Filming french world sailing champion Francois Gabart aboard his ship, the Macif, was almost like a dream come for me. I always felt the sea was a mythological place for epic adventures, harkening all the way back to the stories of Homer and The Odyssey. Gabart is carrying on this tradition, winning the Vendee Globe race by sailing around the world, ALONE, on a small catamaran in 78 days, 2 hours, and 16 seconds. This larger-than-life struggle of man versus nature conjures up all the psychological and physical triumphs sailors have sought out since the beginning of time.
Francois Gabart & his ship, the Macif, were recently docked in Brooklyn, in anticipation of his next big challenge. Intel invited me on board to film Francois and all the technology they created aboard this small racing catamaran. My imagination immediately started thinking of how Francois navigated such a lightweight ship on such a giant journey, navigating storms and dark nights while racing continuously at top speeds.
I filmed a 360 video in panoramic 8k virtual reality, along with a series of surreal yet iconic video loops. I felt telling Gabart's story using cutting edge video techniques while retaining this element of romanticism fit perfectly within Gabart's larger narrative of man using technology all by himself to batlle against the sea.
360 video is a new type of virtual reality experience where the user can click and drag within the video to move the camera and "look around" as if they were experiencing the action firsthand. Even better, iPhone or tablet audiences can move their phones around, while the iPhone's internal gyroscope automatically changes the perspective of the video. These types of 360 videos can also be viewed in virtual reality headsets or even by placing your iPhone inside a readily accessible "google cardboard" virtual reality headset.
360 video playback requires Firefox or Chrome, while mobile and tablet audiences must download the Youtube App. Select the highest resolution for playback.
Next, I directed a short series of surreal video loops of myself with Francois Gabart aboard the Macif. As an ongoing Instagram project, "A Selfie a Day Keep the Doctor Away", I have been filming surreal yet romanticized video loops of myself in all kinds of situations and environments, as described in a previous article here on the Huffington Post.
These quirky video loops have a strange tension between still photographs and seamlessly surreal motions. I wanted to capture the timeless feeling of man in a mythological struggle but one that has been modernized by such incredible racing and navigation technology. I think this paradox is readily apparent in the video loops as well as the larger narrative of Gabart's personal racing story.
Follow along with more of these video loops on Instagram as @mikemellia or visit www.instagram.com/mikemellia to see more.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I'm a director & a photographer who loves creating ads for fashion & luxury brands as much as filming quirky video loops of myself on Instagram.
I'm a New York City native and a graduate of Columbia University.
My 1-year-old daughter Aria was named after the most lyrical part of an opera.
One time I debated politics with the prince of Monaco.
I drink tiny cups of espresso all day.