Thursday, May 26, 2016

Review: Out With Dad 4.15 “Heading Out” (in 360)

I know I just posted about Out With Dad, but I thought this episode was well worth writing about due to the interesting nature of the way it was filmed.

"Heading Out" is the fifteenth episode of season 4 of Out With Dad, my favorite webseries. This episode was filmed in 360 degree cinema.  As creator/director Jason Leaver explains in a "Making of" video this technique involves using a stationary camera during filming, and then allowing the viewer to pan around the scene when viewing. Jason recommends using a smartphone for this, but since I don't have one I used Google Chrome, which is my favorite browser anyway.  Yes, you heard that right. I like Chrome a lot. Highly recommended.  Anyway, this method of filming makes the episode a lot like a live stage performance.  The scene is, unless I'm way off, filmed in one take, and though you can "look around", you cannot zoom in or out, just like you were sitting in a seat at a theatre. The director is really giving up lot of control by using a stationary 360 camera. He can't cut out, zoom in, combine shots, and whatever else those guys do that I don't know. So this is a very different experience in viewing.

As for the episode itself, it is all about Rose and her Dad getting ready to meet their former loves.  Rose going to see Claire who is back in town, and Nathan seeing Valery. Their interaction is cute as they pick out clothes for each other without looking, and fret a lot while supporting each other. They also make tea, including Rose using the phrase "hot the pot" which I don't think I've ever heard before. Finally, Nathan also mentions the possibility of Rose talking to Vanessa after all this time.  Rose is NOT receptive to the idea.  Jason noted this as an important episode, but it looks like a little downtime before the "big event" to come next time.  It's solid, but not one I'm likely to re-watch a lot.

But...does the 360 thing add to the episode?  I'm going to It's pretty neat to "look around", but there's this big problem I had: there's not much to look at. I looked at the ceiling, the door, the floor.  Then I looked at the characters. And it was like watching them on stage (as I mentioned above). But I think this technique would be more interesting if used on a video where there were things all over the place to look at!  Where you could watch several times and see something different each time. This episode wasn't very visual at all, really. It's  about character, not action.

Still, at least I got to watch my first 360 episode of something. Thanks to Jason for daring to try something different!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your kind assessment of this episode! I would agree, I don't know if 360 adds. But, wow - what an experience making it. It's compelled me to want to make more 360 cinema (not for OWD, but for other things). I learned so much doing this and so I can't wait to try it again.