AMMPE: 360 Video is Still an Unknown for Most Media Orgs

AMMPE: 360 Video is Still an Unknown for Most Media Orgs

They say a sign of being an expert is a lack of awareness of the beginner’s perspective. Although I don’t yet consider myself an expert on 360 video and virtual reality content creation (and I doubt I ever will), I have to continuously put myself in the shoes of the beginner.

I must remember that VR is still an unknown for most media organizations.

The Worldwide Association of Women Journalists and Writers was formed in 1969 as the Asociacion Mundial de Mujeres Periodistas y Escritoras (which is why its acronym is AMMPE, not WAWJW).

And it is also one of the most geographically diverse associations I’ve been involved with.

Women journalists from all over the world, from Chile to China, met in London to discuss women’s role in the media, journalistic ethics, digital innovation and more.

I was invited to demo some of the best 360 video journalism I’ve seen, from The Guardian, Al Jazeera, National Geographic and others.

 The 2018 AMMPE Congress was held in London November 6-9.

The 2018 AMMPE Congress was held in London November 6-9.

 An AMMPE attendee dons a VR headset (the Google Daydream, of course, since the event was at Google’s UK HQ) to watch Al Jazeera/Contrast VR’s piece, Yemen’s Skies of Terror. The piece was shot by local journalists and edited by Contrast’s experienced team of VR journalists.

An AMMPE attendee dons a VR headset (the Google Daydream, of course, since the event was at Google’s UK HQ) to watch Al Jazeera/Contrast VR’s piece, Yemen’s Skies of Terror. The piece was shot by local journalists and edited by Contrast’s experienced team of VR journalists.

 Showing my favorite 360 camera for journalism, the light, rugged, reliable and high-quality GoPro Fusion. It is the affordable 360 camera under $1000.  Photo courtesy of Laura Garcia,    www.lauragrb.com

Showing my favorite 360 camera for journalism, the light, rugged, reliable and high-quality GoPro Fusion. It is the affordable 360 camera under $1000. Photo courtesy of Laura Garcia, www.lauragrb.com

The experience was a reminder that I live in a bit of a bubble, surrounded by people who often know more than I do about making immersive media. When I emerge from that bubble, though, I am the expert.

And I have to change the way I talk about these things in an attempt to make them less intimidating to others.

 Showing off Samsung Gear 360—the cheapest 360 camera used by news agencies around the world (including the New York Times)—to  Leonor Suárez , news editor at RTPA (at left).  Photo courtesy of Laura Garcia,    www.lauragrb.com

Showing off Samsung Gear 360—the cheapest 360 camera used by news agencies around the world (including the New York Times)—to Leonor Suárez, news editor at RTPA (at left). Photo courtesy of Laura Garcia, www.lauragrb.com

That’s why I’m putting together a massive document (seriously, it’s now 30 pages long) outlining every single step that goes into producing a 360 video. I’ve already committed the process to memory, but I realize I need to write it down before it becomes automatic.

360 video has so much to offer journalists all over the world. It’s transparent. It’s immersive. And it isn’t nearly as hard as people think it is. And I, for one, am ready to see more content produced by local journalists rather than by teams parachuting in with a camera and preconceived ideas about a place.

We are building this medium from the ground up. Let’s not leave anyone—of any race, gender or geographic region—behind.

Gear Review: Vuze+ 3D 360 Camera

Gear Review: Vuze+ 3D 360 Camera

Returning from a vacation is never easy, but watching the 3D 360 videos I shot while on vacation in  a VR headset makes it a bit easier to handle.

For the past month or so, I’ve been playing around with the Vuze+ camera, initially launched in January 2018. It’s essentially an upgraded version of the original Vuze 3D 360 camera that was launched in 2016.

I reviewed the new camera for Immersive Shooter and offered some tips I learned along the way.

Journalism.co.uk & I Talk 360 Video and Overcapture

Journalism.co.uk & I Talk 360 Video and Overcapture

I’ve been spending a lot of time and energy spreading the word about overcapture.

It has so much potential!

It can make vloggers look like they have a whole team of camera operators. It can help journalists capture b-roll while they live tweet, conduct interviews, etc.

That’s why journalism.co.uk and I had a chat about the process and how it could be applied to journalism. Here’s the article and here’s the podcast.

Overcapture: The Reason Traditional Filmmakers Should Buy a 360 Camera

Overcapture: The Reason Traditional Filmmakers Should Buy a 360 Camera

Earlier this summer, I spoke at Mojofest in Ireland about the future of 360, virtual reality and augmented reality. With my background, I naturally gravitated toward 360 video.

My prediction? That overcapture would lead to a second surge in popularity of 360 cameras.

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Overcapture, also known as free capture, is the process of shooting an entire scene with a 360-degree camera and then cropping the video for use in a traditional fixed-frame video.

It was so well-received that I decided to create a how-to guide with the tips I learned shooting overcapture for the first time and evangelize this new possibility for 360 cameras.

Are Film Festivals Hurting 360 Video Creativity?

Are Film Festivals Hurting 360 Video Creativity?

Today, most film festivals approach all forms of immersive media as one category, outside of traditional fixed-frame films. For example, Tribeca displays immersive experiences in its Virtual Arcade and Storyscapes section. Cannes includes them in its NEXT initiative. The list goes on.

That means experiences from flat 360 video to stereoscopic 360 video to volumetric video to augmented reality experiences are competing for the same slots in a segment of the festival devoted to innovation. As such, it makes sense that selection committees would want to display the latest advancements in technology.

But, that might be killing the chance for narrative 360 video to establish itself, and allow full creative exploration of the format.

Check out my full article in Redshark News.