MA project: The finished piece

It has been several weeks since the last blog post about my final MA project; an interactive news video about the debate between privacy and security.

The aim of the project was to explore interactive video, and to find a way of providing additional context to the viewer. To do so, I created four videos. The first was my default, a non-interactive version to act as a point of comparison. Two videos provided interactivity by allowing the user to control the content on screen, and these were achieved using my own web-code and an online tool (Thinglink). The final video, exploring the ability for the user to control the direction-of-view within the video, used 360º cameras to create a virtual reality video.

Part of the project explored the ability to create the content, taking the point of view from the creator. I found very early on that developing a code for each individual video, from scratch, was not an appropriate use of time. And the money required to train existing journalists and producers in coding would likely be better spent on existing tools, or people with knowledge.

The online tool I explored was Thinglink, and the video I created through this can be viewed below.

However my favourite element of the project was a surprise to me – 360º. I hadn’t experienced virtual reality content as a creator before, only ever as the audience. It was interesting learning the differences between VR production and ‘normal production’, and putting them into practice was equally as fun. I enjoyed taking the 360 creation beyond the project, exploring 360º panoramic photos (Instagram followers will know I’ve combined this with the carousel feature to create some great continuous posts).

The virtual reality video I made for this project is best viewed on a mobile device, or through VR goggles. But you can still enjoy it through a compatible web browser.

And as a point of comparison, the ‘default’ video too.

I’m remarkably pleased with the project, which earned a first-class grade, and would like to thank both Sir David Omand and Francis Clarke for their contributions.