Spark Blog Notes from the Spark Team

May 18, 2012

The Making of Around the World in One Charge

By: Liya Sharif, Publisher

The Idea

We wanted to put our Snapdragon processor to the test. What better way than to send it around the world on a single charge? We’d shoot an entire video in HD, trekking over 35,000 miles, using only the phone, it’s camera, and it’s battery. We just needed the right idea to take us from one end of the planet to the other.

Forced Perspective

Very simply, forced perspective is a spatial illusion created by blurring the line between foreground and background to make things appear larger or smaller than they really are.

It's always been a favorite with the Internet because anybody can do it if they’ve got room and a camera. And yet you’d be surprised how often it’s used by everything from fine art, like trompe l’oeil to mega-budget movies, like Lord of the Rings.

It was perfect—it would work in any location, gave us cool things to look at, required nothing but a smartphone to film, and kept the sense that this is a project that is within anybody’s grasp, from pro to amateur. After a few tests by the production crew, our team knew we had something fun on our hands.

The Shoot

A crew of three set out with two carry-on bags apiece and headed for New York, London, Paris, Shanghai, Moscow, Dubai, Mumbai, and Rio de Janeiro. The most time they would spend anywhere was about 30 hours, coordinating with location supervisors in each city in order to set each shoot up to keep things moving quickly.

The crew faced quite a few challenges throughout the process. Before even taking off, they had to endure a round of vaccinations. We’re talking 7 shots per person in one sitting. Sounds unpleasant to say the least.

In London they had to manage a cat with a diva’s attitude and a belly full of ham that just wanted to sleep. Cute though, isn’t he?

They found themselves running through the streets of Paris trying to come up with back-up shots on the fly. They endured multiple flights on the world’s lowest-rated and most crash-prone airline with what appears to be the worst sandwiches ever assembled by human beings.

Certainly creating these illusions looked strange to say the least. In Moscow they were escorted out of Red Square by Russian police—luckily after the footage was captured. In Mumbai police whisked them away from a temple location after they mistook us for investigative journalists.

But even for those minor obstacles, the team showed us some amazing images upon their return. The world is a beautiful place, and it’s beautiful everywhere.

Sunrise in Paris.

Shanghai

Midday in Shanghai.

The beach in Mumbai.

St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow.

The crew filming in Mumbai

Dinner in Moscow.

And what an opportunity to meet and create something with amazing people from all over the world.

Take a look at this little behind the scenes video the team put together. It’s amazing the way creating something so simple and so universal can really draw people together. And, really, that was the whole point, wasn’t it?


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