WHAT DOES GOOGLE GLASS MEAN FOR VIDEO AND FILM PRODUCERS?

Wow, we really live in the most exciting times. It seems like there’s an explosion of what we are able to do with technology. Every month dozens of new announcements are made about new technology. Like this one here where you can use your “force” like Luke Skywalker. Have a look at this video:

When I heard about the Google Glass project over a year ago I thought it was one of those phony news items whose purpose was just to draw attention. It didn’t seem to me a viable idea to have a computer or your smartphone integrated into “glasses”. What would we really benefit from? Seriously.

Now, Google announced and introduced its first iteration of the Google Glass project on the web. I was really impressed with this piece of gear. They made a little video in order to showcase what Google Glass has the potential to do. Have a look:

So, what does this all mean for someone who is in the video business like myself? How can Google Glass add to my own production workflow? Its funny because we just finished – a few weeks before the Google Glass announcement-a video that actually uses that very same visual technique. Its a promo ad for an organization that services disabled, handicapped and old people to give them back a live of independency despite their disabilities.

I think if I would have had Google Glass I would have produced the entire film on this device. We shot our ad on the Canon 5D Mark iii and you know that’s already a small and lightweight camera. But there were quite some situations where it was very cumbersome to shoot from a POV perspective and get the actor beneath the camera and make it look POV-like (POV means point-of-view, as in I make it look like it’s shot from the perspective of one of the actors).  Google Glass would have been a big time and budget saver.

But more then that. A director, cinematographer or producer could use this gadget in order to record behind-the-scenes and making-of films. Its one thing to have a separate cameraman on set doing that, and it’s another thing entirely we actually see what Steven Spielberg or Leonardo DiCaprio’s personal making-of looks like from their POV. My sense is that it will be the right logical step in merging our lives and technology.

S.

5 Responses to "WHAT DOES GOOGLE GLASS MEAN FOR VIDEO AND FILM PRODUCERS?"

  1. Hi, Just heard about Google glass – is another name (no quite so catchy Spectacle-cam. In which case do other know you are filming? But re your shoot and the cumbersome Canon DSLR (my all DSLRs rot in hell) why didn’t you use a Go Pro? Fantastic little machine. Saw some at the BVE exhib. in London today. Hands across the water.

    • Shmuel Hoffman says:

      Hey Andy,

      Yes, I bought a Gopro for this project and I was really inrigued by being able to wirelessly screen it on my iPhone what I’m shooting. But when I tested it the disappointment was big when I saw that it had a lag of at least 5 seconds between what you film and what you can see on screen. Makes framing impossible. So, it went back to Best Buy and I had to stick with DSLR.

  2. Joe Wilde says:

    Nice vid and good visuals, I struggle to believe that you would seriously have considered shooting this video using Google glass. I think GG is an interesting step in an interesting direction but I think you would have been grossly disappointed with the results, there is no way this piece of technology would compete with the 5D for picture quality. In fact, I seriously doubt that the footage they use in the promotion as examples of GG are in fact shot with GG, if this is the case then there must have been some major leaps forward in micro cameras in the last few months. I think the video was intended to show an example of what could be achieved and not a literal expectation of picture quality. If this footage was indeed shot with GG then I would love to download some footage to analyze it more closely.

    • Shmuel Hoffman says:

      Hey Joe.
      You are totally right. The picture quality is much better on a 5D, no question. However, for the feel of POV quality was not so much my main concern. I wanted it to feel that we as the viewer are really in that person experiencing whats going on on the screen. Google claimed that the footage was shot with the GG and although I know this can never been proven but my iPhone does produce superb video quality that I could use making a commercial with if I have to. So, in that regard we are already there to have small cams with great picture.
      Thanks for reading and commenting.

  3. Moe Film says:

    I think Google Glass is going to be much more interesting for seeing what’s going on with gear on set. Imagine using your glass to ‘monitor’ what the camera sees? Imagine Grips and Electricians being able to monitor amperage, and use RIF tags to identify gear. The Camera department can monitor battery levels and Sound can monitor audio quality via waveforms. High end Jibs and dollies are already coming equipped with GPS information to capture camera tracking data onset, imagine if everyone in the department could check the degrees and speed of camera moves, and know that it was done right? Once the industry gets up to speed, Google Glass is going to be much more than a POV camera.

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