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Fader 2.0: What the consortium has been up to (V)

fader_kit

Remember Fader/VRappr, the marvelous VR/360 DNI project run by DW, Euronews, and Vragments from February 2017 to May 2018? Of course you do. And we just remembered it’s time to give you a last proper consortium update. But first of all, let’s take a quick look at the past, present, and future of our immersive storytelling tool.

An easy-to-use, feature-rich, and global platform

In 2016, Fader was merely a concept, then a slightly wonky 360/VR editor. In 2018, it’s an easy-to-use, feature-rich platform with approximately 1000 registered users and 1000 published stories. All over the world, journalists and storytellers are experimenting with Fader, new immersive content is in the making.

Vragments, still the platform’s main developers, will soon release an even more sophisticated version of Fader. Features will include:

  • a completely new editor design (check out the screenshot below)
  • new interactive hotspots that trigger text, audio, and 2D photo/video content
  • a new media library that allows users to share items à la Google Drive
  • an improved player that allows skipping through stories

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Make sure you don’t miss the roll out. And just in case you don’t have a Fader account yet: They’re free, and it takes less than a minute to sign up. Join the VR/360 storytelling community here.

The consortium on the road

Spreading the word about Fader (and the magic of immersive storytelling in general) was a top (and favorite) task in the last months of our collaborative project. In March, DW went to the Düsseldorf AR/VR meetup to discuss Fader with an incredibly interested, open-minded audience. In March and April, Vragments ran two very successful VR/360 workshops for RTL Journalistenschule in Cologne. Another workshop took place at DW headquarters in Bonn in April: A group of young storytellers pursuing a Master’s in international media studies produced their first Fader pieces in the scope of a class on mobile journalism. Just as expected, the “Fader Finale” (a two-day public VR session in Berlin in May) marked the climax of our live dissemination efforts. Lots of interesting (and different) people joined us at our VR Pop Up Store, which also saw the premiere of two special Fader stories by Ole Krogsgaard and David Rojkowski. At the same time, Euronews was discussing 360 journalism and presenting Fader at Sybillium, an event on VR and immersive worlds in Toulouse.

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The Fader Finale Pop Up Store in Berlin

The Fader/VRappr DNI project officially ran out in May – but that didn’t keep us from doing more sessions later on, for example at the GEN summit in Lisbon or at the Global Media Forum in Bonn. Most certainly, we’ll keep our eyes open for more opportunities to talk immersive tech and content.

Immersive Missouri

On the other side of the Atlantic, in the US, the Consortium started a fruitful cooperation with the Missouri School of Journalism: Vragments helped create a Fader series called 360 Politics and organized weekly meetings to discuss the production process, technical questions, and content strategy. Here’s one of the pieces, on Mexican immigrant Ana Garcia and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy in Trump’s America (for the full report on the KOMU’ website, click here):

Thomas Seymat, immersive journalist and Fader/VRappr project lead for Euronews, will spend the school year 2018/19 as a residential fellow at the Missouri School of Journalism, or more specifically: at the Reynolds Journalism Institute. The goal of Thomas’ project is to build a prototype of an easily customizable online sandbox to help 360/VR content creators prototype immersive stories and conduct online audience research on these experiences. The tool will provide evidence-based best practices for both storytelling and advertising in 360/VR. Fun fact: Ole Krogsgaard, currently based in Copenhagen and affiliated with the Fader/VRappr project almost from the beginning, will fill in for Thomas at Euronews Lyon while our French colleague is working in Columbia.

More Fader at DW

Back in Bonn and Berlin, Fader is finding its way into DW’s regular programming. Trainees and editors have started developing and shooting immersive stories, and in late 2018/early 2019, Lifestyle magazine euromaxx will launch a novel series of Fader stories. We’ll have more details on that later on.

For now, we’d like to say goodbye and thank you to everyone who has been involved in and supported DNI project Fader/VRappr. Hopefully, we’ll be able to continue this at some point. Until then: Keep on experimenting with immersive storytelling and getfader.com!

Alexander Plaum

Date

Wednesday, August 1st, 2018

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