Reindeer, sled dogs, the Northern Lights—Swedish Lapland has everything you would want in a winter wonderland. Visitors could spend days or even weeks exploring all Sweden’s northern province has to offer.
But Swedish Lapland’s Tourism Board faces the challenge that the seasons in this region are vastly different. The unique aspects of Lapland’s winter are only present in winter. The challenge is to show the winter wonderland in the other seasons as well, especially to people who are unfamiliar with the beautiful landscape and activities of Swedish Lapland.
VR tourism experiences are becoming a great way to attract new visitors with a cost-effective option for experiencing new locales. But virtual reality films must provide a high-quality immersive experience to replicate the experience of really being there. Unstable footage, shots of the crew within the shot and poor image quality can all doom virtual reality films in the viewer’s eyes.
We interviewed Catch Your Moment, a creative film agency, to learn how they overcame these challenges when creating their VR film for the Swedish Tourism Board with the Insta360 Pro 2. Watch Catch Your Moment’s video below to see the Swedish Lapland for yourself and read on to learn more about their experience with the Pro 2!
1. Could you briefly introduce yourself and your agency, Catch Your Moment?
My name is Marco Lubbers and I’m the Creative Director at Catch Your Moment. We are a creative agency based in the Netherlands with a focus on innovative media projects. We shoot commercials, documentaries and do quite a bit of work with 360 video. Many times, we create the projects from scratch, from coming up with the ideas to shooting and editing the project.
As the virtual reality film industry has grown over the past few years, we’ve filmed projects for a variety of industries, ranging from sports commercials with Olympic athletes to VR tourism films.
2. How did Sweden’s Tourism Board intend to attract visitors with a VR tourism film?
The Swedish Tourism Board wanted to showcase the beauty of Swedish Lapland in a new and interactive way. The best way to do that was to create an immersive experience that can be seen with a pair of VR goggles.
They thought a VR tourism experience would differentiate the project from a regular film or photography project and attract more people to visit the region in real life. The experience was aimed at people who were considering a visit or tourists who are visiting Sweden outside the winter season.
The VR tourism experience was designed to give people unfamiliar with the beauty of Swedish Lapland a virtual glimpse into what they could expect. Once traveling to the north, they can in fact go out and explore the region in real life. And for those who cannot make the journey, the VR tourism experience will be the closest thing available to experience the activities.
The Swedish Tourism Board hired our agency to film several different VR experiences for visitors. So far, we’ve filmed the following experiences:
- Ice Hotel
- Dog Sledding
- Reindeer Watching
- Arctic Outdoors
3. How did you select a 360 camera for this virtual reality film?
We had used the Insta360 Pro 1 before for other projects, but wanted to take our footage to the next level with the Pro 2. We especially needed the Pro 2’s superior FlowState Stabilization to shoot drone and cable cam footage.
To create cinematic quality shots, we wanted to put the camera on a cable cam and drone to fly it over the forests and reindeer. And we also planned to ride in a sled pulled by dogs with the Pro 2 so visitors could feel like they were actually riding in a dogsled.
Both the cable cam and drone experiences would have been difficult to shoot well without strong camera stabilization. With FlowState stabilization, the footage we got was very steady.
The image quality of the Pro 2 footage was also boosted compared to the Pro 1. The Pro 2 supports up to 120 mbps, which is three times what we could capture with the Pro 1. This helped create a high-resolution, immersive experience for visitors.
4. What features of the Insta360 Pro 2 were particularly helpful when shooting in the arctic outdoors?
The Pro 2 performed well for quite a long time, even when filming in very cold conditions. The camera is also small and light enough to carry around to multiple shooting sites and is easy to bring along on projects.
Farsight Live Monitoring was also very helpful in operating the camera and monitoring it while being away from the scene.
With Farsight, our crew could easily hide behind a wall or object to not appear in the shot, without losing connection and monitoring possibilities.
Connecting Farsight to our Macbook and iPhones was also easy. We could proactively preview footage and check for any faults in the experience before it was too late, as well as control camera settings.
5. How have the Swedish Tourism Board and visitors reacted to the virtual reality film?
The Tourism Board was very happy with the project and we’re already working on the next one.
The Tourism Board decided to showcase the experience by providing Oculus Go headsets for visitors to watch the experiences. Most visitors intuitively know how to navigate through the experience using the headsets and have enjoyed the experience!
6. What current trends do you see in the VR tourism and film industry?
What I see is that there are more and more people getting into working with 360 video and VR films. More people are understanding the creative possibilities of 360. As more people work with this technology, the stories, shots and use cases are only going to get better.