This year in Video Storytelling, we experimented with 360° immersive, virtual reality video. VR is a form of video journalism created with special software and an omnidirectional, all-seeing camera rig, which records footage in 360°. When watched through special VR goggles or Google cardboard, the resulting video places a user within the recorded 360° scenes, allowing the user to control their viewing experience by turning their heads to observe the scene from all directions, just as they would in real life.  

Our first narrative VR story centers on a special upper west side dinner organized by Broadway Community and Broadway Presbyterian Church. The free dinner serves privileged and unprivileged residents bringing together people from across Manhattan’s economic divide. Our VR video gives viewers the opportunity to attend these enlightening dinners and to experience an immersive look into the lives of the dinner’s diverse guests.

Watch an excerpt here on your desktop:

An earlier foray into covering news events with 360 immersive video was an anti-Donald Trump rally. We learned a lot – no moving helmet cams for one – and applied it to our church story. Watch on your desktop here:

Want to know more about virtual reality? Check out the links below: