This ‘Impossible’ Shot was Captured in One Take With No CGI

Director Mikhail Parkhomenko’s latest project creates an impossible shot that was shot in one uninterrupted take without the use of computer-generated imagery (CGI) using a combination of a drone and 360-degree camera.

Parkhomenko has been experimenting with drone-based videos for several years. Last month, PetaPixel highlighted an amazing looping video in one fell swoop which is shot entirely in first person view through the perspective of a drone. What made this video impressive was the coordination of the scene, and although his last project was much shorter, the visual spectacle is greatly increased.

The short 12-second video starts out simple enough but immediately becomes unusual as the camera flips, flies under the car, then emerges behind it before reorienting. Movement is fast and seamless, and just a few years ago it would have been completely impossible without the help of computer graphics.

“Over the past few years, I’ve followed a specific style in my work that I call Impossible Shots,” Parkhomenko said. PetaPixel. “The goal is to research new shooting techniques that were previously physically impossible to shoot. For me, this is all just practice, which I will use later when shooting my more serious work like commercials, video clips or movies.

Specifically, this idea for shooting was suggested by a friend of Parkhomenko, who for a long time wanted to fly under a car in a drone. Based on this, Parkhomenko suggested performing the feat with a 360-degree camera to achieve an even more unusual effect.

“This is a custom drone designed to fit into a 360-camera blind spot,” he says. “Since one camera looks up and the other down, there is a gap in the middle where the drone fits.”

The camera he used is from Insta360, and while Parkhomenko says it’s generally a camera designed more for the average consumer, he’s a filmmaker and he wanted to find unique ways to to use the camera in high-end productions as a creative tool.

“Before shooting the final video, we did two tests to see if it was even physically possible to fly under the bottom of the car straight ahead,” he explains.

“It’s a really tough challenge because the camera lenses are domed. This means that the slightest contact with the ground or the underside of the car at high speed scratches the small lens so much that it is immediately destroyed”, explains- he says and says that this indeed happened and he had to replace the destroyed optics with new ones several times.

Below is an example of one of the test flights Parkhomenko and his team made before the final firing.

“We rented 30 light panels to light up the entire car park. The parking lot itself was owned by people we knew and they let us film there for free,” he says.

garage bts

garage bts

“It took us a month to edit because there was a lot of variation in camera rotation,” he adds.

The editing process he refers to involves post-production software that allows editors to completely control the perspective of footage using visual data captured by the camera.

“It’s actually a very fascinating process because you have to ‘control’ the camera in post-production, choosing the angle, the speed of movement, the rotation, etc.,” explains Parkhomenko.

“I created about five camera movement patterns. From there, we picked the best and then refined it. I edited with After Effects and the GoPro FX Reframe plugin, which can animate all sorts of camera settings. As I wanted exceptional precision, I chose these programs.

Parkhomenko says he plans to return to directing music videos after a five-year hiatus and will incorporate the skills he has learned through his current experiences with unusual drone techniques.

“All the ongoing experiments will help to create scripts. Some of my work has helped me to do commercials since I show them my work as a reference and the client believes that I can do something like that. And, of course, I would like to make films. This is the most important and important goal.

For more from Parkhomenko, be sure to follow him on instagram and check his YouTube channel.

Image and video credits: Mikhail Parkhomenko

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