We got in touch with Christopher Nundy, Innovation Manager for Comedy, Entertainment & Events, to ask about the project
Can you sum up the pilot?
This 360° video provides a first person, POV from the spot the Queen would stand as she reviews the Trooping the Colour for her 90th Birthday. Working with VR production studio, Visualise, we've utilisied the BBC's unique access to provide the viewer with a never seen before perspective of this historical event.
Why did you make a 360° video of this event?
The BBC is one of the UK’s leaders in outside broadcasting, with a long history of covering landmark memorial, Royal and entertainment events.
As a series of special events held in honour of HM Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations, our production team wanted to extend our digital coverage to appeal to as wide an audience as possible; without alienating the existing 2.5 million viewers (2015 TX figures) who watch our live coverage.
The unique access the BBC has to such a prominent military and royal event when coupled with 360 degree technology allowed us to give anyone with a computer, smartphone or tablet the Royal View from Horse Guards Parade.
From this position on the Royal dais, the viewer can take the salute from the Household Division as well as see behind the scenes of the Major General and Garrison Sergeant Major.
With this joint trial project between Events Production, Innovation and BBC Taster, we hope to explore how we can approach coverage of our events in new and exciting ways.
Was the production process any different than normal?
The production process remained the same in terms of covering the event itself. How we adapted for 360 was to work through how to cover such an event with the current available capture technology and its limitations – overheating camera units, no direct live monitoring out of the cameras.
The turnaround time of 11 days meant we needed to keep our ambitions aligned with what was achievable in such a short time period – this included simple graphics to identify the specific regiments taking part and keeping the camera positions static.
The usual 360 capture restrictions were adhered to, of keeping the area clear of kit and production personnel as there is no “off camera”, we looked to position the cameras in such a way to avoid issues at stitch points and keeping a minimum distance for any moving individuals to limit stitch issues and ghosting.
With the inclusion of a brief commentary with Huw Edwards, we were able to provide the viewer necessary guidance through the experience whilst tying our highlights to the main live broadcast adding additional production value to the piece.
What are you hoping to find out from the Taster audience?
We want to test the interest and appeal of state events captured using new, innovative technology and delivered in a unique way. Ideally this experiment will help us discover if this material appeals to both the existing audience for a new perspective and a new audience who may not usually watch coverage?