Fader 2.0: Euronews and Vragments Launch Special French Election VR Story

Fulfilling the DNI consortium’s mission to create a Fader story that uses special maps, templates, and new interactive features, our colleagues at Euronews and Vragments have just produced a VR reaction video recap of the French elections – and it’s quite exciting to watch.

In case you're wondering what "VR reaction video recap of the French elections" actually means, here's a short explanation:

As part of their coverage of the French presidential elections, Euronews–in partnership with local media–did a series of nine VR/360 videos portraying different French citizens. Different reporters visited them in their homes all over France, "dove" into their lives, and asked about their political views. This series of videos was released over the course of several weeks from late March to late April, before the first round of elections (held on April 23).

After the second round of elections (held on May 7), Euronews revisited their interviewees to get their opinions on the new president–and find out about their hopes and fears for the next five years. This time, to make things easier and speed up workflows, the reporters shot in 2D.

In the second and third week of May, Euronews closely collaborated with Vragments (the creators of VR editor Fader), to chase and convert all 2D reaction videos and subsequently collect them in a special VR experience. The DNI Fader consortium (consisting of Vragments, EuroNews, and us) had already prepared a concept and a mockup.

Trying to find a good spot for a virtual screen playing a 2D video in a 360° VR environment.Screenshot

Now the VR experience pretty much works like this:

You stand within a globe and look at the entity of France (i.e.: European France and its overseas territories) from a distance. Interacting with avatar hotspots (i.e.: interviewee icons) lets you enter a second level of immersion: You’re back in the interviewees’s (360) kitchens, living rooms, gardens etc. – where their “flatty” reaction videos are playing. Interacting with yet another hotspot icon symbolizing 360 footage will bring up the original interviews. Interacting with the world map hotspot will take you back to your starting point within the globe – where you can then focus on another episode.

Enough talk. Here’s the first, English-French release of our VR story that will ultimately be available in six languages and include all nine reaction videos (some of which are still on their way to Euronews as we publish this):

Note: Story will take at least 60 seconds to load. Make sure to watch with a stable broadband connection. Preferred browser: Chrome.

Alexander Plaum