“Erfan is a talented and knowledgeable VR producer. He’s a creative thinker quick to come up with solutions to technical and creative dilemmas. He’s also got a great sense of humour, essential in the crazy and challenging world of VR production!”

– Mitch Turnbull, Senior Producer / Director, BBC Worldwide

Today I spoke to Erfan Saadati, the Head of VR at Surround Vision.

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What do you do?

Surround Vision is an end-to-end Virtual Reality production company that takes projects from conception to completion, including app build and delivery platforms.

Our team has been producing 360 content for around 5 years. Over the years we’ve developed production and post-production techniques to make our experiences dynamic, comfortable and seamless for our viewers.

We believe VR to be the newest medium of storytelling and place great emphasis on narrative and story to make our experiences immersive and engaging as oppose to relying on the wow factor of VR.

What example project have you done?

Over the years we’ve worked on a broad range on production from automotive and sports to original Surround Vision documentaries.

Here’s a list of our recent projects :

Growing a World Wonder – United Nation – http://surroundvision.co.uk/portfolio/vr-film-growing-a-world-wonder-united-nations/

Home | Aamir – produced in collaboration with National Theatre – http://surroundvision.co.uk/portfolio/home-aamir-vr-documentary-sheffield-doc-fest-national-theatre/ 

Simon – Surround Vision Original – http://surroundvision.co.uk/portfolio/gear-vr-simon-surround-vision-original/

Leicester City are the Premier League Champions | Sky Sports

– http://surroundvision.co.uk/portfolio/leicester-city-epl-champions-360-vr-sky-sports/

What are your thoughts on the UKVR scene?

It’s great to see the UK VR community getting bigger with VR events happening frequently. I find it quite interesting that at these events there’s quite a few VR enthusiast’s that are not directly involved in the industry but find the technology and its possibilities fascinating. It’s always exciting to see a person try VR for the first time, the reactions are priceless.

In terms of producers, there are a handful of established companies, such as Visualise and Surround Vision, and it’s encouraging to see the amount of start ups and freelancers who are diving head first into the industry as they can see the potential it has.

Over the last 6 months I’ve seen the start of some exciting companies specialising in revolutionary techniques such as photorealistic CGI, which makes collaboration between companies much easier which in turn results in exciting VR experiences.

What particular insights do you have on VR?

Knowing the leaders of the industry in terms of techniques and technology helps to keep us ahead of the curve, but what sets us apart from other companies is our emphasis on storytelling.

Most of the people involved in Surround Vision, come from film making backgrounds and so it’s tempting to use the cinematic language for our VR experience, however we now know treating VR as cinema limits what our experiences can achieve. Although far from completion, we’ve began developing a new language for this new medium.

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