Using a Hand-Held Bullet-Time GoPro Rig to Shoot a Music Video

You might remember PermaGrin Films’ Marc Donahue from his amazing “Dream Music: Part 2″ lyric-lapse video that took 6 hours of work for every 3 seconds of footage. We even shared a behind the scenes look at how that time-lapse was put together, complete with deleted scenes and director commentary.

Dream Music: Part 2 ultimately got some 2 million views on YouTube, but that doesn’t mean that Donahue has slowed down. His most recent project again involved putting together a unique music video, only this time it didn’t take six months to shoot. Instead of tackling time-lapse, “On Smash Live” was filmed using a hand-held bullet-time GoPro array.

At the top, you’ll find a behind the scenes look at how it was all put together, and we have to admit, it’s an interesting way to film. He used a total of 15 GoPro Hero 2’s mounted on a custom-built rig to capture all of the footage, and all in all the project took only a few hours to shoot.

Editing it together is another story. Working with 750 gigs of data, Donahue put three 12+ hour days into the final product, which you can see below. (Fair warning, the constant, abrupt angle changes could be a bit nauseating for some).

To see more of Donahue’s work, visit the PermaGrin Films website or check out his Vimeo.

(via Fstoppers)

  • Mansgame

    I think this effect works better on still photography that’s stitched together to do a 3-D video like the guy who had it on here a while back with light painting. This jerking back and fourth just hurts the eyes. Not taking anything away from the work done and the skill needed to make this happen, but just my personal taste.

  • Mark Dub

    I saw this on another site. The final product is horrible. I hate saying that cause he obviously put a ton of time into the setup and editing. And kudos for him on that. It is a great setup and I couldnt even fathom editing something like this. But between the jittery final product and no lighting setup, it’s just unwatchable. And I love bullet time and a drummer

    I think some lighting, aslong with more close ups would have made for a much better final product.

  • MD

    My thoughts exactly. The conceit here is great, but what good is that if the final product is practically unwatchable? I always hope that innovators will wait for the right opportunity to showcase their new techniques, but this guy definitely did not. Oh well. I’ll be curious to see what this looks like with a lot more polishing.

    Oh, also a drummer here ;P

  • Al

    My eyes hurt.

  • simonseddon

    GREAT idea filming a drummer in ‘bullet-time’ but agree with the other commenters – unwatchable. The effect gets repetitive and frankly jarring. You can almost feel his pain while editing the footage and trying to think of new ways to show what is basically the same 15 frames of footage for a full 5 minutes. Set-up problems, poor lighting, un-synced gear and other tech problems aside, I think there is one much greater flaw to this (and the other video linked at the top): there is no narrative. It degrades the actual subject; in this case the music. This is a common syndrome of one guy trying to be everything. A director would have taken both videos straight back to the drawing board.

    Again like the other commenters have said, it seems harsh negatively critiquing the guy after all of the effort he’s put in. For me it all comes back to video being used to communicate a scenario. Not a scenario being used to communicate a video.

  • Bugatti MO No’worries

    what a dousche