Google ATAP 'HELP'

GMUNK 9 R.V. 8.5 P.T. 9 V.M.H. 9 J.M. 9 M.P. 8.5 G.R. 9.5 F.A. 8 D.B. 9 A.J. 7 Creative 8.7 GMUNK 8 R.V. 8.5 P.T. 8.8 V.M.H. 8.5 J.M. 8 M.P. 8 G.R. 9.5 F.A. 9 D.B. 9 A.J. 8 Design 8.5 GMUNK 10 R.V. 9.5 P.T. 8.9 V.M.H. 9 J.M. 9.5 M.P. 9 G.R. 10 F.A. 9.5 D.B. 9 A.J. 10 Craft 9.4 GMUNK 9 R.V. 8.8 P.T. 8.9 V.M.H. 8.8 J.M. 8.8 M.P. 8.5 G.R. 9.7 F.A. 8.8 D.B. 9 A.J. 8.3 Total 8.9
The Mill collaborated with Google ATAP and Director Justin Lin on the latest Google Spotlight Story ‘HELP’, their first immersive, live action film made uniquely for mobile. Google’s Spotlight Stories launched in October 2013 as a new storytelling platform for the mobile audience.
The Concept

‘HELP’ is the fourth story in the Google series, and is a classic tale of explosions, aliens, heroines and heroes. The difference is the phone holds the story, giving the audience a window to look anywhere, set the pace and frame the shot.

Starting with an original concept from director Justin Lin, the team explored what the smaller creature would look like and how best to get a smooth transition as it grew. They worked to develop its proportions, musculature and skin textures to really help sell the character at a colossal scale.
Starting with the child-like creature in Phase 1, the creature transitions through a life span of physical changes, while maintaining "human-like" eyes across each phase to connect with the audience.
The Production

The Mill was involved in every aspect of ‘HELP’, collaborating from the planning stage to assist Justin Lin and the team at Google ATAP in realizing their ambitious cinematic vision.

The 360-degree film was captured using a custom-built array of four RED cameras with fish eye lenses shooting at 6k. This on-set solution provided the director and director of photography with the unique ability to dynamically move the camera to follow the high-intensity action that is the dramatic hallmark of ‘HELP’.
The captured film called for a custom software to handle the chromatic shifting and strong distortion that came with the high-def footage over a large range of vision.
After numerous tests, experimentation and R&D, The Mill developed ‘Mill Stitch’ (TM pending), a proprietary software solution that takes images from multiple cameras and then stitches the output into a continuous 360 degree view.
The 360-degree film works like an interactive, mobile movie theatre, creating a window into the story and giving the audience the freedom to look anywhere within, set the pace and frame the shot.
During post-production, a more refined version of ‘Mill Stitch’ was used in tandem with several other proprietary Mill software tools to rebuild a seamless drama combining live-action and vast CG environments.
Alongside the new pipeline and desktop tools, The Mill created an app that allowed for daily viewing on a tablet so Justin and the Google ATAP team could review
the film.

In the context of recent immersive or virtual reality (VR) productions, ‘HELP’ is groundbreaking in that it combines live action and computer graphics in a 360 environment, creating an action-driven story deploying cinematic quality visual effects.

The final film creates a window into an action packed, blockbuster movie experience complete with epic explosions and alien creatures.
Making of Video
Google ATAP
Sue Troyan Executive Producer Reece Ewing Executive Producer Leighton Greer Producer Daniel Thuresson Shoot Supervisor/ 2D Lead Artist Tawfeez Martin Shoot Supervisor
David Lawrence Associate Producer
Alexandra Paton Associate Producer
Gawain Liddiard Creative Director, Shoot Supervisor/ 3D Lead Artist
James Studdart Sr. Research & Development
Timothy Wernette Research & Development
Andry Jong Research & Development
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