#VRsuchskaninchen: Wonderland worries

As far as my VR exploration at Vragments went, „Alice in Wonderland“ absolutely became my go-to literary reference for the last weeks’ experience. At first it was just GIF-inspired fun, when I compared my first VR production with the first chapter of Lewis Caroll’s iconic story.


The pool of tears

But I probably shouldn’t have toyed with this comparison, because soon enough my whole #VRsuchskaninchen experiment could have been titled „Pool of Tears“, just like the second chapter of said book. Not that there weren’t any actual tears, but quickly after I produced „Bornholmer Straße“, I became quite frustrated with 360° video production.

The more I immersed into this new wonderland by reading, watching and learning about 360° and VR production, the more difficult it felt to come up with my own ideas, especially some “easy to do” ones.

How interesting could it be for a user to watch this, I asked myself with every story I came up with, if there was so much better filmed stuff out there, enriched with 3D models, gaze-based interaction, sphere-mapped audio and more?

When I had produced Bornholmer Straße, I already had added a lot of these cool features, but stayed true to the task by only working on 360° storytelling.

Yet, I realized, that while it is all exciting and fun to experiment with this new medium, it doesn’t always make sense to use it, when trying to convey something to your audience.

A wiser rabbit

Feeling as lost as Alice, I looked for some guidance and found it in Maren Demant. Thankfully, she is neither a cryptic Cheshire Cat, nor a hectic White Rabbit, but a young and talented VR Experience Designer. Maren is currently working on some very exciting projects I can’t spill any beans about, but I was able to sit her down -at least for some parts – for an interview experiment.

Exploring VR formats for journalism, it was obvious that I had to try at least one interview. Though it is again a linear video production, meaning no interactivity and nor even title cards due to me lacking proper spheric editing and post-production software. But it is still an exploration of how spheric filming can change current assumptions of an interview set-up and even though the sound is not the best horrible (sorry!), try have a listen, because Maren has quite some smart things to say about VR and 360° video.

Image: purplemagechan

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