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Samsung and Vice Partner for Syrian War VR Documentary

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The immersive documentary takes you on the ground with the war-torn country’s first responders.

VICELAND and Samsung are bringing us to the center of the Syrian war with their new documentary, titled The White Helmets, a part of a new project for the Beyond the Frame series. The documentary debuted on Samsung VR December 2nd, providing an unprecedented look at how VR is shifting the way journalists are bringing viewers into the story.

The 360° trailer for The White Helmets is now available on Samsung VR and VICELAND’s YouTube, letting us follow along with a group of Syrians who voluntarily rush to the aid of civilians who are caught in the middle of the conflict.

The partnership between Vice Media and Samsung is part of an ongoing collaboration to further integrate 360° video into journalism projects around the world. Back in March, we got a first glimpse at how the two companies may come together to marry both Samsung’s camera technology with Vice’s journalistic storytelling.

“As virtual reality becomes more prevalent in journalism we looked into how the technology is changing the way we experience the news,” said Trent Rohner, VICELAND’s Creative Director. “What is the new role of the reporter when the viewer can experience the event for themselves? Can journalism be more objective when there is no frame and they can see everything?”

Along with The White Helmets, Samsung and VICELAND are also debuting a second documentary called Inside the Story, which discusses how VR and 360° video is creating a paradigm shift within news by bringing users directly into the story for the first time. The documentary spotlights how The New York Times is incorporating VR and 360° storytelling into its news reports, including the recent launch of The Daily 360 feature. The immersive video experience allows readers to feel as though they are on the ground with Times journalists to bear witness to some of the most important stories of the day. Keep in mind that the New York Times also partnered up with Samsung for their project, with the majority of the journalists using Samsung Gear 360 cameras.

Inside the Story is scheduled to air on VICELAND as a special program on December 12.

“Samsung has always been a champion of VR and 360-degree technology to evolve storytelling. With The White Helmets, which was shot with Samsung Gear 360, the viewer is an active participant in the experience as opposed to a passive observer, and this newest piece of content gives the viewer a new perspective on how technology can enhance journalism,” said Marc Mathieu, Samsung Electronics America’s Chief Marketing Officer.

About the Scout

Jonathan Nafarrete

Jonathan Nafarrete is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of VRScout.

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