Virtual Reality Storytelling - From Screen to Beam

With Facebook’s purchase of the Oculus Rift virtual reality (VR) goggles for $2 billion dollars, interest in VR has skyrocketed. While gaming and entertainment industries seem to be the most likely to utilize the new technologies, in fact, non-fiction storytellers are the ones who have started to take advantage of VR to craft powerful stories with visceral impact. At our upcoming Industry Day Virtual Reality Storytelling - From Screen to Beam on 8 May, we will explore how the VR revolution is changing the way non-fiction content is approached and produced, examine the advantages and disadvantages of 360° video and discuss the ins and outs of creating on VR platforms.

Programme Flyer PDF

Welcome & Introduction

  • Regierungsrat Arne Kuder, Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Media, Energy and Technology, Germany
  • Donata von Perfall, Documentary Campus, Germany
  • Ingeborg Degener, Creative Europe Desk Munich, Germany
  • Sebastian Sorg, München, Germany
  • Jamie Pallot, Emblematic VR, L.A. / USA

10:30 - 11:15
Immersive Journalism: Using Virtual Reality for News and Non-Fiction

  • Jamie Pallot, Co-Founder of Emblematic VR, L.A. / USA

Immerse yourself in real-life journalism with pioneers in the field who are bringing a VR experience to news stories. Embody real people in real situations and hear about the direction the field is developing in. Filling in for "Godmother of VR" Nonny de la Peña, Jamie Pallot introduces us to VR as a powerful tool to create news and non-fiction.

Documentary and Current Affairs Storytelling Using the 360° Video – The Possibilities and the Pitfalls

  • Zillah Watson, Editor, BBC R&D Internet and Future Services, London / UK
  • Peter Boyd Maclean, Film-maker artist exploring VR live action, London / UK

Find out how to use editing in VR to engage audiences and which kinds of stories work best in 360° as well as practical issues encountered and how best to create a sense of presence and space in VR footage.

360° Cameras Are Flawed. And Here’s Why

  • Edward Miller, Head of Visuals,, London / UK

Edward Miller discusses VR as a powerful tool in the fields of medicine, education and journalism. Find out how TV and games are converging and discover the emotional impact of 360° VR footage.

14.45 - 16:15
Creating Your First VR Experience
Practical tips for getting started in VR using freely available software and 3D assets.

  • Prof. Dan Pacheco, Horvitz Chair of Journalism Innovation at Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Syracuse / USA

Find out about the potential of experiential documentary, which allows to jump inside a story and interact with the environment in full 360°. Explore practical steps for creating interactive scenes in Unity3D and dive into Harvest of Change, the VR journalism project created for The Des Moines Register and Gannett Digital.

FFF Reception: Networking at the Official Opening of
Venue: Vorhoelzer Forum, TU München Main Entrance, Arcisstr. 21 / 5th floor


Curator: Nonny de la Peña, "Godmother of VR " / CEO of Emblematic VR, USA
Nonny was named “One of 13 People Who Made the World More Creative” by Fast Company. She is pioneering the use of VR gaming techniques that offer fully immersive experiences of news stories. A Harvard University graduate, she is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and former correspondent for Newsweek Magazine. Her highly evocative immersive journalism work, which puts people “on scene,” has exhibited from Los Angeles to Moscow.

Moderator: Jamie Pallot is a co-founder of Emblematic Group, pioneers in the production of immersive, VR journalism. He was formerly Editorial Director of Conde Nast Digital where he won a National Magazine Award for General Excellence and oversaw websites including, and Pallot has led major digital initiatives at Time Inc., Microsoft and NewsCorp, and edited the Virgin Film Guide in the UK. He is a Contributing Editor at Vanity Fair and has written for the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times and Harper's Bazaar.

Professor Dan Pacheco is the Horvitz Chair of Journalism Innovation at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. He recently spent the summer at Gannett Digital, publisher of USA Today, as a consultant on The Des Moines Register's Harvest of Change: the first large-scale use of immersive VR for commercial enterprise journalism. His research includes applying techniques from the gaming and movie industries to news and information, including VR, gaming environments and body-responsive sensors.

Edward Miller is a filmmaker and entrepreneur working at the forefront of video production for VR. He is currently working with, a company looking at new ways to present news in 360° video and virtual reality. To announce the company's launch, produced Hong Kong Unrest, a news documentary filmed in 360° video that tells the story of the 2014 pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. The film, which was shot and edited by Edward, broke fresh journalistic ground by providing a news narrative on a topic of world importance, using live-motion 360° video.

Zillah Watson, a former current affairs producer, leads future content and storytelling projects for the BBC Research and Development. Current projects include developing VR and immersive journalism for journalism/current affairs; curation of web content; developing web-native ways to navigate dramas and soaps, and interactive storytelling. She recently produced and curated Alistair Cooke’s Letter from America archive for BBC Radio 4, which was nominated for a Sony Award. She was head of editorial standards for Radio 4 for five years.

Peter Boyd Maclean graduated from St. Martins School of Art in 1986 where he studied Fine Art Film. While there, he formed The Duvet Brothers, pioneers of the genre known as Scratch Video. They produced innovative music videos including the No. 1 hit Pump Up The Volume. Peter directed the stop motion animation series Crapston Villas for Channel Four and the PJ's starring Eddie Murphy for Fox USA. He has directed short films including The Boot, a black comedy which was an official selection to the Venice Film Festival. He has worked extensively as a television series director of scripted comedy, documentaries and factual entertainment programmes for The Discovery Channel BBC, ITV and Channel Four.

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FREE ADMISSION. Get your ticket here!

May 8, 2015
HFF Munich, Bernd-Eichinger-Platz 1, 80333 Munich, Germany