Contest Entry: The 360 Project, Dancing Matrix Style

Ryan Enn Hughes just submited his entry for our BTSV contest and it is quite impressive. Ryan teamed up with The Big Freeze and set up 48 D700 cameras in a circle and then fired them all at once as dancers did their thing. The photographs are pretty cool on their own but the real magic happened in post during the editing phase when Ryan teamed up with sound designers at Zelig Sound to create two incredible 30 seconds videos. Obviously this is an extremely high budget project but our contest will not be judge on that so don't be discouraged if you don't have 48 $3000 cameras to play with. As always, you can check out all of the submissions to our contest as they come in here on our forum.

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Damon L. Thomas's picture


Lee Morris's picture

I find it really interesting to look at each aspect of this project and the time that went into it. The whole video would not be nearly as good if he didn't manually knock out the background in each frame, smooth everything out in aftereffects, work with a professional sound designer, or spend hours editing every millisecond to match the sound perfectly. 

I would have stopped short in each of these areas but Ryan didn't and the finished product is flawless. 

Great Idea, Rad video, Super Informative. ME LIKEY!

Anonymous's picture

Guy's a total perfectionist..  I wonder if his name will come up if i google Apple iPod adverts..

All the vids on Ryan's site are equally impressive. The simplicity of the 'Lost and Found' vid i particularly liked because it didn't seem to require too much tech yet looked comfortable on his main portfolio page alongside the really outrageous work.

He's a busy man i'm sure...

Alexander Kiselev's picture

Really Nice!

Golgo Thirteen's picture

This is kinda disappointing considering how cool the shoot looked and the quality shots he got before the actual video edit. The photos looked great and there was so much potential but the video editing work was not good in my eyes. The footage was way to jerky and the sound was terrible to me. Keep in mind this is all personal taste but the footage for the ballet and the music should have been smoother, and crump style also. The rewind replay rewind effect was just not pulled off well and the clips were short.

This had pro quality production but the final product fell apart at post when he worked with the video and sound guy.

This is too bad.

Patrick Hall's picture

Uh oh, you are starting to sound old and cynical here! I loved the dub step and jittery movement myself.

 I agree to an extent. I think the Ballet video was to electronic, I too would have liked to see a more fluid end product with that one. The Krump one was spot on.

The whole project just fuels my fire to photograph dancers! I have been wanting to for so long and this just makes me want to so much more!!!

Well, we cannot argue the production value. You can tell the guy knows what he's doing. And there is some talent to admire. Nonetheless, if I would have seen this as a behind the scenes
post or even in an actual commercial then I would have enjoyed it more. But to
submit this work in a BTSV contest is seems tasteless. Not to mention the show
off of equipment that very few of us have. Is like watching major leagues teammates
coming to play at a local hometown game and beat the crap of the local team.

I thought the point of the contest was to be informative as
possible. This video only shows the phases of the production, but not how it
was actually done. (Meaning step-by-step commands) Maybe a few of us came learn
something from it. 

It's just my thoughts. Overall, it's an interesting video to watch.

Matt's picture

Considering the amount of work that would be required to execute this project, would you really want to sit through a 2hr BTS video? I have watched a number of the forum videos so far and if Ryan had followed the path of some other submissions this video would be at least 5 hours long. Personally I thought we got all the info we needed.   

Matt's picture

Also, please explain what is so tasteless about submitting this work for this contest? Would you be happier if he shot the project using D3000 bodies and Alien Bee lights? Maybe you need to remind yourself that in the end, gear doesn't make your final product.

Hi Matt,  I'm not saying to make a 2hr video, but at least Ryan could have taken some extra 30-40 seconds elaborating in how he actually married the frames in after effects for quicktime output. ( for ex). Why? cause maybe I want to learn how they did it.

I'm with you on that. The gear doesn't make your final product, but it makes your life easier. I appreciate talent even more when an artists/photographer can actually produced magnificent masterpieces without depending in super high gear.  That's all.  I still admire Ryan's work and I think he's the man.  

Well, I guess the competition is ON at a good start with all these comments. Hey, that's why we are all here for. To exchange ideas, learn from each other and respect one another.  FStoppers Team you guys rock!.

Robert Simpson's picture

"Also, please explain what is so tasteless about submitting this work for this contest?"

* Apparent massive funding for entry effort* Obviously doesn't need the prize (48 spare D7000 anyone?)

Fernando and Robert, I was just about to make a similar comment. I usually actually avoid even getting involved in these discussions, but I really find it almost offensive that this video has been entered into this contest.

People will make the arguments that gear doesn't make the photographer, etc. etc., sure. That's true if you're an enthusiast, but for me, I'm studying photography with a view to working as a professional, and when I graduate, I'm going to need gear. Right now I'm working part time and *all* of my money goes toward either rent, food or photo gear. The gear I'm looking at buying? Profoto D1's, Nikon lenses and a full frame Nikon body. 

