360-degree videos are becoming increasingly popular on YouTube as the interactive medium creates new ways for filmmakers to engage with their audience.
It comes as no surprise then that Hollywood has been quick to catch on to the potential of 360 videos as a way of promoting its new movies. In 2015, a teaser for the movie Warcraft caused a stir when it provided an aerial view of the city of Azeroth, as seen from the back of a dragon.
World of Warcraft
A year later, Disney’s live action remake of Pete’s Dragon borrowed the idea for a similar 360 flyby.
The idea of creating 360-degree snippets like these has really caught on. But rather than act as extra trailers, they’re often designed to give a taste of a film’s atmosphere, its characters and its locations.
The live action remake of The Jungle Book featured a couple of spookily atmospheric videos doing just that, while The Legend of Tarzan takes you on a first-person vine-swing through the jungle. Alien: Covenant delivered a gruesome version of the ‘backburster’ scene, filmed from the perspective of the alien creature.
The Jungle Book
The Legend of Tarzan
More recently, Paramount Pictures took viewers behind the scenes of Michael Bay’s latest Transformers movie, The last Knight. It showed the organised chaos that takes place during the live action shooting, before the giant CG robots are added. It’s an unusual approach – blurring the lines between documentary and trailer. But in this case, the 360 video provides a fascinating glimpse into life on a blockbuster movie set, one that a 2D clip just can’t match.
The Last Knight
This growing use of 360° video is just a precursor as directors explore new the possibilities of filming and storytelling which will lead to to full-length 360° features and the eventual arrival of fully immersive Virtual Reality experiences for movie goers.