March 8, 2016
SXSW 2016

First-Ever Go-Pro POV Movie 'Hardcore Henry' Makes You Fight For Your Life

Hardcore Henry
Of all the nightmarish film premises, Hardcore Henry might just be the most terrifying yet—because you are the main character.

Imagine waking up in a strange hospital with no memory of who you are or what happened to you. Your wife claims she's just brought you back from the dead. Now you're supersonic. Five minutes later, you're being shot at, your wife has been kidnapped, and it turns out everyone wants you dead. You have no choice but to tear through the streets of an unfamiliar city, unsure of who to trust, where to go, and just how (or why) to fight back.

Ilya Naishuller's action-adventure has been shot from a thrilling first-person perspective, taking the form of a veritable video game. But unlike a game, you, the main character, have no free will. With no game options, your agency has been stripped from you. You're along for the ride—kicking, punching, shooting, and blowing stuff up along the way.

To achieve the effect of placing the viewer in the protagonist role, the film was shot on two GoPro Hero 3 cameras with a custom-made rig, dubbed the "Adventure Mask" (and available for pre-order) pictured below. The Hardcore Henry crew built and destroyed more than 30 prototypes, tried all the existing types of plastic, and made hundreds of changes to the design during the production process.

Adventure Mask Hardcore Henry
Credit: "Hardcore Henry" design team

The rig is comprised of a 3-axis Gimbal mount with a built-in stabilization system.

Naishuller initially raised funds on Indiegogo, selling the film as the "first-ever action POV feature film." He raised $250,000 in December of 2014. After it made a splash at the the Toronto International Film Festival in 2015, STX Entertainment picked up Hardcore Henry for $10 million.

Hardcore Henry screens at SXSW this week and opens in theaters on April 8. 


For more, see our complete coverage of the 2016 SXSW Film Festival. Listen to our podcasts from SXSW (or subscribe in iTunes):

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Your Comment

8 Comments

Is this "cinema"? I have huge doubts.

March 8, 2016 at 1:26PM

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David R. Falzarano
Director / Writer / Editor
1282

Get used to it, next time it will be (360) Oculus VR movie.

March 8, 2016 at 2:32PM

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Terma Louis
Photographer / Cinematographer / Editor
879

I don't know about this sound thing they're doing with movies now, either. Really distracts from the whole thing.

(No, I don't think POV is the next big thing, but I don't think the perspective makes it any less cinematic)

March 8, 2016 at 3:43PM

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Chuck McDowell
1st AC
508

And why not?

March 8, 2016 at 8:34PM

5
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Matias Rispau
Director
76

Yeah it's cinema. Different, yes. And it looks kickass!

March 9, 2016 at 4:52AM

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This looks AWESOME!!!!!! Did they really shoot the whole thing with only GoPros?

March 8, 2016 at 3:49PM, Edited March 8, 3:49PM

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Kaster Troy
Director, DP, Editor
739

Looks like we'll be seeing a Mirrors Edge movie soon ;)

March 8, 2016 at 3:53PM, Edited March 8, 3:53PM

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Kaster Troy
Director, DP, Editor
739

This has been one of my favorites this year! Love the DIY approach and POV aesthetic. Showing how far you can go without the top equipment or outrageous budget.

June 3, 2016 at 7:51AM

2
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Daniel Duerto
Everything is me
175