WPIC Alum, Flora Peng of Fleur Weddings, hired Pop-Up VR to create a promotional video for her wedding planning company. What she got was a wonderful and up close, personal view into her world of weddings.
Download the video and then you can play it on a 360 enabled player like Kolor (a free software from GoPro). You can also view the 4 minute version on their Youtube channel (slightly lower resolution).
An interview with Nathan Miller, CEO of Pop-Up VR
WPIC: Why should a wedding couple have a VR video?
Nathan: Before I answer that, here’s a quick definition of what a 360° Video is vs. Virtual Reality. We produce 360° videos of events. This means we have a special camera that records EVERYTHING around it (behind, beside, above, etc). Everything is recorded and nothing gets missed.
Once you have a 360° video you can experience it a few different ways. You can watch it the same way you are watching videos now; on your phone, computer, tablet, etc, except you can turn the focus to look anywhere you want. It’s just like a normal video except it is more fun and interactive (and it allows everyone to focus on the parts of the event that matter to them). It does not require special equipment or software, the phone in your pocket today can do this. The other way you can experience a 360° video is in the form of Virtual Reality. All that means is, by placing your phone into a special pair of goggles (which we include in all packages) you will feel like you’re experiencing your wedding again. I often describe it as having a time machine that lets you go back and re-live one of the happiest days of your life.
As far WHY people should use it there are a lot of reasons. I already mentioned we capture everything (so nothing gets missed) and people can choose to look at what matters to them (so you don’t have to hear anyone complain they weren’t in your wedding video enough). I also mentioned you can attend your wedding over and over again and really FEEL like you are standing there watching all of your friends and family celebrate your love. Keep in mind brides and grooms forget at least HALF of their wedding day because it goes by so fast and so much is going on. A 360° video allows them to go back and really take in all of the details. If you’re going to spend that much time, money, and effort into planning a day you probably want to have an opportunity to appreciate all of it!
The other big draw for people is that 360° videos make it so anybody who couldn’t attend the wedding can still feel like they got to participate in a meaningful way. It’s alleviating a lot of stress for families, weather people can’t make it from abroad, or you need to cut down your guest list to make the budget work, this solves a lot of problems.
WPIC: How can wedding professionals benefit from having a VR promo video?
Nathan: It was the wedding planners themselves who told us this would be a powerful tool for them. It’s really hard to sell an intangible service to someone, especially in a market as competitive as wedding planning. Instead of showing pictures and asking people to ‘imagine’ what you’re past projects have been like, with a VR promo you can let them attend one of your weddings and see EXACTLY how you work and the quality of the end product. It takes out all of the guess work for the client and they can make a decision with a much higher degree of confidence. Plus, by leveraging this technology it demonstrates you are on top of the newest and best trends, and that is the kind of expertise people want from their planner. It’s also pretty unlikely that they are going to forget who you are, or get you confused with one of the other planners they’ve assessed, you’re absolutely going to stand out.
WPIC: What makes you different at Pop-Up VR?
Nathan: Well there are a few things that help us stand out. For starters we are one of the first Virtual Reality companies in Ontario, and we’re the only Virtual Reality company that specialises in weddings in the GTA. When we started, we did detailed interviews with the top wedding planners in the area to understand exactly how they did their job and the processes used to plan a wedding. Once we learned that, we showed planners 360° Video/VR and asked them if they thought this service would solve any of their clients’ problems. When they immediately listed off a half dozen problems this would solve, we went one step further and worked with them to find out the best way we could collaborate with planners and provide the most value for their clients. We were surprised to learn no vendor has ever done that before, but we felt it was critical to make sure we could provide the best product every single time.
The other big differentiator for us is that we approach all of our projects collaboratively. I have a background in communications, and I believe we need to understand the goals, the unique value, and the aesthetic of every client before we can start talking about how to approach the project. Every planner and Bride/Groom are unique, and their 360° videos should represent that.
WPIC: Why do you feel VR is the way to go for 2017 and onwards?
Nathan: No other technology in history allows you the ability to be transported into another time and place. When we give you a 360° video, you aren’t going to watch your wedding video, you are going to EXPERIENCE your wedding again like you are really there. Most people only ever watch their wedding video a handful of times, but we have clients calling us a week after delivery, saying they’ve already watched it 5 times, showed their friends, and still have 2 more angles they want to view it from.
People have trouble believing how immersive this feels until they get a demonstration from us. To give some context, studies have monitored people’s brains while in VR and found that your brain believes what it sees, and reacts the same way as if you were experiencing it for real. You know that feeling of happiness and warmth your clients all get on their wedding day? They can experience that anytime they want for the rest of their lives when they work with Pop-Up VR.
WPIC: Tell us about some of your favourite moments captured at weddings by Pop-Up VR?
Nathan: The thing I love most about our footage is it’s always incredibly candid. Our camera is TINY (smaller than a baseball) and doesn’t really look like a camera. That, combined with the fact that our videographers can monitor the feed from across the room, means there are NO strangers intruding on what should be a personal experience with friends and family. As a result people are always being super authentic and relaxed in our footage. My favourite scene was from one particular weeding with a groom and his best man. They were joking around and making faces in front of the camera together. The reason why I love that particular moment so much is because the groom was VERY camera shy (they didn’t allow a normal videographer at their event) but he was able to relax and be himself with our set-up. The bride was stunned he was goofing around, and they were both so thankful they could capture their day in a way that showcased what they are actually like.