Is Augmented Reality (AR) The Next Frontier For Video Production? – with Torrin Holland, Laureus

21st May 2020 No comments

Torrin Holland is a video producer at Laureus, a major sporting brand that hosts a major, annual international sports awards event. In 2020, the awards took place in Berlin. This interview was recorded a few weeks before the big day, in January 2020.

Prior to working at Laureus, Torrin was a video producer at Sony, creating video content for their online channels for Europe – including for YouTube.

In this short excerpt from our longer interview, hosted by Southpoint Films’ Managing Director Rowan Johnson, Torrin shares his thoughts on the next major technological frontier for video production, which in his view is Augmented Reality. Will we be superimposing cat faces over people going forward?

Listen to the full interview

This interview was recorded for our podcast “Are We Rolling?”  – you can listen to the full interview below.

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Transcript

The transcript for this video has been edited lightly for clarity in written form.

[Rowan] 

And are there any formats that you think, or any sort of big frontiers on the horizon, that you think might potentially change things quite a lot?

I’ve always been a big fan of 360° video but I think I’m in the minority of being a really big fan of it. 

I mean, if there isn’t that’s OK. But I just wondered from the more consumer perspective if you think there might be anything where you’re like “yeah I can see that potentially being quite good”

[Torrin] 

I would say Augmented Reality is something that, as time’s gone by, is becoming more and more accessible to people in fun and interesting ways.

You just need to look at Instagram filters and the fact they’ve got those captions and stuff. They can add people into the background. They’re intelligently programmed to make your selfies more interesting or your normal pictures more interesting.

And I think AR technology is being used quite a lot in branded content videos as well. I went to a branded content day a few months ago and there were some examples from The Guardian where they implemented AR into their video and it worked really well. You can get an easy “second screen” experience.

Whether or not that will work in the long term is – on that level, I don’t know, but definitely for the more social aspect. You want to change your face to a cat? You can.

There’s a cat theme coming on here, you know.

[Rowan] 

I think you’re quite a fan of cats.

[Torrin] 

But yeah, there’s a bunch of Augmented Reality stuff on Instagram that’s just come out over the last few weeks that I’ve seen everybody use.

[Rowan] 

Oh the little circle-y “Pick your character” thing?

[Torrin] 

I’ve had a look at it. You can add Shrek posing, for example, on a balcony.

[Rowan] 

Brilliant. That’s just what I’ve always wanted.

[Torrin] 

Whether or not it’s useful is entirely debatable but I suppose social media is for the weird and wonderful stuff.

[Rowan] 

Yes, and the stuff that people do when they’re just really bored and have nothing else to do. 

That’s quite interesting though, because in a way that’s less about maybe a change to how people will consume content, but is more of a way of how this technology will make a really big difference to how people actually go about producing it.

[Torrin] 

There’s a good example recently – The video game series Gran Turismo. 

They created one of those things where it says what you are. And it just went “what GT Vision car you are.” They’re promoting their own cars and their game based on you.

And that’s a clever way of getting people interested in the game without saying “this is the game”. If you see a car that’s only available in a game because it’s a concept car, and you really like it, you know the brand because it’ll say it – but it leads you to want to explore it more.

So it’s kind of like indirect marketing.

[Rowan] 

Yeah, I think it’s a massive advertising opportunity for companies. It’s probably more the consumer ones.

[Torrin] 

But it allows people to interact with it in a somewhat natural way. So I’m a big fan of content that allows people to interact with it.

There’s a social channel on Instagram called 433 and they take football images, they put it on Insta stories and it’s like “spot the player in the crowd”.

And it’ll have this crowd, and then the next story will be just the player highlighted. And then it’ll have a little caption saying “how many did you get?”

Or like, there’s the crossword puzzle on there. It’s these little fun games that I’m really a big fan of because they allowed the user to interact with it and so the user feels like they get something out of it.

And Augmented Reality, I feel, has the potential to do that as well.

[Rowan] 

That’s really interesting. I don’t know how I’d apply that to running a video production company and what I could make… “Which camera are you?” – I don’t think that’d be hugely exciting.

[Torrin] 

But this is an avenue to start exploring.

[Rowan] 

Yeah I know. I’m personally very fascinated by the idea of using these tools to make production better. It could be really really big. Well, it will be really big. I don’t there’s any exception of that.

It’s such a shame that, in a way, the best camera that any of us really have for making content – that uses all this best technology – is just an iPhone or a smartphone or something. I wish that I could do Augmented Reality stuff with these big cameras that we’re using for filming this, or that I’m going out and doing events with. These don’t even have things like accelerometers in them.

So you think – when you have things like a smartphone, and that you get really steady smooth footage with it, it’s using that little chip inside of it to work out how the camera was moved or how the phone was moved so it can stable it out later.

We don’t even have that technology in our cameras that cost thousands of pounds. So there’s a lot of catching up to do with some of these…

[Torrin]

But wouldn’t you say the fact that you have a phone… It’s more user-friendly – you’re hoping to create this content quicker – but the camera is for almost a completely different purpose. 

So there’s like two target audiences right? For both those who want to make video on their phone and those who want to make it professionally. I don’t know what I’m trying to say here but…

[Rowan] 

I get what you’re saying.

[Torrin] 

You know, the demographic and the mindset is different for both.

[Rowan] 

I’m openly lamenting that we can’t maybe use some of these tools more professionally, I guess. It’s that you can’t – well not that I would want to – superimpose a cat over you.

Actually, I might do now that you’ve mentioned that you like cats a lot. 

When I put this video out I will just make sure that the whole way through you’ve got a cat face filter on you.

[Torrin] 

I’ll tell you why that that stuck in mind. It’s because yesterday I was in bed and I was watching cat reactions to this cat filter. It’s the funniest piece of content I’ve seen yet. It was just this cat looking up and going… ya know, like that.

[Rowan] 

Like leaning back and being a bit scared? Okay.

I have to explain because obviously we’ll have people who are just listening to this. (Or reading it.) I don’t know how best to describe that face you just made but it was a good one.

[Torrin] 

Shocked faced.

[Rowan] 

I think if you’re listening to this, go and watch the video and skip to whatever point…

[Torrin] 

There’s a whole video of just cat’s looking shocked at this cat filter applied to the human face.

[Rowan] 

Oh dear. There’s the internet, hey?

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