Filmmakers capture stunning 360-degree look at Big Island lava flow

Filmmakers capture stunning 360-degree look at Big Island lava flow

KILAUEA VOLCANO, BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - As a member of the NBC production team that televises the Ironman Triathlon, filmmaker Matt Givot is no stranger to the beauty and power of Madam Pele.

Typically, the photographer works with the show's producers to bring the beauty of Hawaii Island to national television. His newest project, instead, brings viewers from across the nation to Hawaii Island.

"It was four years in the making," Givot told Hawaii News Now on Thursday. "As a photographer, lava is one of those things you just want to shoot."

Givot -- along with fellow filmmakers Chaz Curry, Brian Hawkins, Aaron Mendez and Chris Kemenesi -- recently released 'The Pace of Formation,' a video he says gives viewers a "front row seat" to the spectacle that is the Kilauea Volcano.

An accompanying video -- one filmed with a special 360-degree camera rig -- puts online viewers as close to the lava flow as Givot was during filming.

"We said, 'How cool would it be for people to see our video piece, and then experience all the places we went?'" Givot said. "360 has so much potential as a companion to traditional film."

The project, which also takes viewers to the summit of Mauna Kea, was filmed over several days during September and October of last year.

Givot says he worked with John Tarson, the owner of Epic Lava Tours, to film the lava from the ocean. Tarson also served as the crews cultural guide, helping them avoid filming in areas that would have been deemed offensive by Native Hawaiians.

"It's one of the most importants things," said Givot. "As passionate as we are about this, we try to stay within the unspoken rules. I fell in love with that place."

Still busy with another project, Givot says he hasn't been back to Hawaii to film the attraction that now sits at the top of his list -- yet.

"I might be coming out in about a week if the firehose is still happening."

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