We’ve been working on Fader for a few months now. So what do we aim for with Fader? Fader allows journalists with little or no programming skills to create VR experiences easily and fast. With Fader, we want to specifically cater to journalists who can use their already existing content (anything from 360° videos/photos, but also text, audio, documents and content they find on social media) and arrange the content according to their needs and then publish their VR story quickly.
It all began at a Techraking event in Berlin last year. We were brainstorming on pressing issues journalists are facing these days and we were inspired by the people we met there that we decided to continue working on new ways to support journalistic efforts. So, we continued meeting with a local group here in Berlin and the idea of Fader was born then.
The objective of Fader is to introduce an innovative tool into newsrooms that will allow journalists to offer compelling VR stories in an effective and easy-to-handle way. By providing journalists a tool like Fader, VR stories can be published in three ways:
- by importing a map and adding information to that map for the audience to walk through,
- by importing open data and creating 3D graphs for the audience to experience and
- by creating a virtual room, allowing the target audience to walk from one pre-defined story point to the next.
Since we kept in contact with the organizers of the Techraking event, The Center for Investigative Reporting, we were able to start our first use case. Trey Bundy, reporter at CIR, has been investigating on a very important topic and he was curious to see in how far he can create a narrative evolving around a protagonist in VR. That’s when our collaboration with CIR really took off. Over months, we debated possible ways of how to approach a production of a VR series, we had so many fruitful Skype conversations, we visited Trey in San Francisco and Trey came to us to Berlin.
We were able to come up with a great concept and a manageable approach to producing our first Fader use case. Trey flew to Oklahoma to get the footage for our production and at this year’s Techraking event, we were able to showcase our first episode.
— Isa Sonnenfeld (@isasun) April 30, 2016
In addition to that, we were selected by Google’s Digital News Initiative to further work on Fader. Also, on June 16th, we will present our 3 episodes long VR series at this year’s IRE in New Orleans.