Now is the time to start getting excited about what we can do with live, spherical video broadcasts.
National Geographic posted the first Facebook 360° live video from the Mars Simulator research site in Utah using four Nokia OZO Live cameras, wireless mics and picture-in-picture live feeds from famous scientists like Neil deGrasse Tyson.
Of course, not everyone has Television-sized budgets and technical teams to produce to a live 360° VR broadcast with that kind of complexity, but the good news is that you can still do some compelling spherical storytelling on a smaller budget.
The scale and cost of this type of PR spectacle indicates that Live 360° video will be a BIG deal for all of us media makers.
When Facebook decides to put their thumb on the scale of what users see (video, live video, 360° videos ,and now 360° live video) it is natural to guess that a lot of people will see these posts and Facebook will be selling ads against those eyeballs.
I advise broadcasters, publishers and educators about 360° video production, video livestreams for Facebook and YouTube, and the gear that makes all that happen.
Let’s take a deep dive into a few new gear choices that complement the strategic workshops I am currently producing.
In those visits we combine research, tech and strategy to develop new business models and programming approaches for reaching the social video crowd – The YouTubers, Facebookers, Snap chatters, and Instagrammers.
One of the keys to continuous innovation is a regular replenishing of your Sandbox.
And this is the time of year that many of my partners are asking me how to spend their budgets before they expire at year’s end.
A sandbox is designed for play and healthy experimentation and is assembled for the purpose of allowing the staff to test out ideas and develop new story formats before their competitors do.
These are the top tools in Robb’s Sandbox.
360° Mobile Journalism field reporting
You will want to experiment with the low cost Insta360 Nano for producing livestreaming 360 video reports from your smartphone.
It costs less than $199 and an Android version is also available for $139 called the Insta360 Air.
Insta360 Pro Spherical VR 360 8K Camera
This little monster may look like a prop from a Star Wars movie, but promises to do really high quality images and sound in package that costs $3,999. Learn more.
Orah 4i VR camera from Video Stitch.
It features live stitching and four microphones to capture the ambisonic 3D sound which enables the viewer of the content to locate the origin of the sound source with a VR headset.
Ambisonic audio is critical to VR storytelling.
YES! This means we can have the ambisonic sound mix from the camera PLUS a wireless mic in for a presenter or host using a Sennsheiser AVX wireless mic.
Live video switcher
If you want to simulate what NatGeo did with live shot switching from the field, you will need something like a Sony Anycast Live Producer.
360° Cinematic film production
BH Photo bundles this six-camera rig with everything you need to capture and stitch together high definition spherical video.
And by everything, I mean it is all inclusive.
It is a fantastic camera array for offline video production.
It does not do ‘Live” and it will not record 360 ambisonic audio.
To produce a 360° sound track that matches the video quality, you will need a tetrahedral microphone:
and a multi-track field recorder:
This is just the bare basic kit.
Sound design is super important for 360° films.
Don’t take just my word for it.
Here, have a look at the audio engineering prep for a pro 360° video shoot.
You can get started with a smaller investment.
Get more tips in my new 360° video editing course.