Google Spotlight Stories is storytelling for VR. There are artists and technologist that create mobile 360 and mobile VR stories for individuals to enjoy the experience and be apart of a story with the idea that they aren’t going to miss anything. The specific google spotlight story that I am reviewing is Pearl, a story that follows a young girl and her father as they travel across the world. The girl starting off very young and growing older showing the evident love that she has for her dream catching father. The video containing 2.4 million views and 34 thousand likes as well as being the 2017 Emmy-award winner for outstanding innovation in interactive storytelling. The video had a beautiful storyline of acknowledging “the gifts we hand down, their power to carry love and finding grace in the unlikeliest of places”. This story was intended for any audience interested in 360 VR storytelling. Virtual Reality is very underrated, so it is very impressive how many people were interested in watching this story.
The story begins with a female character that looks to be in her teen years or early twenties. She enters a abandoned car and plays a tape recorder then the scene changes to a young girl and her father inside the same abandoned car but years before when the car is in better shape and the characters are a lot younger. I believe this is good for VR because it is a very interesting story and it allows you not only to see and listen to it but also be apart of the experience, so it makes it easier to be interested. The story also contained a lot of emotion because it expressed love and affection through the bond of family from the perspective of the father and daughter and their journey across the world. Watching this 360 video it is hard not to have a ton of feelings and emotions about what will happen at the end and I believe it makes it even more entertaining before the story doesn’t end how you think it does but the car has a lot of meaning for the young women and the relationship she had with her father.
Being apart of the story is a better than just sitting and watching it. This video allowed you to sit inside the car while both the father and daughter travel as well as when the daughter grew older and traveled on her own. We sat passenger the entire time. I hardly found any weaknesses in this story and the making of this story. The creators made a great story and created a great visual. I don’t believe they had to do much because what they had was enough explanation for what we were watching. Google spotlight stories is a very interesting company that creates very interesting VR stories and I believed they did a great job creating Pearl.
The 360 video that I am reviewing is a behind the scenes from the movie The Greatest Showman that came out in 2017 starring Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams, Zac Efron and Zendaya. The 360 video begins with the two songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul and the director Michael Gracey discussing how they came up with the opening number and the idea of the suspense they added into it. This is a family movie with its fair share of romance and drama throughout the movie. As well as winning kids choice and teen choice awards. I believe this 360 video was successful because being someone that watched the movie it is interesting to see how it all came together, in addition to seeing and hearing how these men put this film together. It also felt like we were there when the movie was being put together and it made it even more interesting making you want to watch the movie even if you haven’t seen it.
I believe they used telepresence because when I began watching the 360 video I felt that I was actually there while they set up for the movie as if I were apart of the process of helping direct the movie. They allowed you to understand the concept of the movie and the work they put to make it. They added the points of view of the main actors that allowed the 360 video to be even more interesting because we get to hear how they enjoyed themselves and the craft of the movie. Also, they used excitement and joy when explaining how they felt. I believe that they did a good job with characters and location because that’s what the movie is about. The circus. Hugh Jackman’s character wanted to create a circus of unnatural people, almost like a freak show, something different from what people are used to. They 360 video was set in the making of this circus and a place they would make look to be a circus. The characters they chose had strong stage presence and brought a different kind of feel to the film with their different personalities. After watching the movie and now this 360 video I believe I have a better understanding of what this movie started off as and then finished as.
I personally think this was good for VR because we don’t get a lot of behind the scenes for good movies and when we do it’s normally 2 dimensional and with this being 3 dimensional I actually felt like I got the chance to be apart of the making of a great movie. They could have done a better job on camera placement because one minute we would be watching the show go on and then we’re looking a the wall or the director and we had to turn to find everything. I don’t think the story had many weaknesses. They did a great job at allowing the director to discuss the film and then the main characters and allowing us inside the movie. They could have done better with where they placed the text and the camera but I truly think this was a interesting VR video.