Our collective awareness in the physical is merging with digital. We are approaching a new norm in how we share with others through social feeds, publishing and receiving thoughts, photos and videos of everyday life. To-date this exchange has been a relatively flat experience in the browser space. Virtual reality, augmented reality, 360° photo and video is now in the hands of everyday makers. How will this experience change our experience and connection to others?

The following are early experiments with 360° video technology shot exclusively with the Samsung Gear 360. This camera is designed to transfer and stitch footage seamlessly making for an ideal tool to prototype 360° concepts.

Nine Sixty is the pixel width of each quadrant in this 360° vid. I intentionally captured the locations with this composite in mind, however it’s important to note that I did not have a Galaxy S7 phone for a live preview. There was some guesswork in terms of how each frame would line up. Edited in Adobe Premiere Pro, I used the Mettle SkyBox plugin to align the buildings in each frame.

During the lighting test for the Crow & Creature rehearsal, I shot a couple videos with my iPhone 5S to later recreate the intended 360° environment in Adobe Premiere if the Gear 360 failed (which it did). The color grade for this test was done in two passes. The first was an attempt to hide the opacity masks by adding contrast and pushing the shadows. I then re-imported that flat file for another pass at the color grade, adding a more even tone / fade to the darkness.

This Place is an experimental 360° short documentary that captures a day-in-the-life of Edward Haik, the lone distiller of Cajun Spirits in New Orleans.

In 2010 two brothers, Gus and Edward Haik, opened Cajun Spirits Distillery in New Orleans. Gus handles the business side and Edward is in charge of production. Before this Ed was a teacher with no prior experience distilling. He has learned the process by doing. Save for the occasional visitor, Ed spends his days working alone inside a giant warehouse in a sparsely populated, industrial part of town. I have often wondered about the solitary nature of Edward’s work, and wanted to explore his process from that perspective. I have been exploring the limitations and possibilities that VR technology presents for documentary, and felt it would be the perfect medium through which to tell Ed’s story.

D A N C E is a proof of concept that explores the four quadrants of a 360° video experience.