We're approaching a new norm in how everyday life is shared, our collective awareness in the physical is merging with digital.

The tools to create virtual and augmented realities are now in the hands of everyday makers. How will immersive stories change our connection to others and sense of place? The following are experimental projects, testing ideas for new ways to tell non-fiction stories.

Nine Sixty is the pixel width of each quadrant in this 360° video concept. I intentionally captured the locations with this composite in mind, however it’s important to note that I did not have a Galaxy S7 phone for a live preview. There was some guesswork in terms of how each frame would line up. Edited in Adobe Premiere Pro, I used the Mettle SkyBox plugin to align the buildings in each frame.

Brooklyn duo Beacon perform their song ‘Preserve’ from their Ghostly International album ‘Escapements’. Director: Will Joines, Camera: Jason Whalen

D A N C E is a proof of concept that explores the four quadrants of a 360° video experience.

With Laura Manning and Chance Bushman, D A N C E takes place in the Mandeville Wharf at Crescent Park, New Orleans. With 360° video, the audience has the ability to “direct” their view towards whatever interests them. So with that in mind I wanted to create an experience where the viewer is surrounded by movement. Placed in the middle of a dance performance, they can observe or become a participant in a way by dancing to the music.

During the lighting test for the Crow & Creature rehearsal, I shot a couple videos with my iPhone 5S to later recreate the intended 360° environment in Adobe Premiere if the Gear 360 failed (which it did). The color grade for this test was done in two passes. The first was an attempt to hide the opacity masks by adding contrast and pushing the shadows. I then re-imported that flat file for another pass at the color grade, adding a more even tone / fade to the darkness.

This Place is an experimental 360° documentary short that captures a day-in-the-life of Edward Haik, the lone distiller of Cajun Spirits in New Orleans.

In 2010 two brothers, Gus and Edward Haik, opened Cajun Spirits Distillery in New Orleans. Gus handles the business side and Edward is in charge of production. Before this Ed was a teacher with no prior experience distilling. He has learned the process by doing. Save for the occasional visitor, Ed spends his days working alone inside a giant warehouse in a sparsely populated, industrial part of town. I have often wondered about the solitary nature of Edward’s work, and wanted to explore his process from that perspective. I have been exploring the limitations and possibilities that VR technology presents for documentary, and felt it would be the perfect medium through which to tell Ed’s story.

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