Lesson 02: 360 Filming

360 video captures everything in the space where you put the camera and allows the viewer to look anywhere they choose in that space. This requires a radical rethinking of space and how to capture a scene, how to place the camera and the subjects, where the film maker can stand and how to direct the viewer’s attention.

Learning Outcomes
    • Recognize what 360 storytelling captures, how 360 cameras wor
    • Compare on-camera sound and sync sound quality for 360
    • Apply understanding of 360 sense of space to capturing places and interviews
    • Create a 360 image or video using a camera or phone
Lesson Outline

Have them imagine themselves as a 360 camera, what do they see

Demo what 360 camera sees, how it works/stitching

Camera support (holding it, tripod, monopod, )

Discuss where to place the camera (what makes for good and bad camera placement)

Watch a NYT Daily360 story & discuss camera placement

Talk about limitations of 360 (can’t move, too close, FOMO)

Discuss interview setups

Demo camera+ phone pairing, emphasize brief shots

In-class Exercise/Activity for Small Groups

[For an example of how we walk students through using the 360 cameras in class, click to slide 30 here]

Give 360 camera & monopod to a team of students and have the team record three 360 shots. (Each shot should be 30 seconds or less to shorten the download time from camera to phone/computer) While still in class, pair the camera to one students smartphone and take a test photo

  1. Walking and filming at the same time
  2. Interview someone,
  3. Create an establishing shot that captures an interesting space

Recording Sync SOUND for 360: camera sound vs. 2nd sound source, clap

Compare how the camera captures sound vs. a secondary/lavalier microphone and auxiliary recorder that would be “synced” later with the video footage (also called “second source audio”)

Recording a scene in 2 locations with camera (recording to the on-camera built-in mic on 360 camera) & second sync sound (recording to smartphone mic; portable handheld recorder, etc).

Record the same interview in a 

  1. noisy place , like a busy street corner and then 
  2. record a similar interview in a quiet location

In the end you’ll have 4 audio recordings: 

2  audio clips from the the camera (1 quiet place, 1 noisy place)

2 audio clips from a secondary audio recorder (1 quiet place, 1 noisy place)

Listen and discuss the difference in audio quality

Discussion Prompts

What special considerations do you have when planning a shoot with these cameras?

How do you make sense of and experiment with a new medium?

What was the biggest surprise you had when you saw your first shot?

What worked well?

What did not work well?

Out-of-Class Assignment

Have students take the 360 cameras and monopod/tripod home and try to capture at least a simple scene of at least two-three different shots in an interesting space. Students will use this footage in the next classes editing exercise.

Hardware Notes

We have had our students use the Samsung Gear 360 (2017) camera or one of the Ricoh Theta 360 cameras for a lot of their work. These cameras are relatively affordable, especially used. Monopods are preferred over tripods for filming with a 360 camera. The Insta 360 One X is another good option.

End of lesson feedback

3-2-1 (3 takeaways, 2 questions, 1 thing they enjoyed)