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“Fast and Philippe” – Behind the scenes of a documentary with TARGO

drift racing targo documentary

In this series “Behind the scenes with TARGO“, the media company opens the door to the crafting of their stories. This week, TARGO released “Fast and Philippe”, a VR documentary on drift racing.

For our latest documentary, “Fast and Philippe”, we decided to deep dive into the world of drifting to capture what’s so special about it. Philippe Ferreira, a magnetic drift racer, guided us through a drift championship…

Our goal was to get viewers to experience drifting while getting to know the charismatic pilot. The character is as important as the sensations: they both make the experience. Philippe Ferreira reflects on drifting and vice-versa: experiencing the thrill of drifting helps understand better what Philippe says.

We’re sharing here some tips that we used to make this story come to life.

Catching the moment in real life stories

For our productions, we never disrupt real life. We do not fake actions to faithfully convey the authenticity of the characters and the story.

For this piece, it was particularly challenging. A race weekend is hectic: it’s packed with lots of activities, meetings, briefings and it’s stressful for the pilots. Counting on breaks and time off was impossible. It became clear that our only option was to film continuously throughout the 3 days.

We deployed 4 cameras for the shoot. At any given moment, there would always be one of them recording. We asked them to detail precisely the unfolding of the events and placed our cameras accordingly. That’s how we got this very real feeling throughout the piece: we just embedded VR cameras in their routine.

behind the scenes drift racing pilot targo
Feeling the sensations of drifting

To convey the sensation of drifting, we tried several placements of the cameras in and out of the car. It’s only after going on test-runs with the pilot ourselves that we identified clearly the shots needed to give that feeling to viewers. We realized it’s not about one perspective, it’s a combination of 4 perspectives that makes the viewer feel like he’s drifting, as if the brain needs several elements to grasp it.

Camera 1 – Feeling the speed: on the windshield. This offers an intense experience to the viewer, it’s only about seeing the road, feeling the speed and following the trajectory.

Camera 2 – Making speed relative: in the passenger’s seat. From there the viewer can see not only through the windshield, but also through his window, speed becomes relative to the cars next to the viewer.

Camera 3 – Feel the tension: in front of the pilot. Placing a camera in front of Philippe makes you really feel how focused he is while racing. You also see that his movements are counter-intuitive when drifting. This perspective makes you understand the skills that go into it.

Camera 4 – Understand the drifting: on the roof. Being solely within the car wasn’t enough in itself. We were inspired by the video game visuals of 3rd person car view. And that’s what we decided to recreate with a camera on the roof. The viewpoint gives a comfortable overview. You not only feel, you clearly see it: you see the car moving in counter-intuitive directions.

vr shots in car technique speed
Regardless of the camera placement, post-production was a crucial step to convey the intensity faithfully. Whether it be stabilizing the shots or balancing the yaw, we worked to find a sweet spot between a sensational experience and a comfortable one.

Watch the full piece here:


About the author


TARGO is the leading virtual reality media: every two weeks, discover a new documentary on original stories in virtual reality.

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