What is Non-Fiction VR?
While cinema offers an optical illusion of movement, Virtual Reality offers a new generation of illusion - a powerful sense of being there within a scene.
Non-Fiction Virtual Reality is an emergent and rapidly evolving new medium for filmmaking that draws from - and builds upon - traditional forms of non-fiction, interactive media, gaming and immersive theatre. The VR Mediography project is compiling a detailed history of this new form of interactive experience, examining where it has come from, how it is developing and where it is heading. Our dataset currently contains 375 examples of non-fiction VR content released between 2012 and 2018.
How are we choosing what to include?
As an emergent medium, non-fiction VR is attracting highly experimental works that sometimes do not fit neatly into what might be considered 'traditional' filmmaking. Our search strategy is therefore deliberately broad, including organic search (english language), social media and the programmes of leading international film festivals. At this early stage in our research, we are including any VR piece that self-presents as non-fiction, or is referred to by a third party as a piece of non-fiction VR.
A Timeline of Non-Fiction VR
Our interactive timline charts the emergence of VR non-fiction content since 2012. The timeline shows when and where non-fiction titles where released, highlights important events, identifies award winning pieces and charts the increasing visibility of VR content on the programmes of leading international film festivals.
What themes are being explored in non-fiction VR?
According to our dataset, these are the themes that are being explored by non-fiction VR makers (weighted by frequency of occurrence). Select a theme to see the titles associated with it:
1916 Easter Rising 1973 Chilean coup d'état 2014 Ebola Outbreak 2015 Paris Attacks 2016 Berlin Attack 2016 US Election 2017 Grenfell Tower Fire Aborigine Abortion Acting Adventure Africa African Culture Ageing Alcohol Abuse Aleksei Leonov Aleppo Amazon Rainforest Ancient Egypt Ancient Rome Animal rights Animal testing Anne Frank Antarctica April 2015 Nepal earthquake Archeology Architecture Arctic Circle Art Astronomy Astrophysics Asylum Australia Autism Aviation Bajau Society Ballet Basketball Bears Beavers Beekeeping Bees Behind-the-scenes Berlin Binge Drinking Biology Bipolar disorder Blindness Borneo Boston Dynamics Brain injury Brazil Burma Calais Jungle Capitalism Cave Houses Cellular biology Cerebral Palsy Chernobyl disaster Childhood China Cinema Cirque du Soleil Civil Rights Movement Climate change Climbing Cochlear Implant Congo Conservation Consumerism Coral Reefs Cuba Cyber Warfare Cycling Dairy Farming Dam Busters Dance Data Visualisation Death Debt Deforestation Defy Ventures Democracy Dinosaurs Disability Disaster Discrimination Displacement Diving Dolphins Domestic violence Drought Drugs Duppy Gun Productions Earthquake Ebola Ecology Economy Education Elephant Seals Empathy Endangered Species Engineering Entertainment Environment Environmental disaster Epilepsy Ethiopia Ethnic cleansing Exploitation FGM Factory Farming Family Famine Fashion Female empowerment Fiji Film Production First Space Walk First World War Food banks Foreign Legion GDR Game Gaza Gender equality Gender identity Grand Canyon Gravitational Waves Grief Guatemala Hacking Health Hearing Heritage Hiroshima History Homelessness Hoverboards Hubble Telescope Human development Human experience Human physiology Human rights Human trafficking ISIS ISS Inca India Indian Culture Indigenous peoples Infancy International Space Station Iraq Iraq War Ireland Ivory trade Jaguars Jewellery Journalism Kenya Korean demilitarized zone LIGO Experiment Language Laughter Yoga Library London 7/7 Attacks Loneliness Los Angeles Loss Love Maasai Society Magic Magritte Malaria Mara River Marine conservation Mars Martin Luther King Mental health Mexico Migration Military Military Research Military training Millions March NYC Mongolia Mongolian Herders Moroccan Culture Morocco Mountain Rescue Movement Music Myalgic encephalomyelitis Myanmar NASA Native Americans Natural disaster Natural history Natural wonders Nature Navajo Indians Nepal New Horizons Mission New York Nigeria Noise Pollution Nuclear Nuclear Weapons Nuclear testing Obama Presidency Ocean