Universal Studios sought to break new ground with The Mummy - Zero Gravity VR Experience, based on The Mummy (2017) film, re-imagining and starring Tom Cruise. The goal was to capture, for the first time in zero-gravity, a behind-the-scenes 360 video look at the artistry, intricacy, and difficulty of one of the toughest stunts ever performed by an A-list actor in a major Hollywood feature film.
Enthusiastically evangelizing the project was none other than Tom Cruise, who sought to push his own physical boundaries in a stunt with extreme technical difficulties from a shooting and logistical perspective. In addition, we also created 360 set captures that allowed fans to get unprecedented access to some of the mesmerizing set designs that were built, and possibly interact with different elements.
Not specifically part of the brief by Universal Studios, but a challenge that we took upon ourselves, was to re-imagine the iconic Universal Studios opening title sequence of the globe and their logo in VR.
At the time, this was the most complex 360 shoot 5th Wall had ever done. It took place in Bordeaux, France using AirZeroG airplanes and was running alongside the film production crew's capturing of the pivotal stunt in the movie.
Concerns about the safety of the crew, finding a VR cameraman with the necessary zero-gravity experience (including the muscle memory needed to handle the transition phases of parabolas), the effects of a VR crew under zero-gravity conditions, and making sure the experience was immersive despite being solely behind-the-scenes footage were all significant challenges.
Utilizing a combination of cameras such as the Nokia Ozo (perfectly shaped for the safety concerns during the gravity drop scenes), and the Samsung Gear 360s, we were able to capture incredible footage on the ground, the preparation on the plane, take-off in the pilot's cockpit, and of course, the memorable zero-gravity sequences (there were 64 of them), including a very memorable moment when all of the crew got to experience zero-gravity.
5th Wall was also able to break new ground with studio title sequences by producing the first ever VR-rendered open title sequence of a major studio, in this case, the iconic Universal Studios globe opening sequence that so many of us are familiar with.