We interrogated Producer, Ian Richardson, about this 360° thriller
Can you explain the pilot as simply as possible?
It's a personalised 360° crime thriller that puts you in the shoes of DCI Mathias from the BBC drama Hinterland. You're job is to find clues and get to the victim before it's too late.
How is it personalised?
The experience asks you to upload a photo and also connect to your Facebook account. This is key to what we are testing as we want to find out if the personalisation makes it more immersive and also does the personalised image at the end encourage people to share. I don't want to give any more away, so you'll just have to have a go yourself!
How was the idea conceived?
London Djinn, who describe themselves as an Invention Studio, came up with the idea at an event run by BBC Connected Studio in partnership with S4C and Hinterland's production company Fictions Factory. The aim was to come up with immersive and personalised experiences that would attract new users to the BBC's drama output, which in this case was the moody drama, Hinterland. The ambition was to really push what we could achieve when combining a linear narrative with a 360° experience.
How does the production process differ from that of linear drama?
With a digital interactive project the audience are as much a part of the experience as the author. Then if you add in 360° panoramas you have to try and anticipate where the viewer will be looking, which is very tricky! In this project you are seeing the world from DCI Mathias' point of view, this meant that the positioning of the camera was crucial - if the camera was too high or low for example the illusion would be shattered. To get this right we got Atticus Digital on board who specialise in VR and 360° video.
What do you think the POV camera angle adds to the experience?
It was inspired by the question "Suspect, victim or killer - which one are you?". The production team were keen to experiment with the role a user plays in an interactive experience. One statement from the team really stood out for me, "I like the idea that the role our audience plays could be ambiguous, misleading and even change based on their decisions"