Five Essential Things To Consider When Shooting a VR Video

By | 2017-06-27T08:34:23+00:00 March 2, 2017|Best Practices, Innovation, Technology, Video, Viewpoints|

By now, you’ve probably heard the term virtual reality, or VR, a thousand times. Maybe you’ve been at a convention and have seen VR MOA videos, or perhaps you’re a gamer and have a VR console. VR’s greatest strength is its capability for multilayered, interactive storytelling, which is something that can benefit any brand. At JUICE, we have executed several VR videos, including http://www.juicepharmavr.com, our 2017 New Year’s “Resolutions” video.

When shooing VR video, there are key considerations that are unique to the medium. The following are five things to keep in mind when shooting—or thinking about shooting—VR video:

  1. Think stage, not screen
    For starters, shooting VR video is a lot more like directing a play than it is a traditional video. Each scene needs to be shot in one take, which means a lot of choreography and little room for error. Storyboards need to account for every little detail and movement—including the movement of the VR camera itself.
  2. Quick, hide the camera
    The camera (or cameras, as multiple cameras are needed to create the 360° view that VR offers) needs to be accounted for at every point when filming. For example, when we shot our “Resolutions” video, we accounted for the footprint of the tripod and made sure it was as small as possible but, as the shoot went on, we realized that we would have to account for the camera operator’s shadow because some footage was shot outside on a sunny day. When the camera’s presence or shadow becomes an issue and you can’t completely get rid of it, you’ll need to get creative. In the case of the “Resolutions” video, we created a logo on the ground to hide the camera’s presence within the footage itself.
  3. Cues are crucial
    VR provides a 360° viewing area which means, unlike traditional video, you’ve got a lot of space to play with. To encourage viewers to follow the action that’s happening around them, visual cuing is important. You can use motion (like a bird flying by), light, sound, or even a host to help guide viewers through the action. Without the proper cues, the story can feel confusing and ultimately your viewers may walk away early.
  4. Beware the seams
    Current VR technology requires the use of multiple cameras to capture action in all directions. Using multiple cameras means that footage will inevitably overlap, creating what is called a seam. When shooting, make sure that action integral to your story takes place in an area that won’t be affected by the seam. Footage can be distorted or misaligned when it appears in this area.
  5. Optimize the viewing experience
    VR video can be viewed multiple ways—VR viewers, smart phones, tablets, laptops, or desktops. The best way for viewers to experience the breadth of VR is to use a VR viewer. However, you want to be sure the viewing experience is optimized across platforms since they are so different. Make sure to provide the viewer with specific instructions for each platform to ensure that your video leaves a lasting (good) impression.

While VR video requires more planning, time, equipment, and technological expertise, it also offers an innovative, immersive storytelling experience that traditional video can’t match.

You can view our VR video at http://www.juicepharmavr.com to get a taste of what VR storytelling could mean for your brand.

About the Author:

Joan Wildermuth
Executive Director, Chief Creative Officer

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