Discovery’s promo Jailbreak provides viewers with an interactive, 360-degree experience that offers multiple perspectives of New Hampshire criminal Peter Gibbs’ escape from prison—including the point of view of the convict himself.
The five-and-a-half minute clip is in advance of season eight of I (Almost) Got Away With It, which premieres Friday, May 13, at 10 p.m. It aims to put viewers in the criminal’s shoes, allowing them to feel the adrenaline rush from behind the cuffs, as they use their mouse to move around the screen in order to experience the action from multiple angles.
It’s the latest in a string of spots that use virtual reality to immerse the viewer, as more brands experiment with the emerging technology.
Dancing with the Stars recently launched a 360 VR video of an opening disco routine designed to give users the feeling of being on stage with the professionals.
Game of Thrones also experimented with the technology by creating a 360-degree perspective of the show’s opening credit sequence that offered unique perspectives full of fun Easter eggs, including the ability to look under the skirt of the Titan of Braavos statue.
CBS’s Code Black created a 360 virtual reality experience of an intense scramble to save a patient in the ER, and Disney has been playing around with it since its affiliates ABC and Lucasfilm’s ILMxLab launched VR experiences for both Quantico and Star Wars in March. ABC is also planning a VR release for Nashville later this month.
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Jupiter Research predicts virtual reality is on the cusp of exploding, with VR headset shipments, now at around 3 million, expected to grow to 30 million across the globe by 2020.
The increasing competition around the technology is causing many brands to work directly with production companies, and is pressuring agencies to refine their own in-house VR capabilities, according to an article in Digiday.
Brian Edelman, CEO of full-service digital agency Rain, said eventually it will likely involve agencies and production companies working together.
“VR is an emerging technology, but its production process involves lots of traditional video and TV creation skill sets,” Edelman said. “So if agencies’ partnerships with production companies in TV prove efficient, VR can follow the same model as well.”
Jailbreak was brought to life through a partnership with ID, Indigo Productions, Digital Cave Media, FogoMotion, and is powered by Discovery VR. The experience was shot on a six-camera GoPro rig, a three-camera rig with 220-degree lenses, and a Kodak 180-degree rig.
It launched on multiple platforms including Discovery VR iOS and Android apps and Oculus devices. Additionally, the 360-degree video of the experience is available at ID.com, YouTube, Facebook, and DiscoveryVR.com, where users can use their mouse or arrow keys to navigate the escape.
“As the leaders in true crime programming, ID is all about providing our insatiable fans outlets to consume true crime content on all platforms,” said Kevin Bennett, general manager, Investigation Discovery. “We are excited to introduce the action-packed VR experience Jailbreak, offering our viewers first-hand access into just how these perpetrators almost got away with it.”