The BBC has a long history of covering royal events and in the 1930s first broadcast the Queen’s Birthday Parade on radio. To mark the special occasion of the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations the BBC commissioned Visualise to produce a special 360° video offering viewers a unique opportunity to experience the ceremony from the Queen’s first person POV as she reviews the Trooping of the Colour.
Filmed with unprecedented access during the Major General’s Review on Saturday 28th May, we had only one opportunity to capture the 90-minute parade uninterrupted.
Three rigs were set up at the Horse Guards Parade ground. The main Queen rig was placed on the dais on Horse Guards Parade Ground, where the Queen sits for the ceremony. From this position on the Royal dais, the viewer can take the salute from the Household Division as well as see behind the scenes of the Major General and Garrison Sergeant Major.
Two additional rigs were placed in the grandstand area that captured around 45 minutes of content from key moments and to offer viewers additional perspectives.
“A huge thanks to all at Visualise who put in the hours to polish the film into the gleaming thing of beauty it is – please do pass on mine and the production teams thanks.”
Christopher Nundy, Innovation Manager for Comedy, Entertainment & Events BBC
Many failsafe measures were put into place to ensure smooth capture including adding a ‘roof’ to the Queen Rig protect against the elements and placing a backup rig beneath should battery failure occur.
Stitching the content was relatively straightforward due to the simple framing of the Parade and positions of the camera rigs, however, we did have to stitch 90 minutes worth of clips, the longest single shot we’ve recorded and resulting in a file just shy of 1TB.
To guide the viewers, veteran BBC news presenter Huw Edwards provided a voiceover introduction and we added simple graphic overlays to highlight key parts of the parade and identify the regiments taking part.
“The BBC has a history of innovation and engaging its audience with new immersive experiences, and the Queen’s Birthday Parade is no exception. We worked to bring an iconic British event to life in a way that allows digital audiences the opportunity to become involved with a unique experience viewers get to watch something from a very special perspective – a perspective usually reserved for the Queen, and the ability to take in the details of this extraordinary event in a way not possible in other mediums.”
Will McMaster, Head of VR, Visualise
The video has been featured on Oculus Store on the Gear VR and received over 700,000 views on YouTube and Facebook 360 with 555 likes and 61 comments.