Cinemagraphs and Clones Create a 360° VR Music Video [Premiere]

Mind Enterprises' song "Chapita" gets a 360° VR music vid that uses high-minded technology in a down to earth way.
May 23, 2016, 1:00am

A clone army of dancer Mimi Jeong performs infinitely repeating moves in an empty warehouse in the new music video for Mind Enterprises' track, "Chapita." The musician and producer, a.k.a., Andrea Tirone, teamed up with filmmaker Eran Amir to create the 360° virtual reality experience, which evolves on the latter's VR cinemagraph technique. The video features a single Jeong multiplying until she appears as dozens of manifestations, each caught in her own elegant and colorful choreography—throwing a ball in the air, swinging a chair, painting herself, creating a segued immersive landscape of looping Jeongs.

Produced by Nexus VR Studio, "Chapita" is taken from Mind Enterprises' debut album, Idealist, released on Because Music in February 2016. Amir's first music video, the innovative piece was shot using only one 6K resolution camera and a custom built camera rig. It uses a variety of techniques, but as with a lot of Amir's work, relies as much as possible on in-camera effects. For the final look, Amir wanted it to have the feel of a one-take shot, while also paring the VR experience down to include just three key elements.

The Creators Project emailed a few questions off to Amir to find out a bit more about how it came together and the ideas behind it.

Image courtesy of the artist

The Creators Project: Can you explain a bit about the concept behind the video?

**Eran Amir: **The main theme of Mind Enterprises' song is time. Time ticking around and around repeating itself ad infinitum. We tried to develop this theme by creating a world of loops, clones, and repetitions. The premise is very simple: the viewer starts in the middle of an empty warehouse (our canvas). The warehouse is then slowly "painted" in vibrant colors with our dancer. As the song develops our protagonist conquers more and more of the space (and the viewer's attention)—until by the end she is everywhere and there is no possibility of looking away from her. We begin with an intimate and personal interaction, and end with an almost menacing "army" of clones.

GIF courtesy of Nexus VR Studio

What were some of processes and the various techniques (both digital and in-camera) you used to shoot it?

From the get-go our main guideline was to keep everything as "real" as possible. This influenced every aspect of the project—styling, wardrobe, props, even post-production and editing. Although the final cut is composed out of hundreds of separate clips—it had to feel like it was shot in one take. We agreed on what we were allowed to do, and what we weren’t. We developed a bespoke workflow, perfectly designed for the concept and content of the video. This workflow, developed by technical director Elliott Kajdan, allowed us to have the enormous advantage of working with RED camera footage, without the steep budgets usually associated with shooting 360° video.

GIF courtesy of Nexus VR Studio

Why did you want to employ such challenging methods for a VR shoot?

Our top priority was to get the best possible picture quality with the budget we had. Most of the early tests were done on more common GoPro rigs, but the image quality was just not good enough. In addition, the GoPros tend to overheat and can be unreliable. For our shoot we had about 80 shots we HAD to get—missing even one of those would have hurt the narrative badly. So we had to find a solution that delivers both high image quality AND is completely robust. Our technical director even drilled the tripod into the concrete floor just to make sure it doesn't nudge by a millimeter.

GIF courtesy of Nexus VR Studio

What do you enjoy about utilizing in-camera effects or emulating that aesthetic?

For me it's less about the technique per-se, and more about keeping the human element in the mix. With technology developing at blinding speeds, I'm just trying to find my place inside the digital chaos. Many VR experiences tend towards the sci-fi futuristic "spectacle." I wanted to try something smaller, simpler, and more basic. Just a warehouse, a dancer and the viewer. These are the kind of experiences I would like to see more of in 360° video and VR content.

You can learn more about how it was done in the making-of video below.

Mind Enterprises is playing Field Day in London on Sunday 12th June 2016 as well as the Because x Dummy presents show at the Ace Hotel, Shoreditch, London on 29th June. A six track remix EP will be dropping digitally on Friday 10th June 2016 on Because Music. Click here to visit Mind Enterprises' website. Click here to visit Eran Amir's website.

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