The filmmakers who shot the awesome "Superman With a GoPro" video that went instantly viral this week are sharing how they did it.
Corridor Digital, the Los Angeles-based studio behind the film, used a radio-controlled drone — the DroneFly Phantom 2 quadcopter, outfitted with a GoPro camera, video transmitter and built-in GPS — to capture the footage of zipping around the skies above L.A., later adding the superhero's outstretched arms in postproduction.
"We're going as slow and as smooth as we can," Corridor Digital's Niko Pueringer explained in a behind-the-scenes video. "Later in post, we're speeding it all up, stabilizing it and giving it that Superman look."
"We're trying to get cool shots with this drone," Corridor Digital's Sam Gorski continued. "That's the whole point of this video — Superman flying in cool places."
One challenge for the filmmakers: mixing drone and live-action footage.
The pair had to find relatively unpopulated areas to fly the drone so that when the footage was sped up, cars and people on the ground would not appear cartoon-fast.
For the actual ground shots, the filmmakers had an actor wear a GoPro, then fly the quadcopter from there. "A little of the jiggle of the GoPro would cover up the cut point," Pueringer said.
Another challenge: the range of the video transmitter.
"The actual range on the drone is, like, super far, and it's even further than the video transmitter," Gorski said. "So we're always needing to find that middle ground between how far the drone actually can fly versus how far we can see it."
Taylor Chien, the maker of the DroneFly quadcopter, helped fly the drone. The filmmakers also used real actors — Will Sterling as Superman, Karin Lee as the damsel in distress and assorted "criminals" — to complete the short film.
Since it was posted on YouTube Tuesday, the three-minute video has racked up more than 5 million views.