Rockstar Games went out of its way to create the detailed game world of Los Santos in Grand Theft Auto V for PlayStation and Xbox consoles, plus the PC. YouTube filmmakers Corridor Digital took the time and effort to recreate the game in the real life Los Angeles with amazing results using some neat tricks.
The "Real GTA" short film starts on Los Santos' Vespucci Beach by using the same camera angles and gameplay hooks from GTA V. Even the real world lawyer they get to play the main character manages to pull off both the look and the walk straight from the game.
The GTA short also manages to nail the game's different locations. That's not too hard to pull off, since the game world is little more than a satiric copy of the real-world Los Angeles. Still, making use of the beach plus the Griffith Observatory as fill-ins for their Los Santos counter-parts gives the short film bonus credit.
It also wouldn't be Grand Theft Auto without some mischief happening. Bicycles and cars are stolen, random people are punched and run over, drugs are purchased, plus, there is a small shootout as well.
The behind the scenes video that Corridor Digital produces with most of their shoots is just as much of interest as the actual Real GTA film. The short immediately brings to mind the possibility of the crew using a drone to pull off the third-person camera angle while following the character on foot, bicycle, and car. Instead, they used a camera hooked up to a GoPro gimbal to provide the steady and smooth shots. This was then mounted on a telescoping boom pole that extended to 20 feet out.
This camera rig allowed the film crew to move seamlessly from on foot to different (and creative) transportation methods to follow the character. A second car with someone standing through the sunroof was used to film the driving portions. Meanwhile, a longboard and an IO Hawk personal transportation gadget were used for the biking and other portions of the film.
Corridor Digital has been around making YouTube videos since 2011.Minecraft: The Last Minecart was their breakout short film, with over 30 million views. Since then, they've produced movies such as Superman with a GoPro and a Legend of Zelda short. They produce a new short film every month and currently have over 3.3 million subscribers. They've done a good job of showing fans how to shoot on a relatively shoestring budget.
[Images via Corridor Digital]