paul-raphaelThe White House VR documentary People’s House by Felix & Paul Studios won a Emmy for the outstanding original interactive, and I had a chance to talk with Paul Raphael about how the challenges of producing a high-profile piece. They didn’t know how many rooms they’d be able to shoot, and President Obama was such a fan of the project that he literally opened doors for the crew to record more than twice the number of originally scheduled rooms. They were limited to only two 15 minutes interviews with Barack and Michelle Obama, and so they collaborated with speech writers to capture memories and stories for this virtual guided tour.

Felix & Paul Studios create their own VR camera hardware, and they’re starting to use their fourth generation cameras while designing a next-generation, digital lightfield camera. Raphael said lightfield VR shoots are essentially visual effects shoots, which require shooting in different wedge segments that need to be composited in post-production. He also said that they’ve been consulting with most of the major HMD manufacturers including Facebook on an open standard for immersive 3D audio. Even though they’ve been creating a lot of hardware, they’re more interested in using it to stay on the bleeding edge so that they can continue to innovate and push the creative limits of what’s possible in immersive storytelling.

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