Using VR in Journalism

It turns out storytelling in VR journalism looks a lot different than expected. Immersive experiences are more substantial in the medium than the more common documentary style of interviews. Also, filming needs to happen from the center of the action! Get the full story in this article - it's an exciting time for developments in 360-degree filmmaking. Check out our 360Heros GoPro camera mounts on Videoguys here.

VR for News Reporting: 'Frontline' Transports Audiences to a Crisis in Sudan

from by Jon Silberg "This was the first time using VR for a documentary for all of us. The learning curve was very steep," says writer/director Marcelle Hopkins. For more than three decades the PBS series Frontline has taken viewers to unusual, exotic and often dangerous places. Recently the series experimented with the documentary form itself for “On the Brink of Famine,” a virtual reality (VR) program that was released as part of a series of 360° Facebook videos. Filmed on the ground in war-torn South Sudan, the series transports viewers inside a hunger crisis devastating the region. “Famine” is supported by Frontline and by a grant from the David and Helen Gurley Brown Institute for Media Innovation, which is a collaboration of Columbia and Stanford Universities. Frontline executives have been interested in the possibilities of VR in journalism and documentary filmmaking for some time. “I’ve seen with my own children that they have different expectations from their media than I did at that age,” observes Raney Aronson-Rath, the Boston-based executive producer of Frontline. “They expect absolute immersion in an environment, as opposed to sitting back and watching it. They were frustrated watching TV that they couldn’t touch the screen. This made me pay serious attention to investigating what the next generation of documentary might be like.” The filmmaking team’s Freedom360 camera rig held six GoPro HERO3 cameras in a tight cubic geometry to film material for fully spherical 360 x 180 video...[continue reading]

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