Interview with Zen – ThisIsMeInVR
I’ve always had an interest in electronics, optics, videography, biology and psychology. After obtaining a degree in Video Systems Integration, I spent most of my life working for the video telecom industry. Designing, improving and troubleshooting internet and video systems to keep pace with the advances in technology. I also work as an innovator and researcher in my free time, and for the 4 years leading up to 2016, I had been collaborating on an independent research project on tech futurism. Specifically the effects of environmental immersion on our psychology and physiology. The co-authored book was about sensory system hijacking and how we could use feedback mechanisms to alter interpretation and behavioral responses. Coincidentally, the project’s completion date was timed with the arrival of two newly developing technologies: immersive Virtual Reality and 360 Video capture. The combination of which, as you know, created the new Medium 360VR.
I immediately recognized the impact that 360 Videos, viewed in VR devices, would bring. The integration of VR digital displays with captured video recordings of real life locations, experiences, and events could be used to hijack the belief structure and cognition processes of the brain. Also 360 Capture allows for the rapid creation and testing of virtual environments. This new medium Embodied the very notions my research project was developed to explain and I probably knew better than anyone how the video internet and telecom industries would change with its arrival. I literally had just spent 5 years writing about it, and 17 years working within the very heart of this new industry.
Twice now, I’ve had the privilege of being involved in a massive provincial wide mapping program. Mapping nearly every road in British Columbia. Extensive travel offered me unparalleled experiences and got me hooked on photo/videography. The moment I realized that beautiful locations and awesome experiences can be captured with 360 video and either be re-lived or shared. I suddenly knew what I had to do. Drive Canada Coast to Coast capturing as many Cities, wild animals and tourist attractions as I could over the summer to share with the world and help accelerate the adoption of 360VR.
I recorded bears, moose, elk, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, whales, otters, jellyfish, harbour porpoises and salmon. I also fed wild seals! My adventures include Mountain Pipe Coaster, Quad-ding, Stanley park Aquarium, Zip-lining, West Edmonton Mall, Heli-Tour, Hot springs, Whale watching, Boating, Summit hiking, gondola rides, Treasure hunting, Camping, storm chasing.
All can be found on VeeR: http://veer.tv/vr/ThisIsMeInVR; you can find playlists for the content here.
3. What camera(s) and software do you use? What are their biggest strengths and weaknesses, and to what demographic would you recommend them?
I prefer Samsung’s Gear 360 2016 edition. I hate that it overheats, but love the action director software that comes with it. It’s great for rapid experimentation.
4. What has been your biggest challenge during production, and how did you overcome it?
My biggest challenge has been funding, all of my productions have been self-funded. I am always seeking investors for my film projects, app prototypes and various tech innovations, and it often takes much time away from being a creator.
5. Your content is extremely diverse. You put out tutorials and courses, you vlog your life, you make videos about Canada and nature, you also do commercials, VR conventions, and even music videos. What are some of your favorite topics to create VR content about? How are you typically inspired to make VR?
I see opportunity everywhere. Everything can be captured and shared. I love creating new types of content to experiment with, finding out what works and what doesn’t.
6. Any other part of your story that you’d like to share but we didn’t cover?