Wilde Eastern- Our VR Film

Pre Production

Here is out update on where we are with this film:

The Premise of the story is the following:

We enter the high contrast black and white world of a film noir where private eye, William Wilde, is  investigating the disappearance of Scarlet Redd. Scarlet is the wife of a furiously jealous yet prominent businessman Beau Redd. Scarlett was last seen at the Montauk Manor, a local hotel with a dark history. She is rumored within the hotel to be having an affair William Wilde, because they have been spending time together. The manor is filled with curious characters with questionable intentions. Determining where your gaze falls in this virtual world determines the ultimate fate of Scarlett. Choose wisely! Everything is not as it seems.

I drew out the scenes and where the camera was to be placed so that we the DP could have an understanding of our vision:

visualSceneLayout-Wilde Eastern

Our lighting team created this document that summarized the lookbook/mood board of the film:

VR FILM NOIR-lighting-forprod

Here is the draft of the script:

Wilde Eastern Shooting Script


We were lucky enough to pull off shooting this film in one day, but originally estimated that it would be a two day shoot.  Our amazing producers were able to get us a Jaunt VR camera (see below) so that we could capture this story in high quality.


It was really a great experience and I learned a lot on set like actor distance from the camera, light techniques, etc.

Here are some more shots on set


Here you can see our two producers, Rebecca Martos, who also played a maid in a scene, and Richard Kim in the foreground.


A celebratory drink after a long day of shooting.

Post Production

With all the high quality footage in the cloud, I have started editing the film.  We are using WondaVR for the point of interaction in the film and will be exporting this piece for the Gear 360 headset. I'm hoping to have the final edit on lock by next week and then we can go ahead and replace the low res footage with the high res footage from the cloud.

Testing New Techniques in VR

For the midterm project, Alexia, Natasha and myself wanted to play with the technique of depth kit.  It was surprisingly difficult to set up and calibrate the camera.  The documentation also isn't the most helpful online, but we were able to get it to work, with some help from other ITP students on the floor.  I really like the application of volumetric capture in a piece.  I feel like it gives another level if familiarity and thus connection to the 'real like' characters in the scene.  I really like that we played with the digital effect of this capture to cause the movement in time and space to seem a little bit more weary.

For the final project, Penelope and myself started thinking about what technologies we can used to make our piece "worthy" of being represented in VR/360.  We don't want to just create a piece that is a film in 360, we want to give the viewer some agency and the film so that they can influence what the end result will be for the viewer.  Penelope and I started exploring the platform WondaVR to take full advantage of the gaze triggered options.  We want the viewer to be brought into other storylines if they gaze in the correct direction.  We have reached out to the creators of WondaVR for more specific technical questions about what the software allows and what the limitations are. A specific question we have is that if you are in scene 1 and when you gaze in a particular direction and then are launched into scene 2, at the end of scene 2 are you able to be launched back into the exact time of scene 1 where you left off.  This point will dictate how we will shoot our film as we want the viewer to have the ability to search around for clues but not miss anything from the main story.

I also started playing around with the Nikon Key Mission 360 Camera to get a better idea of stitch lines, quality and camera distance.  I uploaded a video to Vimeo and Youtube to study of my in a cabin in Killington, Vermont, where I went snowboarding for Spring Break:



Vimeo can now detect 360 footage, so I wanted to see if it is better quality that youtube.


The file doesn't automatically make it 360, you need to go to the video Settings > Video File and check the box that that reads This video was recorded in 360 (as seen below).


You are then brought to this screen:


This gives you some nice features that youtube doesn't offer.

  • You can adjust the Field of View
    • this allows you do zoom in or out on the whole video and save that as a preset
    • You can also adjust the Pitch and Yaw.
      • Pitch gives you the option to start the video in any position on the y-axis.  If you want the video to be looking at the sky when it starts, you can adjust that with the pitch
      • Yaw gives you the option to start the video in any x-position.  For example, I uploaded the video and on the yaw axis, the beginning of the video was looking at the wall.  As seen in my presets in the screenshot above, I moved the yaw from 0 (facing the wall) to 165 (facing me).

Having the ability to adjust these presets for the video directly in Vimeo is really great.

However, it looks like Vimeo compresses the video just as much as Youtube and doesn't look much better :(.

Nikon Key Mission 360

I wasn't entirely impressed with the quality of this camera.  It doesn't seem to be much better than the Ricoh Theta.  However, I did play with this camera in low light to see what it would look like.  Not good :(

Final Project Proposal - Moodboard / Shooting schedule

Initial Proposal

Penelope and I want to create a film noir, raw, cinematic 360 experience from the POV of the viewer.  We are thinking of having two ending in the film so that if you don't get all the clues in time you may get an alternative ending. We are hoping to use Wonda VR so that depending on the gaze of the individual, they will be able to have snapshots of different character's storylines in the film that will help to solve the missing persons call.

Films that we are basing our style off of: 

  • The third man
  • Double indemnity
  • notorious
  • touch of evil
  • NYT VR
  • the big sleep
  • Lady in the Lake
  • Rope
  • Victoria.



Shooting Schedule:

March 8th: 3 references with some photos of storylines that we’re interested in.

Script/Story: March 17th

Location Scout/ Start on creating storyboard: March 23rd

Finalize Storyboard: March 29th

Tech Research and Development: Understand what we can do before April 8th, but majority of this will be completed in post.

Prep Date: April 8th

Production Date(s): April 9th

Post Production Dates: April 10th — April 30th

DVR Midterm: Recreate a scene from 2001 Space Odyssey

For our midterm project, Alexia, Natasha and myself recreated a scene from 2001 Space Odyssey into a 360 scene: https://youtu.be/ou6JNQwPWE0?t=36s

We had an actor come in to shoot from the prospective of the astronaut


We worked with the depth kit to add some weird space-y effects on the scene.

Here's the end result in 360 video:

Photo creds: Alexia