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A Look At YouTube’s VR Creator Lab Final Projects

The first YouTube Creator Lab cohort has officially graduated. Read on to see what they produced. 

In June, YouTube announced the VR Creator Lab—a 3-month learning and production intensive for VR creators—which VRScout ran with VR Playhouse.

Hosted at YouTube Space LA, the program included advanced education, mentorship, access to tools, and a stipend of $30-$40K for production costs. To apply, creators were required to have produced at least two 360° videos on their channel and have at least 10,000 subscribers.

Our goal was to help YouTube creators expand their understanding of VR preproduction, production, and postproduction workflows. We selected a batch of industry-expert mentors to aid in the process, including: Mariana Acuña, Adam Cosco, Jessie Kim, Céline Tricart, and Derin Turner.

We kicked off the Creator Lab with a 3-day “boot camp” on August 7-9 at YouTube Space LA. For the next few months, we gathered every other week to go through new hardware and software, share learnings, and workshop content.

Each creator was required to produce at least four original VR videos and one behind-the-scenes video. On Wednesday Dec. 13, a “graduation” was held at YouTube Space LA, where creators could share their thoughts and appreciation, as well as eat VR-themed desserts.

Now that the pilot program has concluded, here are the teams and their projects:

BlackBoxTV

BlackBoxTV, known for its viral horror and thriller videos, produced Find Me, a serialized horror that doubles as a game, where audiences “collect clues” to uncover the mystery at the heart of the plot.

Buzzfeed

The Buzzfeed Video team is known for producing creative, thought-provoking content. For their work in the Creator Lab, Buzzfeed produced four different shorts, each conjuring distinct, subjective experiences, such as the above.

GearmarkTV

GearmarkTV produced Into the Blind, a serialized horror where you follow two agents attempt to move a mysterious artifact from a dark cult. As you might guess: it doesn’t go as planned.

Goldentusk

Goldentusk always brings you the freshest sketches, parodies, and zany comedy—and they translate that ability to immersive with ease, as in the mime rap battle here. (You read that right).

GTChannel

Not many of us have the skills to tear up the track like we’re Dom Toretto, and that’s where GTChannel has us covered. In this new crop of VR content, put the pedal to the metal with pros like Ken Gushi to immerse yourself in the car mania.

NASA

NASA is an iconic institution in the American tradition. For those who have always wanted to know what it looks and feels like from the inside—whether it’s testing parachutes for the Mars 2020 mission or Cassini’s finale at Saturn (above)—today’s your lucky day.

SuperDeluxe

VR is a medium conducive to communicating story through space, and whether it’s taking you to tripped-out vaporworlds with Tabasko Sweet or a speculative glimpse of future Los Angeles, Super Deluxe creates storyworlds to lose yourself in.

Taryn Southern

Artist/futurist Taryn Southern has made waves recently for her AI-assisted album, I AM AI, and the launch of a song tokenized on the blockchain. Her Creator Lab VR content displays a similar fixation with the intersection of art and technology.

TheMostPopularGirls

If you’ve ever wanted to live in a Barbie world (with a Barbie girls), look no further than the all-new The Most Popular Girls in School 360 episodes—including ones that actually position you as characters in the story.

ThisIsFusion

Much has been made of the power of immersive journalism and documentaries, and ThisIsFusion speak truth to that power by bringing their bold, impact-driven approach to hot-button issues like immigration in 2017.

Vagabrothers

VR is a great way to travel, especially when you have such sharp and friendly guides as vagabrothers. In these new pieces, join historical figures like Abbot Kinney to learn about the history of Venice (California)—or Machu Picchu with Hiram Bingham.

About the Scout

Jesse Damiani

Jesse Damiani is Editor-at-Large of VRScout and the CEO of Galatea, a writing and project management tool for immersive storytelling. He's also Series Editor for Best American Experimental Writing (Wesleyan University Press) and the author of @endless$pectator: The Screens Suite #loliloquy (BlazeVOX, 2017). Other writing can be found on Billboard, Forbes, Quartz, IndieWire, and HuffPost.

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