Pro Moviemaker Summer 2018


OF THE ACTION Virtual Reality and 360-degree filmmaking are capable of putting the viewer in the heart of the action but you have to be dedicated to get the footage DANGER ZONE IN THE HEART


E very night we see stories on dimensional experience that involves the viewer as an observer rather than a participant. What has excited documentary and reportage filmmakers, however, is that VR and 360° filmmaking has the potential to change all that, taking the viewer into the heart of the action where they will get a feel of the actual experience. The impact will be far greater and themessage conveyed all the stronger. The problem is that while conventional photography and filmmaking in places of conflict or natural disaster is dangerous enough, the intricacies of setting up a VR or 360° sequencemakes the work even more challenging. For a start, the approach to one of these productions is vastly different to traditional filmmaking, where television that bring glimpses of war and distress into our living rooms, but it’s verymuch a two-

Both Dylan and Christian see VR and 360° films as a crucial element in their storytelling armoury, alongside conventional video, photography and reporting. They’ve used themediums extensively in places as challenging as the Yazidi community of Sinjar, where an ongoing war against ISIS was being fought, through to conflict situations inMosul and Aleppo, and areas such as Haiti and Houston in Texas where storms had wreaked havoc amongst communities. The pair’s first collaboration was a conventional feature-length filmabout Canon AndrewWhite, the so-called Vicar of Bagdad who for more than ten years presided over the only Anglican church in Iraq. An award-winning film, it debuted before Christian turned 19 and Dylan 23. Two years later themove into VR started in earnest when Christian travelled to Aleppo in Syria to document the devastating

“Themessage conveyedwill be all the stronger”

many shots might be achieved in a run- and-gun style. The VR camera will pick up everything, and so the filmmaker needs to set up the camera and then disappear out of view– not so straightforward if you’re being shot at. It’s all in a day’s work, however, for the Freelance Society, set up in 2013 by Dylan Roberts and Christian Stephen. The aimof the agency is to source, gather, package and deliver stories from themost challenging parts of the world, and to give a voice to everyman, woman and child, no matter how hard theymight be to reach.



Powered by