Acidification Oceanography Olympic Games Overfishing PTSD Painting Pakistan Palau Paleontology Partition Patagonia People smuggling Performance Peru Philippines Photography Pluto Poaching Poetry Police Brutality Policing Pollution Porton Down Poverty Prejudice Press freedom Prison Protest Puerto Rico R&D Racing Racism Rainforest Recycling Reenactment Refugees Rehabilitation Religion Remembrance Renewable Energy Replica Cities Retrofuturism Rewilding River Ghanges Road Safety Robotics Rodeo Rohingya Russia Safari Salvador Dali Saudi Arabia Savannah Science Scientific Research Scotland Sea Erosion Search and Rescue Senses Sex Trade Sexual assault Sexuality Sharks Shell Oil Spills Skateboarding Slavery Sleeping Sickness Slums Social VR Solar Energy Solitary confinement Somalia Songwriting Space exploration Space tourism Spacetime Speed Spirituality Sport Stasi Sudan Suffragettes Surfing Surrealism Syrian Civil War Tanks Technology Terrorism Testicular Cancer The Burning Ghats of Varanasi The Earth The Holocaust The Shooting of Michael Brown The Universe Theatre Tibet Torture Tourism Traditional Dance Transgender Travel Tropical Disease U.S Politics UK Government UK Royal Family US Mexico border wall US Navy USA Vietnam Virtual Reality Visual impairment Volcanos Voodoo Voyager Probe War & Conflict Water Water poverty White Power Movement Wild Fires Wildebeest migration Witness testimony Women Womens rights World War 2 Yemeni Civil War Zika Virus vision
How much non-fiction VR content is out there?
Based on 375 titles catalogued so far, this chart shows how production numbers for non-fiction VR content have changed since the earliest known examples in 2012:
Film festivals and awards
Non-fiction VR is an increasingly visible fixture at leading international film festivals. According to our dataset, these are the most prominent non-fiction VR titles in terms of festival appearances and awards received:
|2016||Notes on Blindness: Into Darkness||Amaury La Burthe, Arnaud Colinart, James Spinney & Peter Middleton||3||7|
|2016||Home: Aamir||Erfan Saadati, Rufus Norris & Toby Coffey||3||3|
|2016||Home - An Immersive Spacewalk Experience||Kate Bartlett & Tom Burton||2||4|
|2017||After Solitary||Cassandra Herrman & Lauren Mucciolo||2||3|
|2017||Munduruku: The Fight to Defend the Heart of the Amazon||Grace Boyle & James Manisty||2||1|
|2016||Behind the Fence||Jonathan Olinger & Lindsay Branham||2||1|
|2016||6x9: A Virtual Experience of Solitary Confinement||Francesca Panetta & Lindsay Poulton||1||5|
|2018||The Sun Ladies||Celine Tricart||1||5|
Who is creating non-fiction VR content?
These are the most prolific directors / creators in our dataset*, weighted by the number of titles credited to them. Select a director to view their filmography, collaborators and awards.
Aaron Bradbury Amaury La Burthe Andrew Somerville Angel Manuel Soto Ari Palitz Averie Timm Ben C. Solomon Celine Tricart Charlotte Mikkelborg Chris Milk Cory Tran Danfung Dennis Darren Emerson David Darg David Gelb David Whelan Elise Ogle Eliza McNitt Eric Strauss Evan Grothjan Francesca Panetta Félix Lajeunesse Gabo Arora Georgy Molodtsov Graham Roberts Imraan Ismail James Hedley Jane Gauntlett Jason Drakeford Jeff Orlowski Jeremy Bailenson Jesse Ayala Jessica Brillhart John Durrant Lindsay Branham Lucy Walker Lynette Wallworth Marshall Curry Matteo Lonardi Mitch Turnbull Navid Khonsari Nicole Jackson Nonny de la Peña Oscar Raby Patrick Meegan Paul Mezier Paul Raphaël Raphael Beugrand Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy Shehani Fernando Stephanie Riggs Tarik Benbrahim Tyson Sadler Vassiliki Khonsari Yasmin Elayat Zach Richter Zahra Rasool Ziv Schneider
* For brevity, we only directors who are credited with more than one title are included. For a comprehensive list, view the full film listing.
Where is non-fiction VR being produced?
Our dataset currently contains titles released from 50 countries. Of the 375 titles in our dataset, the leading non-fiction VR producing countries are: USA (54%) , United Kingdom (21%) , Canada (6%) , France (4%) & Australia (3%) .
How is the duration of non-fiction VR content changing over time?
According to our data, the length of a non-fiction VR title ranges from 1 to 40 minutes, with an average of 8.8 minutes. This chart shows how the length of non-fiction VR titles has changed over time.