Photojournalist Danfung Dennis Makes A Splash In Tech With Immersive Video

Photojournalist and Academy Award Nominated filmmaker (Hell and Back Again) Danfung Dennis and his fledgling immersive video company Condition One just received half a million in seed capitol from tech visionary Mark Cuban. As was first reported on GigaOm in a story titled “Is Condition One the future of video? Mark Cuban thinks so” Danfung just graduated from TechStars’ New York class last Thursday and is “embarking on a pilot program with Mercedes, Discovery Communications, XL Recordings, The Guardian and Popular Science.”

You can download an app showcasing the technology in the itunes store (here). It’s exciting to see a photographer pushing the limits of technology for storytelling.

Dennis believes this video can be used in a number of settings, from live music and sporting events to more traditional documentaries. He said creating video with Condition One results in a much more transparent portrayal of an event or story because it doesn’t involve traditional editing and framing techniques.

“There is less control and less ability to filter and it’s harder to construct a narrative,” Dennis said. “We’re taking the power of a still image and the narrative of film and marrying it with virtual reality to make a new experience that’s highly interactive.”

 

There Are 5 Comments On This Article.

  1. What exactly is new about this video player? It looks like the footage has been shoot in a kind of multi-angle technique and you can slightly adjust the framing. The stress is on “slightly”. A strong, almost fish eye type lens was used in the shots where the finger swipe adjusted the camera angle. Does it have to be such a heavily distorted wide angle image?

    What I couldn’t see, even though I went to Condition One’s website, what it was good for and how it really worked. PR language like “marrying the power of the still image and the narrative of film with virtual reality to make a highly interactive experience” seems to me like a “lorem ipsum” text in layout that acts like a placeholder, but doesn’t describe or explain anything. When confronted with such language I wonder: is this something real?

    As a creative I’d like to know: what is different about this software, and what possibilities does it open for creatives? I’d like to see something specific.

  2. “What exactly is new about this video player?”

    I can’t speak for Condition One, but it looks new to me–AFAIK there isn’t a video player out there now that does this. There are similar technologies like QTVR/Flash panos, but nothing exactly like this that I’m aware of.

    I too was curious about how it worked (how it’s shot, what hardware you need, etc), but I guess there not sharing that yet. Regarding the extreme wide angle, my guess is that that’s necessary to make this work. I have seen video online using QTVR technology, shot with one-shot 360 lens attachments that let you pan and tilt all around, but the quality isn’t so hot because the attachments are basically mirror balls that you shoot into.

    Is it real? My guess is yes; it certainly wouldn’t be terribly hard to accomplish, and I would bet that people would want to use it.

  3. Wow….now everyone can look at war from a first person video game perspective…great…just great.

    • The first person aspect and the choice of events photographed leaves a bad taste in my mouth… I don’t think I want the line between journalism and video games crossed, or even approached.