Sky is launching a major new commitment to Virtual Reality (VR) content, bringing its expertise in storytelling to the creation of immersive experiences that will put the viewer right at the heart of the action. Over the coming months, Sky will transport fans of sports, movies, news and entertainment to locations around the world, offering a truly unique perspective on major events.
To step up the production of VR content across all its markets, Sky has created Sky VR Studio, a dedicated in-house VR production unit. The first pieces of fully immersive VR content to be produced by the unit will be released on Friday – two unprecedented films shot during Formula 1 testing in Barcelona, which will transport viewers to the pit lane, into the team garages, and out onto the track.
The two F1 VR experiences, which were produced in conjunction with Formula One Management and Williams Martini Racing, will be made available via the Facebook 360 Video platform. The full VR experience will also be available on the Oculus platform, and viewable on the Samsung Gear VR and Oculus Rift headsets. Later in the year, Sky will look to distribute content through a dedicated Sky VR app.
Over the coming year, Sky VR Studio will drive the creation of cinematic, fully immersive VR content, producing more than 20 individual films, across a unique range of Sky content – from major cultural events in news to some of the biggest sporting events on the planet.
The team, which is led by Executive Producer Neil Graham, includes production staff with rare and valuable experience in VR film making. It will be bolstered with the addition of award-winning VR director Richard Nockles, who directed Sky VR Studio’s F1 film, and is behind a wide range of VR projects for a number of global brands.
Sky has been building its expertise in VR for a number of years. In 2013, the company invested in Jaunt, a US-based company pioneering cinematic virtual reality. Since then, Sky has been carrying out testing across a range of events. Already, the Sky News team has produced ‘360’ videos, taking viewers to the centre of the migrant crisis with footage from the refugee landing beach in Lesbos, and the refugee camp in Calais. Sky Movies also trialled the technology at the recent premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, giving a unique view of the red carpet.
- JWGP will post updates on the VR content from Williams and Sky as they become available.