Yesterday at the NYC Immersive Journalism / Non Fiction Meetup….

…we talked about the possibilities of interactive 360-degree videos with Arnaud Dressen from Wonda VR. Arnaud pointed out the difference between thinking of a simple interactive video (with a couple interactions between videos) to a whole interactive experience -where the interactivity is actually part of the script.
Katherin Machalek presented “Resistance Cinema” the first 360-degree-video by the New Media Advocacy Project (project I had the pleasure of video-editing). We discussed who has the power of telling stories in VR, and how 360-degree video can be used to empower ourselves and others.
Last, we looked at some AR projects. Since we wanna keep talking about AR, I leave you here with a great AR project from Eva Dominguez. Nushu AR is an AR newspaper for kids. It’s distributed on the weekends by a Catalan newspaper, but you can also download the PDF’s from the website and use it! It’s available in English / Catalan / Spanish highly recommended!

Great work Eva!!

How 360-degree video adds value to Journalism

360-degree video for climate disasters
In September I went to cover the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in Texas. I spent 10 days working hand by hand with other AP journalists, photographers and videographers as the only 360-producer. Over my shoulders I had the responsibility to produce  an average of one or two 360-video story par day.  I worked using a Samsung (2016) 360-camera, a monopod, a lab mic and Mac Book Pro. I mostly shot during the day and edit at dusk.

Adding journalistic value with 360-degree video

During natural or climate disasters a 360-degree camera becomes a great tool to portray the magnitude of these catastrophes, the camera allows us to see without framing, as “we were there”.  And this is a unique and key advantage of this technology.

As we all know, journalism is not only about seeing, but also about understanding what we see. In this case, beyond the disaster we also needed to bring new details, evidences, facts and stories to the table. Journalism is key in democratic societies, which are based in the right to have (reliable) information.

For me, one of the most relevant pieces we did during Harvey’s aftermath was the one about toxic Superfund sites. This piece came together because Jason Dearen and Michael Bieseckher had done previously a FOIA request and had prepared a map of all the Superfund sites in Texas. With the 360-degree camera we were able to probe, even before the EPA visited these sites, that one of this locations was completely under water.

This collaboration between investigative journalists and  a 360-producer shows for me the potential of 360-degree video for journalism or advocacy projects. Collaboration is the key to bring these kind of stories and evidences to the table, when people from different backgrounds collaborate we can truly add value to our journalism:

Other links worth checking:
Lauren Easton from AP wrote this  piece about AP 360-degree coverage.

And here a playlist with all the videos we produced during Harvey and Irma (Scott Mayerowitz, Trenton Daniel and me).

House to House: The Battle for Mosul

This is one of the longest 360-degree video AP has released. Maya Alleurezzo spent 3 weeks in the frontline, in Mosul, following the Iraqi Forces. She shot using a Nikon Key Mission camera, and she sent back 86 clips of video. Then, it took us 3 weeks to built an intertwined narrative of civilian/military + context piece. Feedback very welcome and special thanks to Nathan Griffiths who made this possible!

Latest projects

Here a summary of my latest projects with VR and 360-degree video!

360-degree video editor for Associated Press:

360-degree video camera for The New York Times:

VR Producer for TrackRecord (Univision).
In this video we were pioneers in uploading spatial audio to Youtube, please listen with headphones:

VR Producer for Fusion

This is the latest project I’ve produced (better check from Littlstar phone APP or from a desktop click on the settings icon and “mouse grab”)

360-degree memory of underground New York

A quick post to share our first project with TrackRecord, the new music vertical of Univision. In their first virtual reality feature, we take a tour of the iconic East Village record store Other Music, which closed its doors last week.

This project was useful — not only to keep the memory of this emblematic place alive #OtherMusicForEver. But also to show to the whole team at TrackRecrod the workflow to film and produce with this technology!

More to come@

German Public Radio interview about VR and Journalism

Last week I had the pleasure to be interviewed by Thomas Reintjes  for BreitBand, a German Public Radio program that focuses on media innovation.

Here the audio.

 

 

The video I’m showing at the beginning is this one, the first 360-degree video we did with the Investigative Team at Fusion Network.