The Wayback VR is a collection of films that are unlike any other kind of virtual reality film or VR experience. The films have been created to help those affected by dementia relive precious memories. Building upon the success of the 1953 Queen’s Coronation VR experience, M7 Virtual were delighted to be called once again to shoot the next instalment of ‘The Wayback VR’ series – A recreation of the events during the 1966 football World Cup final. The film aims to capture the excitement surrounding the lead up to the match, with six chapters following different characters throughout their journeys.
The VR experience allows viewers to immerse themselves in a variety of locations and scenes including a 1966 pub, barbers and living room. Great care was taken during filming to ensure that the scenes are portrayed as accurately as possible. The use of props were an important trigger to provoke memories for the viewer. Using period correct outfits, vehicles positioned in the street, home furnishings and many more details to ensure the 360 experience is as immersive as can be. It was amazing to see all the cast and extras in their period dress, and the set was looking fantastic thanks to the talented art department.
We opted to shoot the majority of the film using the Kandao Obsidian R camera. We chose this 360 camera for its reliability, live preview capabilities and ease of stitching. The live stitch capability allowed director Kevin Thomas to preview the scene in full 360 in real-time. This allowed Kevin and the team to choreograph scenes with great precision and ensure optimum camera placement. The six lens arrangement made stitching the footage easier thanks to the additional overlap compared to 4 lens 360 cameras. This was critical for some of the busier action scenes where there was constant movement between the stitch lines. For the lowlight scenes including the dance hall we opted for our Z-Cam E1 360 camera setup. The larger sensors in these cameras gave us a cleaner image to work with, and better image quality in the dark light as a result.
The previous 1953 Coronation recreation 360 VR experience received a vast amount of media coverage. It featured on Sky News TV, Reuters, The Independent and many other news outlets. The VR experience also received a D&AD pencil award for the inaugural ‘side hussle’ category. It has also been awarded the 2018 Challenge Dementia Prize by the Alzheimer’s Society.
Similarly, the 1966 film has received mainstream media coverage, such as this bulletin on ITV News:
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In a similar fashion to the previous Wayback film, the 1966 experience has received glowing reviews since it’s release. The film was presented to Sir Geoff Hurst, a member of the winning England team on that day in ’66. The World Cup winner enjoyed the film immensely and could see the clear benefits for those affected by Alzheimer’s.