Gimmick? Not anymore. 2017 is the year that 360° video breaks out in the digital media market.
With recent improvements in accessibility, price, and features, 360° video has officially taken a seat at the adult table—key video players like YouTube and Facebook have leaned heavily into this dynamic new medium, making it not only easy for brands to create their own 360° video, but also making it more intuitive for audiences to engage.
Here are a few dos and don’ts for creating your 360° experience...
Do: Try It Out!
The jump from production for traditional video to production of 360° video can be scary, but, depending on your message, 360° video can add new energy to your video approach. The bar of entry is lower than ever—exploring 360° video allows for dreaming big and a new world of possibility.
Do: Get Emotional.
The best 360° experiences play with the user’s feelings. Adventure, fear, and excitement are all great emotions to tap into when creating captivating 360° content.
Do: Research, Research, Research.
There are levels to this. As the market for 360° video grows, so does the number of production options at hand. In addition to camera research, you’ll want to consider monopods and stitching software to see which ones work best for you. You must also consider the context of and platform on which your content is being shown. This should inform your production process.
Don’t: Get Confused.
VR (virtual reality) and 360° video are immersive experiences—but they are not the same thing. In VR, the user has control of the character movements, while in 360° video, the user is guided through the content by the camera. This is an important distinction, as 360° content must be created in a way that feels as though the user was dropped in the middle of the scene and is being led through the narrative in a way that feels natural.
Don't: Go Wild!
In 2015, The New York Times sent out 1.1 million Google Cardboards to their print subscribers, introducing their first VR and 360° experiences. It was a really cool idea—but perhaps a bit overeager. Because the content creators hadn’t quite mastered their technique, users complained of headaches and double vision. This is to say: Take extra care to ensure your execution is smooth and steady from start to finish. Sudden shifts in the scene or shakiness may cause the viewer to suffer from motion sickness.
Don’t: Jump in Without a Plan.
What kind of shot will you need—monoscopic or stereoscopic? Do you know where your stitch lines are? How are you directing without getting caught in the scene? It might be easier than ever to get in on the 360° video action, but that doesn’t mean it can be done on a whim. Plan, storyboard, strategize—your content will only be as strong as you prepare for.