For River Studios, it’s really important to work with people who are forward thinking when it comes to presenting media and have already answered the question "Why should this be in VR?" Often, our answer involves taking people to a place that they’ve never been, and may never get to see and experience first-hand. The Golden Globes piece with InStyle nails the answer to the “why VR?” question. It was also a lot of fun to make.

What we were able to accomplish with InStyle was in essence, becoming Bella Thorne’s +1 for the Golden Globes and InStyle’s after-party. When you watch, you’ll see celebrities like Creed’s Sylvestor Stallone and tech luminaries like Tesla and SpaceX’s Elon Musk. On TV, this experience would have come off as “exclusive”…whereas in virtual reality, it’s an “inclusive” experience.” InStyle really understood the difference.

Have a look!

Getting to shoot at the InStyle Golden Globe after party was a perfect opportunity because that is truly something most of us don’t get to experience.

How'd we do it? Well, our lead producer Malvika Agarwal had these notes to share:

VR equipment is still in it early stages and as a studio we experiment with creating our own camera rigs all of the time. With the Golden Globes, it was important to be discrete and mobile so that we were not in anyone’s way and didn’t spoil their party experience.
We decided to use 2 rigs of 4 GoPro cameras each. One on a small stand that could be placed on the tables, and the other on a mic stand with a round base, which provided stability to the camera rig. We carried a lot of external batteries that kept the GoPro powered at all times. We used custom lenses on our GoPros - designed to fit into small places and are able to have people closer to the camera.
We also used Sony a7Rii with nodal point rig - with a large sensor, which is much better for low light situations. Situations like this are perfect for testing and proving out something we’ve been trying in the studio.
Challenges? Sure.

The problem with shooting VR with traditional cameras is that you can't shoot it all in 1 take. You need to point the camera in 4 different directions and know what the other 4 directions were doing so when you join them together you can create 1 cohesive video. For this piece we tried to play around with still images in a 360 sphere, to compensate for the low light situation

All in all - a great shoot, with some challenges that our team creatively tackled.