Crossing Borders VR documentary

Crossing Borders – Sound in 360 Videos (VR documentary)

Traveling with a virtually traffic-unsuitable motorcycle from Vietnam, through Cambodia to Thailand and film a 360 documentary on the way. Whether we’ve made it and what we’ve experienced on the road – soon to be experienced in VR.

Thanks to this project, we can draw on a wealth of experience for 360° productions even under the most adverse conditions and have been able to do pioneering work in storytelling for Virtual Reality. Director Kevin Schmutzler showed this at the i4C CONTENT CREATION for Virtual Worlds with his case-study.

A total of four master theses were written on the 360 documentary Crossing Borders, two of them at the Bayreuth University of Applied Sciences, one at the Ostbayerische Technische Hochschule Amberg-Weiden and one at the Kunstuniversität Linz.

The project gained festival experience at events such as i4C, Lichter Filmfest Frankfurt, Landshuter Kurzfilmfestival, Filmplaya in Vista del Mar and VRNowCon.

In addition, the individual episodes of the 360 documentary series are well suited for VR cinemas, i.e. screenings where hundreds of VR glasses are placed in a cinema hall and where, instead of looking at the screen, the Samsung Gear VR is watched in order to have a common experience. The existing 7.1 loudspeaker system of the hall is used and allows a completely new form of entertainment, which is also interesting for immersive sound.

Crossing Borders is more than just a 360° documentary: as an interactive app, the viewer will soon be able to become a traveler himself, discovering additional content such as sound scapes and immersing himself in new worlds beyond the 360° episodes.

Currently, 6 episodes are finished, with a total playing time of 45 minutes. In addition, there is a 360° intro with 3 minutes. Three more episodes are planned or in production:

  • Episode 0: Intro. 3:00min short introduction to the group and travel, a bit like the Trailer which is 2:30min
  • Episode 1: HoChiMinhCity 7:30min. The mega city of Vietnam with motor scooters, skyscrapers, and slums. The team buys the motorcycles.
  • Episode 2: The Mekong Jungle 7:30min: Onboard recordings on the boat, the coconut island and the snake schnapps.
  • (Episode 3: The Floating Market. In planning.)
  • Episode 4: The Orphange 9:30min. An orphanage in the desert of Cambodia. Children, volunteers, and the director show their lives and how the orphanage has changed them.
  • Episode 5: The City on Top of the Lake 6:30min. Port town located on the largest lake in Southeast Asia, also known as the Floating Village, built on huge stilts.
  • Episode 6: The Temples of Angkor. Rough-Cut 6:40min
  • Episode 7: Bangkok. Rough-Cut 3:30min
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