November 03, 2017 - Legendary English rock band Queen + Adam Lambert’s first-ever live-concert VR experience, VR The Champions, has won the prestigious IMAGO Award for Extraordinary Technical Achievement, which was awarded to Jannicke Mikkelsen FNF, the film’s Director, Cinematographer, and Stereographer at the inaugural IMAGO Awards held earlier this week.
(Please note: the YouTube video above is not in 3D and that you can preview a 3D version on the VRTGO website.)
IMAGO is the European Federation of Cinematographers, a collaborative, global umbrella for the world´s Cinematographers Societies. The award ceremony took place in Helsinki on Saturday October 28, 2017, with close to 250 international cinematographers, colleagues and friends gathering to celebrate world cinematography at the event - the first international awards given to cinematographers entirely by cinematographers.
Created by Miracle Productions and Eagle Rock Films, VR The Champions was directed by Mikkelsen and stars Brian May, Roger Taylor, Adam Lambert, and the band. This unique VR film, which premiered at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival’s Tribeca Virtual Reality Arcade, provides viewers with a concert experience like no other.
The immersive video offers front row access to the ultimate on-stage experience with the band. With ‘flying’ 3-D and 360-degree video, the viewer virtually hovers above the audience and even flies among the band members themselves, as they perform on the grand stage of Barcelona’s Palau Sant Jordi.
Offering the complete experience of heightened reality, VR The Champions is filmed in stereoscopic 4k with ambisonic audio, a full-sphere surround sound technique, to provide an experience that virtually captures the live concert experience more than you could ever imagine and which can be experienced on high-end VR headsets as well as a mobile-friendly version for cell phones.
Instigated by Queen’s Brian May, as well as produced by him, May’s lifelong passion for 3-D led him to suggest not only flying a custom VR rig on wires above the audience at a Queen concert, but flying it above the performers themselves too - giving a unique and stunning Virtual Reality view of this giant show in Barcelona from the perspective of the stage. To direct the shoot, Brian invited Jannicke Mikkelsen, a talented 3-D artist already experienced in directing 360-degree shoots for David Attenborough. Together, they brainstormed the world's first flying 3-D 360-degree concert shoot.
Upon winning the award, Mikkelsen said: “I am humbled and honoured to receive this award. I would like to thank Brian May as he was the entirely behind the creation of the project. I only had two weeks to solve this seemingly impossible project brief, spending a lot of time with Brian working through the engineering of the camera rig, using 20 cameras to get the 3D, stereoscopic result Brian was seeking. Brian's background as an astrophysicist and photo historian specialising in Victorian stereoscopic photography was the main contributor in bringing this project to life.”
Of the film, Brian says “This is the fulfillment of a dream. Jannicke did a wonderful job - I can't think of anyone else who could have pulled it off so magnificently in such a short time. I think she made a milestone and she so deserves the award. Through this unique Virtual Reality creation, fans around the world are for the first time able to experience the excitement and energy of a Queen + Adam Lambert show in their own homes. Many of you have seen VR, but not VR like THIS!”
VR The Champions is available now for $9.99/€10.99/£9.99 on VRTGO, Universal Music Group’s VR platform that is available for iPhone and Android and accessible through most web browsers. More details and to purchase www.vrtgo.com/queen.html
The viewing experience is compatible with the OWL VR kit designed by Brian May, and can also be enjoyed using any VR viewing system including Oculus, Google Cardboard, Samsung Gear VR and HTC Vive.
The OWL Virtual Reality Kit by Brian May is available from The London Stereoscopic Company: www.londonstereo.com