If I was to enter and win the contest (hypothetically speaking; although I do intend to enter.), it would mean that when I graduate, I wouldn't have to work full time for a year in my office job just to afford the gear I *will* need to even start thinking about working professionally. However, if Ryan Enn Hughes wins the contest, what's he going to do with all of the gear? Put it in a corner next to his Scoro packs and 48x D700's?

I know it's a contest, and it's open to everyone, and it's not something that I should be complaining about, and it's a first world problem, etc. etc. but it just strikes me as extremely tasteless. I'm certainly not saying that I don't think this BTS video should have been made, but I think that it should not have been entered as a contest entry. 

Perhaps working professional photographers should be disqualified from entering the contest... I think that this sort of prize should be for someone who's an aspiring photographer who *needs* the gear. If I'm the only one who thinks this, then I'll shut up...

It's very cool and all but I feel the hole matrix bullet time thing has been done to death.

Golgo Thirteen's picture

I'm not saying dubstep sux (it kinda does compared to 2 step hehe) but I'm sure this dude is mega talented but the execution just was kinda lacking in post. Some people are VERY good at directing shoots or being a creative director but their post may not be as strong. I went and watched all of his vimeo work and I just couldn't get into it and I don't even mind this stop motion type of work that he seems to do a majority of.

Anonymous's picture

it's not dub step - just sayin

Anonymous's picture

I still hope a talented amateur wins, without the mega bucks gear.

Casey's picture

The behind the scenes was way more interesting than the final product.

Mike Distras's picture

I thought the BTS video was spot on!
@facebook-705346784:disqus  If you want to learn specific quicktime/after effects tutorials - then check out website that tell you how to specifically do that, for example.

I think the Crunk video was awesome, and the music fit really well!However, I think the Ballet one could of worked better with more fluidity and something more fitting. But still awesome none the less!

j.j.'s picture

how did they tether a bunch of nikons together? I know how it's done for canon.

Robert Simpson's picture

Didn't you catch that part in the BTS? .... sorry ....

Anonymous's picture

EVERYONE is a talented amateur at the start aren't they?

Anto Vega's picture

Stop hating, it makes you sound like a loser. The guy had a budget for his project, so what?  This means that the rest of us entering the competition soon need to work harder and better. We may have literally $0 money and single peaces of gear like 1 light and one camera but its about creativity. It may seem unfair but what ins't unfair this days? Don't worry about other entrees. You are only competing with yourself and your imitations. I'm on pre-production for my project im a newb and im gathering close creatives that want me to win this thing. Ryan has set the bar really high for most of us. Get out and do work!

You're 100% right on this.

This, and everything about, include the music and final piece, is awesome. 

Anonymous's picture

woah- awesome.. i need to get in good with the Ontario Arts Council’s Chalmers Arts Fellowship.  sweet gig to employ that many people with that much equipment for just two 30-sec non-commercial spots.  convincing someone to fund this was probably the biggest accomplishment of all.. good job on that, and good job on the videos

Jayge Dreier's picture

I guess I had higher hopes for this video. The sound mix and final video edits were disappointing. 

No me gusto para nada la ediccion del video, no meparece que haya sentido entre la ediccion y el baile fotografiado. Todo parece solo un desfile militar de como usar 48 camaras y nada mas.

I did not like at all the final video, there is no sense between dance   and  video editing  . Everything seems just a military parade on how to use 48 cameras and nothing else.

Anonymous's picture

Loosers! Horatio would only need one camera for such a thing :P ! Anyway, what an extremely cool video? My thumbs and toes are up !

Anonymous's picture

I just wonder how it would look if they used twixtor.

Alberto Vazquez's picture

By far I think this is one of the most well thought out BTS video i've seen. That's just me. But I agree with Anto Vega, It's not about the gear it's about how you use what you have. I think that's what the whole contest is about. Just being creative and having fun doing it as well as helping others with that you know along the way. This has set the bar even hire for me now. Guess i better get off of the internet and get brainstorming for my BTS video haha

John Godwin's picture

This is technically very impressive, but there's something about the video that just doesn't blow me away. I think the problem for me is that if I had someone describe this video to me, with the 48 cameras on a rig, firing simultaneously as ballet and street dancers performed acrobatics, the video I'd be imagining would be utterly mind-blowing, and this just wasn't anything like that.

When you consider that this was a technique mastered 13 years ago in The Matrix, I don't see anything in in it that shows 11 years of technological progression, it seems like a step backwards.

I also learnt absolutely nothing from this video, and would be disappointed if it won the BTS competition.

Anonymous's picture

1 camera, 1 light, 360 human photography, I could show you how to do this in 5 minutes or less

maybe I'll make a tutorial about it someday, but I'm concentrating on my fstoppers behind the scenes video now :) expect it in a few days!!