How’d you get your start?

I grew up here in New York. I got my start working in television at Showtime as a media manager. I’ve also worked in music production, composition and mixing.

What do you do at Wheelhouse?

I’m an Assistant Editor at Wheelhouse. I’m building on a lot of the things I learned at Showtime, but doing a lot more “post-post” work, so to speak. I handle trailer finishes, QC, and final delivery. There’s awesome creative work for me here too – in the time I’ve been here I’ve already been given an opportunity to cut a short film that Wheelhouse is involved with.

What was your experience like at Showtime?

I had several responsibilities in their post-production department, where I was in charge of organizing all media before it was made available to the editors and producers to cut with. This included show dailies, cast interviews, and behind the scenes footage. I also handled the daily archival and media management of all our projects which were backed up to a project server, and backed up again to a RAID every night. Our editors used Final Cut, Premiere and Avid, so I was constantly working in all three platforms while performing my work. I learned a ton about project workflow, how to manage terabytes of footage, encoding and quality control.

What’s your approach to maintaining quality control in your work, and how has your past experience prepared you for Wheelhouse?

Staying extremely organized in my projects is crucial. Organization also helps my workflow, and gives me time to focus on the little details that need more careful attention.

Showtime’s margin for error was very low, which really helped me at Wheelhouse and has strengthened my attention to detail as an editor. During QC, you’ve got to watch something down maybe 10-15 times throughout the process. It can get repetitive but you can’t make the same mistake twice. It’s too important.

What’s it like going from a large broadcast network to a specialized vendor like Wheelhouse?

The vibe in our office here is great. Where Showtime was more of a traditional corporate setting, Wheelhouse is more of an open floor. I’m involved in the business and creative discussions, and I get a full view of how a company like ours runs day-to-day.

Okay, one more thing: Give us a fun fact.

The “bald eagle” sound from films and TV is actually the cry of a red-tailed hawk. Bald eagles don’t sound cool at all.

Wheelhouse Teams Up with Doc NYC

The fifth year of America’s largest documentary festival is about to start up this November 13th in Manhattan. This year over 100 different films are being played throughout the city at IFC Center, SVA Theatre, and Bow Tie Chelsea Cinemas.

Wheelhouse partnered with the festival to create a trailer that would give insight to some of the most anticipated films and to showcase the variety of special guest and panels that will be taking place. We’re excited to be participating not only with the people of DOC NYC but also with the filmmakers in the festival.

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The Great Trade Robbery Premiere

JJ-1 The latest ESPN 30 for 30 short from Wheelhouse Creative premiered today on Grantland.  The Great Trade Robbery directed by Stuart Zicherman about the greatest football trade in history.  Read the official synopsis below and hit read more to see the full short film.

In 1989, the storied Dallas Cowboys were a team stuck in mediocrity. They had a brand-new owner in Jerry Jones. They had a brand-new coach (just two years removed a national championship with Miami) in Jimmy Johnson. What they didn’t have was talent. But Dallas did have one asset that stood out: running back Herschel Walker. So Johnson went out to see what he could get for no. 34. Enter the Minnesota Vikings — a team that appeared to be on the cusp of many long playoff runs. All they needed was someone like Walker to put them over the top. They got Walker, but what did they give up? This film breaks down that deal and how the Cowboys’ new front office was able to give away one player and gain a dynasty of its own.

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Kid Danny to Premiere on Grantland

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The new Wheelhouse produced ESPN 30 for 30 short Kid Danny is set to premiere online at Grantland on Wednesday, August 13th.  The short film follows the story of Danny Almonte, a little league pitcher from the Bronx who made headlines when he and his teammates were disqualified from the 2001 Little League World Series.

Wheelhouse Creative was proud to partner with director Andrew Cohn to tell this unique story for ESPN’s 30 for 30 series.  Andrew previously directed the basketball documentary Medora, which received a large amount of critical acclaim last year on the festival circuit.  We recently sat down with Andrew to talk more about Kid Danny – look for that interview later this week.  Read more to watch an exclusive clip released by ESPN and be sure to watch the full film on Grantland later this week.

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Wheelhouse Creative on Entertainment Weekly Radio

Wheelhouse Creative co-founders Rob Lyons and Jeremy Workman had the opportunity to chat with Julia Cunningham and Mario Correa from the News & Notes show on Entertainment Weekly’s SiriusXM channel.  Julia and Mario had “just about a million” questions about the trailer creation process, which Rob and Jeremy were more than happy to answer.  Hear them chat about the history of trailers and the in’s and out’s of the trailer industry.

Listen to an excerpt of the interview above, or click to read more for some of our favorite questions and answers.

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Wheelhouse Creative Behind the Scenes at The Juilliard Gala

 Dreams Come True: A Celebration of Juilliard Music

The Juilliard Gala

On Tuesday, April 29th, 2014, The Juilliard School held their bi-annual gala, a “celebration of Juilliard music,” with performances by distinguished alumni accompanied by the incredible appearances of harpsichordist, conductor, musicologist, and teacher William Christie and captivating soprano, Renée Fleming.  The Juilliard orchestra performed throughout the night led by accomplished conductor, Alan Gilbert.

What is even more exciting is the fact that Rob Lyons and Ze’ev Gilad of Wheelhouse Creative had the opportunity and the responsibility of running live video and animations behind The Juilliard Orchestra and company.

“Working with Juilliard for this year’s gala was so exciting for us, because unlike in years past when we had just produced and delivered a number of videos for the event – this year we were responsible for running the live video on stage for the whole performance and it allowed us to work more closely with the amazing Juilliard crew led by Tricia Ross, Kent McKay and guest lighting director Jim Ingalls to create projected animations that accompanied the performances of the Juilliard Orchestra and other performers.

It was a real thrill to see the whole show come together for this spectacular one night only event!”

– Rob Lyons, Executive Director of Wheelhouse Creative

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