Following the euphoric launch of Sphere with a U2 residency on September 29, Friday, director Darren Aronofsky conveyed Postcard from Earth It became the first film to premiere at the new entertainment venue in Las Vegas. It is a kind of narrative and document, immersing viewers in a range of experiences, for example allowing them to feel as if they are walking alongside elephants on safari, swimming with sharks beneath the surface of the ocean, or viewing Earth from a distant planet.
This film also demonstrates the potential of this new canvas for filmmakers. “I’m still processing everything,” the Oscar-nominated director said black Swan Tells Hollywood Reporter Sphere, whose interior is covered in a 160,000-square-foot 16K LED screen that extends beyond audience members’ peripheral vision and rises above and behind their heads. The visuals – shown in high definition that create a sense of depth and being there – are accompanied by a powerful new beam-splitting audio system and 4D features such as air seating and haptic seating.
“It’s really a different medium because of the immersive nature of all the images you create and how they translate to the viewer,” says Aronofsky, noting that when they started planning the film, they were reminded of the Lumière brothers’ 1895 film. Short The train arrives at La Ciotat station, Which is known to have startled audiences when they saw a moving train approaching them through the then new medium of motion pictures. “It kind of affected the opening of the field. … That moment when the expectations of what you’re watching suddenly change.
As in the early days of cinema, the visual language and tools of filmmaking were evolving as the film was being produced. “We started with nine red cameras welded together to try to get the resolution we needed to create an image for the Sphere,” Aronofsky recalls, adding that they then received the first prototype of the custom 18K Big Sky camera they invented for content creation. For the field. That camera – used to photograph most things Postcard -evolved during production as “we were also trying to figure out the language of shooting a 270-degree film, and how to make the audience feel comfortable with their image-filled peripheral vision.”
The one-hour film is a comprehensive tour of the world, complete with a story set in space in the film’s familiar aspect ratio, which begins with two humans arriving on Saturn. When they are reminded of life on Earth, the images open up for full screen use. Aronofsky’s longtime collaborator Matthew Libatique shot the space story using ARRI’s Alexa 65 camera, while Andrew Schulkind, senior vice president of capture and innovation at Sphere Studios, served as executive director of Sphere content. In total they traveled to 26 countries, using various cameras, primarily Big Sky.
Aronofsky found that with the large canvas and the high resolution they could display, the goal was to create frames full of detail throughout the scenes. “We tried to shoot in a lot of caves because we knew people would be able to look up and see little spiders crawling above the cave and all kinds of other life,” says the director. One of these creatures got a big response when it jumped towards the audience. “I definitely knew I wanted to shoot close-ups because presenting them in 18K to audiences with this level of detail would be something no one had ever seen before.” To do this, they recruited a team of natural history photographers.
Another hero shot involves giraffes, including one that appears to be tipping a ball towards the audience. “What’s interesting is that the front of the Big Sky Camera is a big piece of glass. So there’s a lot of reflection. So the giraffe actually thinks they’re seeing a giraffe and they’re confused, and they keep coming back to check what they were seeing,” he says. Aronofsky. “We walked away and left the camera there and turned it on from a distance so the animals would feel comfortable hanging around it [shot] It was just a lucky coincidence, which comes your way when you have enough time and work with the best natural history photographers in the world.
The stunning footage also included an elephant walking close to the audience, captured by natural history photographer Graham Booth (who previously worked on Aronofsky’s film). One strange rock) and Schulkind. “There are some tricks I won’t reveal, but the elephant was about to step on a million-dollar camera,” Aronofsky admits.
had brought Postcard To Sphere (with standing room capacity, Sphere holds up to 20,000 people, but Postcard (The shows (not all seats are used)) also involve a tight production schedule that involves a great deal of invention, including the development of complex production and post-production workflows, and new technology and processes for everything from reviewing work to transferring vast amounts of data off-camera and through Post-production Aronofsky reported that the film included a massive amount of data, amounting to half a petabyte.
Oppenheimer Editor Jennifer Lammy was enlisted to cut the film, which was done by Avid Media Composer. Newly developed virtual reality software allowed her to review cuts in what would appear to be a Sphere (they also tested cuts in the quarter-sized Big Dome at Sphere Studios in Burbank). Artificial light, magic, and the digital realm provided visual effects for the project.
But Aronofsky, Lame, and the team ultimately weren’t able to see the film at the actual Sphere location until early September, presenting an even greater challenge for post-production.
Coloring store pictures Tim Stepan (Aronofsky’s Whale) graded the film while the director’s longtime collaborator, Craig Hennigan, served as supervising sound editor, designer, and re-recording mixer. “Tim really had to figure out how to time these images. No one had ever timed an 18K image before,” Aronofsky says. “Same with sound. Since the image is 270 degrees, you want the sounds to be in the right place. But you can’t really mix it on a regular movie screen because you don’t know exactly where the thing is going. So we kind of guessed and did our best and then we got to the Sphere itself and the MSG team there figured out how we could actually use that big screen to actually mix the movie.
For Stepan, the team installed a Baselight color grading system in a room in the Sphere, so he could work in the actual environment. (Baselight maker Filmlight wrote new software to support Sphere content.) Meanwhile, Hennigan began creating a Dolby Atmos mix and worked from there.
Schulkind — who has been with Sphere for nearly four years and was instrumental in developing the Big Sky camera and workflow for filmmakers — remembers working at the company’s headquarters in Las Vegas during September. They had a few hours each morning to check editing, color timing and sound, then worked until midnight each day while U2 rehearsed and the crew put the finishing touches on the set.
This also included testing and preparing final elements, such as wind effects coming from the front of the space. “It takes about 30 seconds for some wind to hit you, so we had to time how the wind was going to get to the front row and the back row,” he explains. “They put these plastic cups with some decorations on top so we can track when different areas are being accessed [wind]. …It’s been a tough month.
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