Visualise creates a VR tour of Rio’s Favelas for the FT and Google

By Kathy Boyce August 5, 2016

To celebrate the launch of the 2016 Olympic Games, taking place in Brazil, Visualise has been busy filming and producing Hidden Cities: Rio, a VR tour which helps viewers discover a fresh perspective of one of the world’s cultural and political capitals as a 360° video.

The latest immersive documentary is the third in the Hidden Cities series, part of a wider campaign run by adam&eveDDB for the FT and Google. Previous cities profiled include London and Brussels, however this is the first time it includes a virtual reality element.

The immersive documentary, with reporting and voiceover by Brazil correspondent Samantha Pearson, explores the social dynamics and physical landscape of Rio’s favelas, giving viewers a sense of the city of Rio behind the games.

Visualise was involved with the planning of the virtual reality film, directing and producing the shoot, as well all of the editing and post-production.

The content is free to access on the FT’s website and uses Google Cardboard, where 35,000 headsets will be distributed with the paper on Sunday and at various retail outlets in the UK  for a mobile VR experience.

Natalie Whittle, FT Weekend Magazine Associate Editor and Editorial Lead on Hidden Cities, commented: “This project was a very rich and exciting one to work on – we not only had a chance to look closely at Rio de Janeiro through the eyes of our correspondents and photojournalists on the ground, but also to explore how 360 video can be used to extend the insightful access that we always strive to give our readers.”

Henry Stuart, CEO and co-founder of Visualise added: “With all eyes on Rio for the Olympics we had the chance to dive in to their Favelas and tell the story of how they have been developing in the run up to the games. Using the perspective of the FT’s local journalist we had to illustrate Samantha Pearson’s story in virtual reality. It was a hugely challenging shoot to plan and operate, tough conditions, schedule and locations. We are delighted with what we returned with though, this experience really feels like it is immersing you deep in the true cultural heart of Rio and gives an honest perception of the city often called ‘the divided city’.”

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