Content creation studio and production company GenPop collaborates with Omelet, an LA-based creative agency, to invite fans to dive deep into the origins, products and technology behind the best-selling Smashbox Cosmetics brand through an immersive 360° virtual reality tour of Smashbox Studios – the premiere photography studio the cosmetics brand was born from.
The three-minute film directed by GenPop’s Pieter Henket is creatively designed to tell the Smashbox brand story, celebrating the legendary studio (and its new one-of-a-kind lighting technology) and the people and products behind the namesake cosmetics line. The video launches on 360°-enabled platforms including YouTube and Facebook.
To capture a sweeping look of the famous studio, Henket and the GenPop team used a custom-built 5 RED DRAGON VR rig, resulting in 20K resolution and a crisp image quality not usually achieved in VR films. The brilliant natural light and the exquisite details are brought into scintillating focus – immersing the viewer in a high-end photoshoot with all the luxe elements put on larger-than-life display.
“We thought it was essential to fully capture the beautiful environment we were in, as well as the Smashbox makeup,” says GenPop Executive Producer Pierre Nobile. “Since we were shooting 360°, the entire lighting setup was viewable. Instead of trying to hide it, we made it an integral part of the experience.”
“As we all know, VR technology is moving very quickly and new production and post production solutions are popping up every day. We explored three or four different shooting rigs in pre-pro, which meant working closely with Omelet to adapt the creative each time.”
“The industry is experiencing an exciting new age of storytelling,” continues Nobile. “This emerging technology has a huge impact on how we tell stories and it was wonderful to see how quickly a major brand like Smashbox was able to process the information and react to fresh ideas.”
Pieter Henket is a beauty and fashion photographer and filmmaker who has brought his cinematic eye to collaborations with A-list celebrities including Eddie Redmayne, Angelica Houston, Mary-Kate Olsen, Sir Ben Kingsley, Kristen Stewart and Lady Gaga. The Smashbox project was Henket’s first foray into directing within the VR realm.
“The interesting thing I noticed while shooting in VR is that I was no longer thinking in terms of composition and framing,” remarks Henket. “It was moreso as if I was directing a play onstage. Trying to get the viewer to look in certain directions is a great challenge but very fun at the same time.”
“We wanted it to feel as if you were at Smashbox Studios for a day. The finished film definitely achieves that, while showing how multifaceted the Smashbox brand is. The viewer is right there at the front and center of it all.”
Check out some BTS snaps below.