Ntropic transports production to its Vietnam office for remotely shot films for Matterport iPhone app
Technology company Matterport’s biggest product of the year, Matterport Capture was produced by Ntropic Asia in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The live action production for this film was directed remotely late last month, all without endangering the crew or actors.
Matterport’s innovative 3D capture platform enables users to create high fidelity 3D digital twins of any physical space across real estate, architecture, travel, hospitality, manufacturing and other industries. Matterport for iPhone is another breakthrough for the company. For the first time, Matterport’s industry leading 3D digital twins can be created, shared, and published with just an iPhone and the latest version of the Matterport Capture app.
Matterport approached Ntropic to make an anthem launch film and “how-to video” that vividly explains what Matterport for iPhone can do and how users can quickly get started capturing their first space. Ntropic delivered high quality films that defy the pandemic-fueled production limitations. Impressive demonstrations of the app in action, starring local actress and Instagram influencer M LEE, and a thumping soundtrack give way to glossy visuals, showcasing the amazing power of Matterport’s newest innovation.
Of course, central to the project was figuring out how to conduct a traditional live action shoot while the directors, creatives, actors, and Matterport’s brand teams were working from home – quarantined at different locations around the world. For this, Matterport relied on Ntropic’s ability to rise to any challenge and move at lightning speed.
“I’ve called on Ntropic’s creative firepower during my time at Apple, Google, and eBay, and they’ve been a trusted partner in every endeavor,” says Matterport CEO RJ Pittman. “So, when it came time to launch a pivotal new product during the COVID pandemic, they presented us with a game-changing idea to shoot the live action film remotely from their studio in Vietnam. This type of innovation and partnership resulted in stunning launch experience that did not skip a beat.”
This meant holding the actual shoot in Vietnam — where there hasn’t been a single COVID-19 death reported. With the help of local teams strictly adhering to local safety protocols, the US creative teams from Ntropic and executives from Matterport were able to view and direct the action via streaming video from across the globe. “This was our fifth remote shoot from Vietnam, so we have really figured out how to get the latency down for the live stream and communication protocols that make it feel like you are there on set,” explains Ntropic Founder and CCO Nate Robinson. “We even put in witness cameras and rover cams so that clients could see the full range of what was going on and be part of the action. It actually felt like I was there, co-directing with Kathy (Uyen). Because we had already been doing our homework on remote shooting, opportunity and preparedness came together at the right time.”
Director/ECD Kathy Uyen agreed, saying, “This remote shoot was a great way to interact and be connected to everything and everyone that was involved. Nate, the client and I could watch playback together and discuss specific notes and make quick adjustments. I think this definitely opens up doors for how limitless productions can be in the future, to be able to shoot in multiple locations, work with creatives from all over the world to deliver efficient fast turnarounds.”
Communication between post-production teams was also key. As the shoot was happening in Asia, Ntropic’s design/VFX team was simultaneously working on everything from editing to color grading, successfully juggling various schedules, time zones and workloads.
“Despite these challenges, there were no barriers in creativity or quality,” says Ntropic Asia EP Myke Brown. “We were very happy with the results and, more importantly, we delivered the experience from the other side of the world, right to the client’s doorstep.”
In the end, Ntropic was able to create a film and creative experience that was one of a kind. “Trust is a huge part of all of this,” continues Robinson. “A client trusting us — that we had done our homework, even on such a tight timeline — allowed us the chance to do a full shoot 8,000 miles away, edit it, and deliver two films within a fast timeline. We took advantage of our global, 24/7 company working as a seamless unit across multiple time zones. In a time when you’d think things would be moving slower, we showed we’re actually moving faster. It makes me tremendously proud of our team.”
Director/CCO: Nate Robinson (US)
EP: Myke Brown (Vietnam)
Director/ECD: Kathy Uyen (Vietnam)
DP: Gabe Lewis (Vietnam)
Color: Ayumi Ashley (NYC)
EP Color: Will Mok (NYC)
Head of CG: Dave White (LA)
VFX Supervisor/Lead Artist: Amanda Amalfi (LA)
VFX Artist: Mark Sanna (NY)
3D Supervisor: Andrew Cohen (LA)
Houdini Artists: Nate Lapinksi (LA), Cristobal Infante (London)
Producer: Natalia Wrobel