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 314 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 2015 Paris Attacks 2016 US Election Aborigine Abortion Adventure Africa Ageing Aleksei Leonov Aleppo Amazon Rainforest Animal rights Anne Frank Antarctica April 2015 Nepal earthquake Archeology Architecture Arctic Circle Art Astrophysics Asylum Australia Autism Aviation Ballet Basketball Beavers Beekeeping Behind-the-scenes Berlin Bipolar disorder Blindness Brain injury Calais Jungle Capitalism Cerebral Palsy Chernobyl disaster Childhood China Cinema Civil Rights Movement Climate change Cochlear Implant Congo Conservation Consumerism Coral Reefs Cuba Cults Cyber Warfare Cycling Dance Data Visualisation Death Deforestation Defy Ventures Disaster Discrimination Displacement Diving Dolphins Domestic violence Drugs Duppy Gun Productions Earthquake Ebola Ecology Education Engineering Entertainment Environment Environmental disaster Epilepsy Ethnic cleansing Exploitation FGM Famine Female empowerment Fiji Film Production First Space Walk First World War Food banks Foreign Legion Gaza Gender equality Gender identity Grand Canyon Grenfell Fire Grief Hacking Hearing Heritage Hiroshima History Homelessness Hoverboards Hubble Telescope Human rights Human trafficking ISIS Inca Indigenous peoples Infancy International Space Station Iraq Ireland Ivory trade Jaguars Jewellery Journalism Kenya Korean demilitarized zone Language Laughter Yoga Library London 7/7 Attacks Loneliness Los Angeles Loss Love Magic Mara River Marine conservation Mars Martin Luther King Mental health Mexico Migration Military Military Research Military training Millions March NYC Mongolia Movement Music Myalgic encephalomyelitis Myanmar NASA Nairobi Native Americans Natural disaster Natural history Nature Nepal New Horizons Mission New York Nigeria Noise Pollution Nuclear Nuclear Weapons Nuclear testing Obama Presidency Oceanography Olympic Games Overfishing PTSD Pakistan Palau Paleontology Patagonia People smuggling Performance Peru Photography Pluto Poaching Police Brutality Policing Pollution Porton Down Poverty Prejudice Press freedom Prison Protest Racing Racism Radicalisation Rainforest Recycling Reenactment Refugees Rehabilitation Religion Renewable Energy Replica Cities Retrofuturism Rewilding River Ghanges Road Safety Robotics Rohingya Safari Salvador Dali Saudi Arabia Science Scientific Research Scotland Sea Erosion Search and Rescue Sex Trade Sexual assault Sexuality Sharks Shell Oil Spills Skateboarding Slavery Social VR Solitary confinement Somalia Space exploration Spacetime Speed Spirituality Sport Sudan Surfing Syrian Civil War Technology Terrorism Testicular Cancer The Burning Ghats of Varanasi The Earth The Holocaust The Shooting of Michael Brown The Universe Tibet Torture Tourism Transgender Travel U.S Politics UK Government UK Royal Family USA Virtual Reality Visual impairment Volcanos Voodoo Wall War & Conflict Water White Power Movement Wildebeest migration Witness testimony Women Womens rights Yemeni Civil War
How much non-fiction VR content is out there?
Based on 314 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|
|2017||After Solitary||Cassandra Herrman & Lauren Mucciolo||2||3|
|2016||Home - An Immersive Spacewalk Experience||Kate Bartlett & Tom Burton||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||4|
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 Ben C. Solomon Celine Tricart Charlotte Mikkelborg Chris Milk Cory Tran Danfung Dennis Darren Emerson David Darg David Gelb 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 Lindsay Branham Lucy Walker Lynette Wallworth Marshall Curry Matteo Lonardi Nicole Jackson Nonny de la Peña Oscar Raby Paul Raphaël Raphael Beugrand Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy Stephanie Riggs Tyson Sadler 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 46 countries. Of the 314 titles in our dataset, the leading non-fiction VR producing countries are: USA (56%) , United Kingdom (19%) , Canada (7%) , France (4%) & Australia (4%) .
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 9.1 minutes. This chart shows how the length of non-fiction VR titles has changed over time.