DGMND: Land of Virtual Reality, and Home of Digital Minds
DGMND, originally named DIGIMIND as in “home for digital minds”, was founded in 2007 by a small team of young creators determined to explore, learn and create in terms of ways of thinking and doing. Daring, curious and plunged into a rising industry where many were still feeling their way, they were set to “create something from nothing”. 10 years after, DGMND not only delivered their initial visions, but also became a prestigious digital production agency that produces many innovative and unique projects in Istanbul, Turkey.
Only three weeks after discovering the new medium, DGMND shot Rubato’s 360 music video, “Yağmurlar 360”, under consignment from a major record label. It was one of the two 360 music videos produced in Turkey at that time and got really good reviews from both the band and the viewers.
DGMND likes to have a strong grip on the production process from concept creation until the final release. To better listen to and understand their clients, they focus more heavily on pre-production than other phases of 360 productions, to come up with the most efficient and effective way to achieve their goals.
Matching their 360 equipment to various 360 projects is important for the production to run smoothly. DGMND’s founder Özgür explains to us: “You need to know which 360 camera works well with low light conditions or delivers the best footage possible if you are walking with a monopod on your hand. In many cases, although post-production is the key element which you bring all these pieces together and polish your work, pre-production is understated and given less time to finalize and deliver the project.”
What are DGMND’s weapons of choice, you might be asking?
They have a custom-made 360 mount for their 6 GoPro Hero 4 Black, Kodak PixPro Sp360 4K Dual Pack and Insta360 Pro for professional 360 video shooting. Their 360 video post-production package includes Autopano Video Pro, Autopano Giga, After Effects and Premiere Pro. To take things a little further, they also use Unity to make 360 videos more immersive and interactive if required.
It’s important to know and remember the limits of your 360 equipment and software so that you don’t lose control over your footage and tell the story as intended. We believe that it’s really crucial to think ahead if “it’s really necessary (worth) to shoot this in 360” before you step in.
DGMND has an ambitious vision that 360/VR, AR and MR will revolutionize the way we learn, create, experience and interact with the world we all live in; also 360, VR, AR and MR original content will be in the center of almost all entertainment, advertisement and film industry in 10 years. With the faster growth in both hardware and software technologies and the impact of major players such as Oculus (Facebook), HTC, Microsoft, Apple, Samsung, Unity in VR, AR and MR industries, it will be faster than ever until the real immersive experiences emerge.
VR and XR are still largely uncharted waters for content creators, who are met with different challenges every day. DGMND’s currently working on a 360 short-film and a 360/VR content platform, and the lack of sponsors and additional funds are pushing them toward a greater conundrum while trying to keep up with the newest 360 technologies. “However, we are hopeful and ready to accept this challenge to be able to create immersive and unique VR experiences”, thus Özgür concluded our interview on an uplifting note.