More than 100 people were injured and dozens arrested when rioters swept through downtown Vancouver after the Vancouver Canucks lost to the Boston Bruins in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final on June 15.
Ryan Whitehead and his colleague Eamon Sallam from northstudio360 were in the crowd to capture 360-degree video. In late May, they had captured a celebratory crowd during the western conference finals against the San Jose Sharks, so they wanted to capitalize on that viral success during the Stanley Cup finals. But it was a very different experience. “We got some stuff when Vancouver was in a good mood. Then things got really weird,” Whitehead said.
Courtesy of Ryan Whitehead / northStudio360
Cameraman Eamon Sallam navigates the rioting crowd in Vancouver, B.C., with a 360 video camera, after the Canucks lost the Stanley Cup Finals to the Boston Bruins.
Whitehead won’t give many details about the camera setup in the 360 rig. But there are five video cameras, each recording a different angle. Having done 360 video for couple years, they are constantly changing and experimenting with the device. To steady the camera, they are using a monopod with weights at the bottom. They have five FireWire cables hooked to a laptop in a backpack, recording the video streams simultaneously. Back in the office, they stitch the streams together to create the interactive, 360 experience.
To navigate through the crowd, Whitehead and Sallam kept the camera low and walked into the center of the scene, then elevated the rig to capture video for a few minutes. When they started getting looks from the crowd around them, they’d move on. Whitehead said people were “kind of like moths to a fire. Everyone wants to come up and talk.” Whitehead helped cameraman Sallam by keeping the crowd at bay. “I was pretty much like a bouncer for a bar,” Whitehead said. Explore the video they captured, below.
The mob mentality turned dark for the duo when a few people started saying the two were with a Boston news crew, and aggressively asking if they were sharing the video with the cops. Suddenly, 10 to 20 people were staring at them, Whitehead said. The northstudio360 team left the scene quickly.
Whitehead is getting attention for the video from media organizations around North America. It’s free advertising for his company, which typically does work in much quieter scenarios, such as aerial tours for real estate firms, or virtual tours for venues.
See more Photoblogs from the Stanley Cup and riots:
'Why destroy your own city?' Rioters run wild in Vancouver after Stanley Cup loss
Scenes from Game 7 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Finals
Amorous protestors, lost in the heat of Vancouver riots