Google Glass gets a bad rap as an invasive, in- and on-your-face technology that few people really understand or have much use for. However, for those who own Google's wearable heads-up information device, it's hard to deny the utility and possibilities.
One area where Google Glass shines is in capturing POV moments in a way that makes them seem much more current and personal. Take this short film, Seeds, for example. Without a single word, it manages to convey the touching, albeit fictional, story of impending parenthood and one young man's journey back home to tell his beloved mother the good news.
The 2:30-minute film was shot over the course of 10 days in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Tokyo and India by 23-year-old filmmaker Aneesh Chaganty, who wore Google Glass throughout the shoot.
"It was the first introduction to acting I've ever had,""It was the first introduction to acting I've ever had," Chaganty told Mashable. He came up with the Mother's Day-themed story and then wore the same clothes and a wedding ring for the duration of the two-week production.
Chaganty, who graduated from the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts in 2013, made the film in concert with Google's Glass Creative Collective. The Collective is funding Glass filmmaking around the country and provided the budget for Chaganty's production.
Obviously, Google, which posted the short film, has a vested interest in portraying Glass in the best possible light. After suffering a wave of criticism and controversy, Google's been engaged in an aggressive campaign to remake Google Glass's image. This video shows the film's protagonist using Glass in a variety of situations, including in a taxi, at an airport, during the flight and when he surprises his mother. All touching, though it raises the question of whether or not people knew they were being filmed and, either way, would they think it was an invasion of privacy.
if someone was not aware that I was shooting, we would never show their full face.if someone was not aware that I was shooting, we would never show their full face. In fact there’s one part we blurred," said Chaganty who used both real people and actors throughout the shoot. The blurred face appears during a scene at the Tokyo airport. The woman who plays his mother, however, is show quite clearly. She's Madhumani Palla, a well-known Indian actress.
Working with Fruitvale Station co-producer Sev Ohanian, Chaganty, said he shot hours and hours of footage and handled Glass's notoriously stingy battery life by carrying a collection of backup battery chargers in his pockets.
Shooting a POV film with Glass proved challenging, "To tell a story where average shot length is 15 or 16 frames, to be able to convey a story where literally every single frame counts … was really a challenge to shoot, but a lot of fun, to find those pieces and put that together," said Chaganty, who first picked up Glass in February of this year.
With the film done and posted, the young filmmaker is looking ahead to shooting a feature with Ohanian and possibly shooting another Glass film.
Even though the touching film is fiction, it does have a direct connection to Chaganty's real life. His parents, both Indian immigrants, grew up near where he shot the film in India. Chaganty's mother was actually in India during the shoot and they traveled around her hometown together. When then film was done, Chaganty presented it to his mother as an early Mother's Day gift