Project: Follow My Lead: The Story of the 2016 NBA Finals
As the first-of-its kind sports VR documentary, Oculus brings you courtside and behind the scenes in an unprecedented storytelling experience, Follow My Lead: The Story of the 2016 NBA Finals.
The 25 minute Emmy-winning experience has been hailed as “the next step in VR storytelling” and “a VR Movie That’s Actually Fun To Watch.” Narrated by Hollywood’s newest titan Michael B. Jordan and available now for the Gear VR.
How to watch:
(1) In VR with the Gear VR Headset, for the optimal viewing experience: downloadable from the Oculus VR Store.
“The NBA and Oculus just made sports-media history by giving us those epic moments in virtual reality” – Mashable
“The realism is eerily accurate, and the quality of immersion VR developers really crave was complete.” – Uproxx
“Improves upon [HBO sport documentaries] by giving the viewer a genuine sense of presence that can’t be replicated on a static, two-dimensional plane like a TV or laptop” – Motherboard
“One of the longest, most dynamic VR films so far … an unexpected step forward” – The Verge
“…Challenges some common assumptions about what’s possible in a VR film … engrossing.” – Slate
For best desktop viewing experience, increase resolution to 4K. Settings located in bottom right corner of the video window.
Classic sports documentaries — as compelling as they are — leave fans as outside observers looking in. This 25-minute 3D VR experience is something different, taking the viewer behind-the-scenes of one of the most dramatic championship series in NBA history, experiencing the incredible tales of these two teams from the inside out, headlined by a portrait of two remarkable superstars from a radical new perspective.
The project merges one of the most exciting sports in the world and the newest, most exciting platform in media to create an unprecedented storytelling experience in ways never before possible.
Defining a new format: It’s a first-of-its-kind 3D VR sports documentary based on the best TV and film formats of the last decade with crafted by some of the top creative talent in the sports and VR spheres. The film’s 25-minute length gives viewers the time to forget they’re wearing a headset — turning the focus on the compelling story, not the technology. It is the longest live action production of its kind ever produced, pushing VR storytelling to its limits. Most VR content is under 10 minutes, and is generally produced in a more “passive” style.
Faster cuts and shot repositioning: Among the most exciting limits pushed: how fast cuts between shots can be made in VR (typically it’s 10 seconds or more; here it’s 6-8 seconds on average). This was accomplished by repositioning shots so viewers don’t miss any of the key action going from shot to shot. The film also lets viewers watch without trying to “find where the story is,” a common issue with VR. And moreover, the film features a variety of moving and hand held shots to push viewers further into the experience without resulting in dizziness.
Unprecedented access: To date, no global sports story has had this level of access on the ground, with both players and fans. NBA enabled Oculus to dive deep over the course of the Finals, and get a true insider, all-access look at the sport
Sports Emmys 2017 – Outstanding Digital Innovation Winner
Lumiere Awards 2017 – Best VR Sports Experience
Cinefex – Cinefex 151 Virtual Reality
Slate – How Oculus and the NBA Made a VR Movie That’s Actually Fun to Watch
Mashable – The NBA uses VR to let you experience the 2016 Finals as if you were there
BuzzFeed – LeBron James Haunts My Dreams, And This Week He Haunted My Virtual Reality
The Verge –The NBA and Oculus just released one of the longest, most dynamic VR films so far
Engadget – VR documentary puts you inside the 2016 NBA Finals
Polygon – This incredible 2016 NBA Finals documentary could be the future of VR video
Motherboard – How the NBA and Oculus Brought Sports Documentary Filmmaking Into VR
For The Win – I watched the 2016 NBA Finals in virtual reality and it was just as cool as it sounds