VR for documentary

Philo van Kemenade




are we talking about?

Virtual Reality



In VR you control the experience; in 360 you’re simply along for the ride. Having said that, it can be a great ride.

Immersive Media

Mixed Reality

Augmented Reality

Virtual Reality

Responsive VR

360º Cinema

a sharper and more precise tool by which to power the machines of

VR has the potential to become the ultimate


storytelling device

you do get a profound sensation of space, causing you to forget you’re staring at a screen

With presence,


are we talking about this?



phenomenal storytelling


what it's like
to be...

Hunger in LA

Nonny de la Peña is an early pioneer in using immersive media in journalistic practice, earning her the nickname of "Godmother of immersive journalism". Although her early projects like Hunger in LA and Project Syria use limited graphics, she recognized that the bodily sense of 'being there' can open up doors to truely impactful experiences of non-fictional stories. One of her students went on to develop his prototype of an immersive headset inspired by the work in her research lab and...  well, the rest is history in the making.

Author: Nonny de la Peña

Year: 2012
Country: United States


More info & trailer


"Assent allows audiences to engage personally with the events and emotions of the Caravan of Death, through my father’s eyes, and mine."

Authors: Oscar Raby
Year: 2013

Country: Australia

more info and downloads


VR's biggest issue at to moment is that it provides such an isolating anti-social experience. What better medium than this to experience solitary confinement! 6x9 shows how VR can sometimes be a really good fit to a story. It also brilliantly shows how important audio is in VR and that you can have a deeply meaningful experience with simple visual elements if the audio is well produced.

Author: The Guardian (Francesca Panetta)
Production: The Mill
Year: 2016
Country: UK


more info and free download


If Computer-Generated Imagary formed the main building blocks of Hunger in LA and Audio interviews in 6x9, in Blackout it is Volumetric Film. The creators of Blackout have created their own custom toolkit, combining a depth sensor (repurposed from the Kinect) with a DSLR to record 3 dimensions over time. This pioneering work is only scratching the surface of what is possible with this technique, and is a clear sign that there much more will follow.

Author: Scatter
Year: 2016
Country: US

More info and store

Notes on Blindness

Instead of 'just' transporting you to another location, this project is a good example that VR also has the potential to put you in an entirely different reality. The mediud doesn't have to show us a virtual version of the reality we already know, but can present us with an alternate reality that works different than the one we usually inhibit.

Authors: Peter Middleton & James Spinney
Year: 2016

Country: UK

more info and downloads

VR for Documentary

By Philo van Kemenade

VR for Documentary

A selection of projects using Virtual Reality as a medium for documentary storytelling

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