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The big show

Second pilot shooting in Madrid

The new episode around the murder of Mrs. Armova’s has become the most incredible VR experience involving several users.

The content development for this second pilot takes into account the introduction of pictures in real time, live content and the participation of several users.

The process of content creation is one of the most wonderful tasks within the audiovisual field. This task is even better when we can enjoy new technologies to produce our work.

In this post we share all the details of the shooting, hoping that this will leave all the audience wanting to experience our VR multi-user experience and to discover the killer of Elena Armova!

This is how the content of our second episode was created

A year ago, we published on this website the shooting process of the first pilot of the VR-Together project. Beyond all the technological implications and capabilities, we do also want to transmit and to present to the audience a dramatic and award-worthy story to complement the scientific development done in the previous months and also shared within this website. In the last months, we have been sharing a variety of news regarding all of the achievements regarding the project, such as the positive feedback received at the IBC 2018, the winning demo presented at the MMM2019, and the (also) award received at NEM2019, just to name a few events. During the second year of the project we aim for keep achieving these victories, that’s the reason why we are constantly preparing and developing an interactive story, in which users can enjoy a new and avant-garde experience.

At the end of the first pilot, users needed to share knowledge and opinions about the mystery around Mrs. Armova’s death: who was the murdered? Did Zellar have something to do with her death? Was Christine Gerard trying to defend Mrs. Armova for something she did in the past?

Ignacio Lacosta (Entropy Studio) rehearsing with the actors

The second experience regarding this story takes place days after the murder, and the police department is still investigating the crime. The experience shared between users will be the same for everybody, and all them will be part of the audience of a popular news TV show. In this TV show, the host will introduce the story of the murder to the public. He will also connect to the crime scene, where a reporter is covering the case. The reporter will try to get all the recent news about the case by talking to a police officer. The whole idea about solving the case is the use of a new software invention regarding artificial intelligence. This technological discover will allow police to represent potential situations, getting all video footage of the people involved in a case, or even be able to talk to the murdered person. Each user is not only receiving information within the TV show, but they can also ask the commanding officer. It seems, as well, that in future episodes they will be able to use, always under police supervision, this new technology!

The second pilot has been a new challenge in production, in terms of preparing filming and during the development of the content, the script, etc. We faced a complex structure, having to shoot with a 180 stereoscopic camera and wanting to avoid using multiple cameras.

We had to shoot a first part on set with chroma to be able to introduce the CGI scenario in post production. This part corresponds to the TV show which the users are, directed by a charismatic, smart and great showman. Through this character, the presenter (which was filmed and also recorded live) the narration of the second pilot and the interaction of the different users are articulated. A second part of the shooting includes the content that is happening outside Ms Armova’s apartment. This content enters our narration, as if it were a live story. Large screens on the TV show collect these images that nourish the story that users are living as new information.

The development of the script is a great job done by Kathryn Gould, who worked for weeks with Ignacio Lacosta and Ana Revilla, until a dynamic and intense story was achieved, reaching all the purposes that the content should have to successfully demonstrate the technological advances of this second project year.

Silence... rolling… and... action!

Two days were scheduled to shoot this part of the story: May 25th and June 23rd. On the first day, the shooting was divided into two locations to represent different parts of the plot. The morning was used to shoot the interior footage (every scene regarding the TV show from the inside). To represent the live coverage, it was decided to shoot from 7PM, since the position of the Sun was ideal to recreate a British exterior. The second day was reserved to recreate the exterior shooting, since a change on the actor crew was mandatory because of schedule issues.

Ignacio Lacosta (Entropy Studio) rehearsing with the actors

Once the shooting was done, the post-production team started with the recreation process of the scene. The structure wanted for the TV set is oval-ish, where the TV host is located at the center of the stage. The audience is located around the host, recreating similar scenarios as the ones we normally see at TV nowadays (i.e., Who’s Still Standing? in the US, ¡Ahora Caigo! in Spain, Caduta libera in Italy, etc.). The following picture represent a first version of the scenario. The host (on the left, with the green background chroma) and a technology expert (on the right, with the yellow background chroma). Both of the actors talk directly to the audience who is standing in front of them.

First representation of the TV set

We expect to finish soon the post-production process and to share with all of you the latests news about this second pilot!  Remember that if you want to keep up with updates about the project on social media, you can follow the hashtag #VRTogether_EU on every social website and the @VRTogether_EU official Twitter profile.

Text: Guillermo Calahorra, Ana Revilla — Entropy Studio

Come and follow us in this VR journey with i2CATCWITNOCERTHArtanimViaccess-OrcaEntropy Studio and Motion Spell.

This project has been funded by the European Commission as part of the H2020 program, under the grant agreement 762111.