We’re all aware of how rapidly virtual reality is gaining ground, but just how difficult is the VR production process?
No Borders: trailer
Italian production company Radical Plans set out to test the waters with the creation of No Borders, a 360° VR documentary about the plight of refugees arriving in Italy.
We followed their journey to witness the challenges, obstacles and triumphs they encountered along their journey. Our candid five-part ‘making of’ series shows you the true picture of what it takes, warts and all.
The episodes are full of insightful comments from celebrity VR experts at MPC, Happy Finish, Visualise and Framestore that will help you learn from their experiences to avoid pitfalls and streamline your production.
Episode 1: motivations and preparations
In the first episode of Filming with No Borders: 360° VR truth, documentary filmmaker Haider Rashid of Radical Plans and Daniele Bernabei, VFX researcher and filmmaker at The Foundry, talk about what motivated them to create No Borders, a VR film about the plight of refugees arriving in Italy. They discuss their preparations for their first 360° shoots, and voice their trepidation about everything that can possibly go wrong.
Episode 2: double the trouble?
In episode two of Filming with No Borders: 360° VR truth, Haider and Daniele take a different approach to creating 360° footage for the shoot of an interview inside the Italian parliament building. Using a pair of stereo cameras that they can move around, they shoot the participants separately from the floor and ceiling, planning to stitch everything together in post. But will switching between mono and stereo for the final delivery be successful?
Episode 3: no frames, no borders
Episode three of Filming with No Borders: 360° VR truth sees Haider and Daniele heading to the streets and facing new challenges from constant movement, wind and camera-shy subjects. How do they control the narrative when they can’t control what moves in and out of their view? Then, they take the title of their film literally, breaking into a defunct refugee center to see what it looks like today. Plus, the pressure piles on with some exciting news.
Episode 4: Venice or bust
In episode four of Filming with No Borders: 360° VR truth, Haider and Daniele are thrilled to have been asked to show their work at the prestigious Venice Film Festival. But that presents two problems: first, getting there means shaving three months off their deadline; second, the festival requires a traditional theatrical screening, something the team had made no plans for. Will they be able to pull it off without losing the immediacy of the 360° VR experience?
Episode 5: reactions and reflections
The final episode of Filming with No Borders: 360° VR truth follows Haider and Daniele to the Venice Film Festival, where the fruits of their labors are put to the test. As the first public screenings take place, the pair are gratified to see their work excite, engage and—ultimately—move viewers to tears. It’s been challenging, but was it all worth it? With major interest from press, potential new clients and even the award committee, the answer is an emphatic “yes”.