Creative Brief

August 27, 2017

CREATIVE BRIEF: Virtual Reality

VR Stock Photos

Virtual reality (VR) is a technology that’s gaining traction and increased relevancy in the media and consumer market. As these trends ramp up and become more visible in the media, there is a great opportunity to fill a growing niche with endless creative potential. Rather than focusing on the VR  product itself and running the risk of ending up with a set or clips that have a “stock” quality to them, conceptualizing a shoot with the user experience or narrative at the forefront creates a much more captivating project.

Below are some tips for integrating Virtual Reality (VR) into your work in an engaging and effective way.

Try It On For Size

Before taking on a shoot like this, give yourself and your actors a chance to experience a VR device first hand — or even consider shooting while someone is actually in a VR experience. This way you’ll have a better idea of what the user genuinely looks like while engaging in VR, rather than relying on inference or direction from other shoots. Always think of it from the user’s perspective and translate that into your photos and videos.

Keep it real

Create a narrative or script and document that story as it unfolds. This will help your models and actors to portray genuine emotion as they navigate their VR experience. Often times, with a simulated VR shoot, the “sense of awe and wonder” can be embarrassingly overdone so be sure to play with subtleties.

When shooting POV video for this purpose, consider head movements similar to how people “explore” their surroundings while in VR — but be sure to shoot them a bit smoother than real life to eliminate shake and motion sickness.

Beware of risky product shots, trademarked design and distinctive elements.

Get on the health and wellness bandwagon

From treating soldiers for PTSD to robotic surgeries to weight loss, VR has already changed the landscape of the Healthcare industry. As of now, there is little content available in this niche which means that there is great opportunity to try out some original ideas.

VR is also being used as an effective workout system. With fitness culture on the rise in a continuously face paced culture, VR fitness offers the opportunity to save time and stay fit while having some fun — meaning it’s likely to become common practice, replacing gym memberships and pricey personal trainers. To shoot a VR workout, aim for realistic applications with distinct context. For example, biking, running/jogging, boxing and yoga are easily applied in VR, but some activities, like heavy weight lifting, would be unrealistic (and dangerous) if you consider a person’s limited view of the real world.

Think of the children

Getting kids to pay attention in school can be the most trying exercise an adult can endure. Many schools worldwide have begun adopting VR as a method to combat classroom boredom, creating a much more immersive, interactive experience. These technologies can send students on virtual field trips that are safe, supervised and require no parental permission slips so we’re likely to see VR implemented into regular school curriculums in the near future.

Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality (AR) is another emerging technology to keep an eye out for, especially this fall with the launch of the new iPhone. Most AR content on the web is focused almost entirely on the device being used, so it’s another opportunity to dive into the depths of your creative brain. It’s yours to design and there are endless opportunities so long as you’re ready to get into some innovative post production. Choose something that you would want to see in an AR experience and model your shoot after that. This will create a more involved and exciting narrative. If you’re excited by running with dinosaurs or designing a new metropolis, your audience will be too.

Capturing these new technologies with engaging narratives and realism while avoiding branding or overemphasizing product placement isn’t an easy task. The key points to take from this brief are to focus on the story and experience above the product and the model, to show the tech being used in a real way, and to consider that most of these topics have not yet been widely covered, so the opportunities are yours for the taking.