Teaming up with The Film Yard, we were invited to work on an exciting project for the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation in Malawi. Our brief was to create a film in a 9:1 aspect ratio for the NTD Summit in Geneva and a 360/VR Video to be shown online. This meant making a film four times wider than a normal cinema screen to be exhibited using six projectors.
First of all, there are no cameras to buy or rent that specifically do this task. Apparently Panavision are releasing a Cinemascope camera in the next twelve months (but that still would not have been wide enough for what we needed). After many tests the method we chose was to fix three cameras to a custom built rig. We would stitch the three images together in post. The results were amazing and gave us the ability to try new types of composition.
The terrain in Malawi was difficult to say the least, we were in remote villages with no roads or electricity, blazing heat and flash thunder storms. Luckily we came prepared and everything went as planned. Although we were only there for seven days we made many long standing friends and now know why they call Malawi the warm heart of Africa.
The Geneva screening was extremely successful and the 360/VR Video is available on the Gates Foundation FaceBook page.