The lavish VR film shoot takes 360-degree video to new heights.
Have you ever wanted to experience what its like to fly in a first-class apartment aboard a luxury Airbus A380 on its way to Abu Dhabi? What about having Nicole Kidman join you for the journey, helping her rehearse scenes from the script of her next film?
Thanks to UAE’s Etihad Airways, you can now take to the skies with the Oscar-winning Australian actress in virtual reality.
Kidman, who is the face of Etihad Airways’ latest advertising campaign, stars in this 360-degree VR film titled Reimagine that was released over the weekend.
The roughly five-minute film gives you a look at the Airbus A380’s luxurious surroundings and amenities, all while Kidman tours the aircraft during a flight between New York and Abu Dhabi. This is one of the better 360-degree films we have seen and definitely worth a watch.
The film took around six months to produce, filmed in Abu Dhabi, and introduces you to a range of characters aside from Kidman, including Kidman’s film director, an opera singer and even an Emirati guest with a falcon in the first-class cabin on the Airbus (yes you can actually fly with a falcon on this airline).
If that wasn’t lavish enough, your in-flight journey also includes interactions with the Savoy-trained butler in The Residence, the airline’s private three-room cabin, the inflight chef in first class, the food and beverage manager in business, and the “flying nanny”.
“The film is a culmination of Etihad’s vision to tell the airline’s story in an extremely innovative way and a commitment to engaging with the public as has never been attempted by an airline before,” Kidman said in a statement. “It was a great challenge but one which has definitely paid off and it was great to be part of such an exciting project.”
Etihad collaborated with MediaMonks and Barbarian Group on the VR production of the film. The short was directed by Anthony Atanasio and Valerie Martinez, who directed Etihad’s first television commercial starring Kidman.
An Etihad Airways A380 was used for three days and customized prior to filming; overhead lockers, seats and other sections of the aircraft’s interior were removed to allow for the installation of Red Dragon cameras, which were used to capture the actress’ movement through the aircraft. Hundreds of individual lights were required to ensure smooth and uninterrupted shots.
You can watch the behind-the-scenes of this VR film shoot below.
“As the most multidisciplinary medium there is, virtual reality relies more heavily on craft and execution than anything that has gone before it,” said Ola Björling, MediaMonks’ Global Director of VR. “We believe the display of artistry in every facet of this production is setting a new benchmark for live-action VR.”
You can watch the film with your Google Cardboard headset for Android or iOS, with an updated Gear VR version in stereoscopic sound coming soon in June.