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Flying High with VR360

Simon Brooksbank / 23 days ago

Radek Piotroski and the team at VR360.pl could be seen as veteran pioneers in the 360 space. They were creating immersive 360 experiences long before joining Blend Media for representation as 360 video creators and have proudly carried that torch by continually finding ways to produce exciting immersive experiences through leveraging their long-standing connections to gain access to the most unique situations and locations. The level of access they have is testament to their professionalism and also talent and delivering such amazing and compelling content.

How long have you been creating 360 video and what made you focus on the production of immersive, interactive experiences?

We have been creating 360 movies since 2012. It was a natural evolution, since from 2007 we have been directing and publishing virtual tours.

There is quite a similarity between those two medias, yet there are also differences. As for the virtual tours we can see even the farthest and the most inaccessible places, for 360 movies we can feel the thrill of participating in the shown event well as feel the place presented in the movie.

The level of immersion while wearing VR googles is significantly higher.

Tell us about the team at VR360.pl and how as a collective you work together?

Our team consists of four members, who cooperate at each level of directing. There is of course me.... Radek Piotrowski and I focus on production, stitching and montage, Grzegorz Marciniak who looks after the cameras and rigging, Paweł Cegielski out video colour correction expert and Leszek Cuper, our programmer.

All of us have known each other for years and we have worked together not only on film-making, but also on various virtual tours, Gigapanoramas and Fantags.

You have some terrific and unique content on Blend Media particularly you work with the military and police, how did these relationships come about?

We recorded the first 360º films from the flight of military planes in 2015. Grzegorz had been working in cooperation with the Polish Army for a couple of years and it was he who was in charge of rigging the cameras on the aircrafts.

We participated in multiple Air Shows where we had an opportunity to record some breathtaking flights.

Cooperation with the police started in 2021 and for this cooperation a few movies about police pilots, sappers and special forces training have been made.

We count also parachute jumping and Bungee jumping movies in addition to over 6,000 x 360 panoramas in our portfolio.

What are the challenges of filming inside fast moving vehicles like fighter jets and race cars?

When installing cameras on airplanes, the most important thing is the certainty of this rigging. Loose components in the cockpit can be dangerous.

The second problem is that cockpits are not spacious and it is a struggle to find the proper place to rig the camera. Therefore, most of the F-16 movies were directed from its two-seat version and for the films from aerobatic airplanes, we installed the camera outside.

There is more space in helicopters and thanks to this, for example in a BlackHawk, we had the possibility to install several cameras.

Of all the clips you have on Blend, what is your favourite or the one you're most proud of?

It's impossible choose just one clip. There is a story associated with each of them and the end result is not always able to show it. For example, at the controls of the Ukrainian SU-27 which we immortalized during the Air Show in Radom, was Colonel Oleksandr Oksanchenko. Unfortunately, he was killed in action during a combat flight in the war in Ukraine. The T-28 Trojan plane, the protagonist of one of our films, had an accident returning from an air show.

As for the film that provides the most excitement, I recommend watching the flight of F-16 during an acrobatics show or an F-16 refuelling in the air - they are spectacular, particularly when watched in a VR headset!

If you would like to see Radek's and the VR360.pl collection on Blend click here and if you would like to license any clips from the Blend platform then please get in touch with us at: licensing@blend.media