This Thing Took Me Around the World!
Life can really throw you some curveballs, occasionally that curveball is a real godsend. Sometimes that curveball is literally a cluster of GoPROs!
Approximately four or five years ago, the virtual reality or “360” production industry was in it’s infancy. Several innovators and tinkerers envisioned what would in later years become a burgeoning tech industry, bringing to market high frame rate 360 video and virtual and augmented reality gaming and video experiences.
In the early stages there was essentially no professional hardware and little or no support for this emerging tech. Due to a general lack of support, a handful of tech enthusiasts were forced to tinker with existing hardware in their garages to jimmy rig together potential solutions for creating 360 content…and then, as they say, it went viral.
Hands down, the unit with the longest staying power within this booming but fast growing industry is a variation of GoPRO configurations on a stick! I know what you must be thinking: how can a GoPRO on a stick be at the forefront of a billion dollar a year industry?! Well, I might remind you that many items on a stick have revolutionized our way of life. Take the lowly popsicle for example, or the corndog for that matter. I could go on all day, but the point I’m trying to make is that seemingly, even the most menial or unlikely item or opportunity could change the trajectory of your life and career.
I had only ever hear of virtual reality in a few obscure 80’s films and pop culture references until I came across an opportunity for a 360 video campaign for tech giant Samsung that took me to nearly a dozen countries around the world in the course of a year to shoot probably some of the most interesting content under some of the most coveted circumstances any film maker could as for. Fully funded helicopter flights over Hong Kong, cross country excursions through Iceland, trekking Victoria Falls in Zambia and Zimbabwe! This opportunity launched my career in the field of VR and 360 production; all from showing a little initiative to research and get involved in an emerging technology that was getting almost no attention five years ago!
I have found that as a production industry professional, I constantly benefit from continually researching and assessing new technology within the industry. You never know how new technology could revolutionize your workflow, improve your skill set, or launch your career. Life lesson: keep your head on a swivel because opportunities can be found in the least likely places!