VR Documentary Film: Inside a Mountain Rescue Mission

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Mountains always constitute a real danger. It doesn’t matter whether your are a rookie or professional mountain climber, skier, hiker, there is no denying that accidents can happen very quickly.
Since 1968, Air Zermatt has become a well known company in the field of emergency medicine and alpine rescue. Matthias Taugwalder (VR producer) and Cyrill Pinto (reporter for Swiss newspaper SonntagsBlick), accompanied the Air Zermatt team over a period of 3 days in all their rescue missions.
Thanks to their work, viewers can share Air Zermatt’s daily routine and see what a mountain rescue mission is all about. As you will see through this VR documentary film, sometimes rescue missions can lead to a tragic end.

Could you tell us a bit about yourself and about this VR documentary?

My name is Matthias Taugwalder, I am a senior VR producer, 360-degree video trainer and also CEO of the company Concept360 based in Zurich (Switzerland). I had the chance to accompany Air Zermatt, a highly experienced rescue company through one rescue operation and made this short VR documentary.

How to tell stories and hold attention with VR? Is VR the future of filmmaking?

Virtual reality allows viewers to immerse themselves completely into the story and discover places where they simply could not be able to visit. I am totally confident that we are moving towards a new era where we can tell engaging stories with protagonists and their environments thanks to this new immersive technology. Interested persons should keep in mind that virtual reality can not be used for everything. This immersive technology works best for stories that are connected to unique and exclusive locations that viewers can explore, while the story unfolds before his/her eyes.
We captured 820 GB of footage. On a daily basis, the Omni importer allowed us to check the footage we got and preselect the best shots we would use for the final edit.

To your opinion, what are the main challenges of shooting with a VR 360 camera?

Preparation is key to get things going. In fact, it is important to think in advance about the ways you will capture the footage. This applies especially when you shoot 360-degree documentaries because you need to capture a lot of content in order to have enough freedom of action afterwards in the post-production stage. Just keep in mind that with 360-degree video, you will capture everything. This is a little thing that makes a huge difference and that is the reason why that makes virtual reality so powerful. Lastly, we had to keep a very low profile and must not impede or jeopardise rescue missions so I used numerous cameras and rigs.

Thanks Matthias for sharing your experience!

Interested in getting into VR or simply increasing your VR filmmaking skills? Get in touch with Matthias, Kolor GoPro certified VR trainer.

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