Join Paul Taggart for an in-depth discussion in this video Scouting the location for the VR story, part of VR Video and Photography: Storytelling.
(dogs barking) - [Narrator] I've been wanting to do a story on dog sled racing for years. When I decided to do something with virtual reality, it set an idea off in my head that, you know, maybe this is the time that I try to do a virtual reality story and I do it on a dog sled race. So I did a little bit of research online. I knew I was going to be in Alaska, so the first thing I thought of was the Iditarod but that also comes with a lot of complications, logistically. It's also a much longer race. In doing research I found another group up here in Fairbanks that has the North American Open Championship, and it takes place at at place called Mushers Hall.
And it turns out that this organization is one of the oldest dog sledding organizations in the country, and I believe it's actually the longest running championship dog sledding race in North America. So I really stumbled on something awesome here. It was simple enough just to go on their website, find a couple contacts, and come up here to Fairbanks to do this project. Before I started shooting though, I wanted to go out to the location, which was Mushers Hall, with my little Theta camera and do a location scout. I just want to really put my eyes on the space.
I've never photographed or videotaped any dog sled racing, I had no idea what the track or the location would look like. And then most importantly, I've never shot except for test shoots anything with virtual reality. So this is a new world for me. And I'm a little bit nervous about how to compose in 360 degrees spherical image, 'cause everything is in your shot. So I wanted to go out to the location with my Theta, and do a little location scouting. Which is exactly what I did. It was nice, because I could actually look at my phone while I was scouting with that connected to the Theta camera, so I could check my compositions right there in the field.
One thing that I noticed that I liked is they had a nice red sign that on one side was the start line and on the other side was the finish line. And I've noticed with this panoramic view that it's nice to have something kind of close to the frame that takes up a lot of space. And then action happening on the sides. One thing also I have to keep in mind is in post production I can rearrange what the center point of my image is. 'Cause essentially you can imagine yourself standing inside your image. I can start my viewer out, when they're viewing this project, wherever I want.
And for this, I'm thinking that sign with the start and finish line is a great place to start. So I'm excited about what I've seen so far. The weather's got me a little bit nervous, but I've also found out that there's going to be sort of a test run with actual dog sledders tomorrow. So I want to bring out my GoPro rig, the one with the six GoPros on it and come out here and do a real test with the real rig.
You can watch the 360-degree VR movie that Paul created for this course on YouTube.
- Scouting locations
- Utilizing the VR rig
- Adding details and characters to a story
- Building a story arc
- Reviewing rendered VR files
- Stitching a VR movie in software
- Shooting VR of a big event
- Documenting the conclusion of a story