Here Be Dragons Knows What Makes Great VR
This week, Here Be Dragons Executive Creative Director Edu Pou and Technical Creative Director Justin Denton were at our offices to discuss virtual reality and how to approach it from a creative and storytelling perspective. Here Be Dragons is a collective of artists, technicians, thinkers and innovators striving to create the world’s best immersive stories.
The experts walked us through their five-step approach to creating great VR:
- We are not alone: To make a good VR experience, quality is important. Use resources outside of advertising and traditional filmmaking to think outside the box and research the latest in technology.
- Immersion isn’t a given: Open your mind to other mediums outside of traditional filmmaking, such as the world of gaming and immersive theatre, to create stories. Good VR is about quality. Great VR is about creating expectations and pushing them.
- Storytelling isn’t a hollow word: When creating “Branded Content,” you aren’t just competing brand-to-brand – you are competing with the best entertainment content amongst every brand out there.
- Build on empathy: Stories connect us to other people. VR is an amazing tool for this, as it has the ability to put you physically and emotionally in someone else’s shoes. However, the challenge here is to keep it authentic.
- Keep your ethics in check: VR is a tool that can make our viewers live stories that feel like reality. We need to be careful to keep and maintain our viewers’ trust.
During his lunchtime talk, Edu expanded further on the two types of experiences we tend to see in the VR space now: branded content and empathy-focused content. Check out examples of each here:
Empathy-Focused Content: The Last Goodbye: http://dragons.org/creators/recent-work/work/the-last-goodbye/
Currently, most VR deals with two of the five human senses: sight and hearing. However, in some VR experiences – in booths, where the environment is controlled – it is being taken to a 4D experience with the added senses of smell and even touch using a haptic vest that creates physical sensations. Here Be Dragons recently used this technology for an instillation called “Tree” where users actually become a tree in the rainforest and can feel themselves growing.
During the QA session, Here Be Dragons was asked if they have seen any examples of groundbreaking ways that clients are getting their VR experiences in front of consumers. Their answer: “Not yet.” However, they offered the example of movie theaters offering separate VR spaces for moviegoers to visit before or after a film. They are seeing lots of success here with such a captive audience.
Overall, it was a great presentation for the agency with useful takeaways: to best tell a story, look outside the box on how best to captivate your audience; don’t compare yourself to brands just within your category; look to the best uses of the technology; and decide if your story is there to put yourself in some else’s shoes or if you want to take someone to a world unknown.