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The Economy Theatre - OAAM - Nizwa, Oman

Client - Royal Court of Affairs, Oman

Main Contractor - Pico

Exhibit Designer - Event 

Lead AV Company - Graham English & Co

Production Company -  Helix

Local Production - Barasti Productions

Audio -  Stuart Bruce

Installation - Fehérvári Gábor 

Format

10-meter, 360-degree projection cylinder with a 6-meter projected ceiling cap.

About

The 360° Economy Theatre of Oman is an immersive AV experience in the Oman Across the Ages Museum, created by GE&Co and Helix. It tells the story of the economic landscape of Oman with 360 ° video footage. This project highlights Oman's rich resources and industries as well as exploring the field of immersive storytelling with new insights and technological advancements.

photos from film for Web R6

Aims & Objectives
With a design brief and collaborative support from Event, our goal was to craft an immersive large scale experience that would not only highlight Oman’s abundant natural and human resources but also instill a sense of national pride in its sustainable economic initiatives. We aimed to capture the vitality of the financial system and to spotlight progress across key sectors such as oil, gas, agriculture, fishing, and tourism, while fostering optimism for the future of the Omani economy.

Production

In the pre-production stage, we created a narrative encompassing 25 extraordinary sites across Oman, chosen for their visual capacity to tell a compelling story with 360° cinematography. We conducted comprehensive camera tests using drones and bespoke rigs to ensure that we could faithfully capture Oman’s diverse economic landscapes, from the stark beauty of its deserts, the vitality of its seas, to its thriving industrial sector.

During the shoot our local production partner, Barasti, was responsible for the necessary organisational details to facilitate a seamless shoot schedule. We navigated Oman by land, sea, and air, backed by a dedicated crew of locals who were instrumental in navigating the challenges posed by the natural elements and industrial hazards. From sandstorms and fierce winds to the desert heat, the team employed innovative strategies to ensure the successful capture of Oman's stunning vistas and industrial might. 

Progression and fluidity were crucial to the story, embodying the evolving, dynamic nature of Oman’s economy, and achieving this required motion in our cinematography. Beyond mounting cameras on cars and boats for different perspectives, the exceptional team at Fly Through Films expertly navigated our 360° rig through challenging conditions. Their skilled piloting ensured that the story's momentum was maintained, capturing the essence of Oman's economic vibrancy and future potential with continuity and motion.

camera on site forming one unified 360° panoramic image.
Location filming using drone

Post Production

Back in the UK, and in post-production we started by stitching the footage from the eight cameras sources to form one unified 360° panoramic image. We then cut our story together,  colour graded and digitally removed any visual traces of the drone above. Additionally, we used extra motion, to synchronise with the moving floor later at the installation.

 

Given the expansive scale of the 360° display, we allowed for extended durations on each shot before cuts, ensuring that movement remained slow and deliberate to enhance the immersive viewing experience and to avoid any dizziness in the theatre. 

The emotive soundtrack composed by Stuart Bruce played a vital role in the visitor experience. Carefully composed to mirror the narrative's ebb and flow, the music moved in harmony with the scenes, accentuating the scenery and camera movement. This auditory layer was not just a feature of the experience but the soulful thread that bound the elements of the exhibit together.

By using 360° VR headsets for previews, we were able to scrutinise every detail, making real-time adjustments to ensure that the final product fulfilled its ambitious vision.

Installation:

A significant addition to the experience was the adaptation of the visuals for the multi-axis moving floor installed in the theatre, which added a physical dimension to the virtual journey. Our team calibrated the imagery to synchronise with the floor's movements, creating a compelling film that engaged not just the senses of sight and hearing but also motion.

scenery - adaptation of the visuals for the multi-axis moving floor installed in a theatre

Outcomes

Our collaboration yielded a project that achieved its set objectives and stands as a testament to the creative use of technology for a brilliant audience experience. Using advanced techniques, we crafted an immersive exhibit that draws visitors into the heart of Oman’s transformational story. This project enhanced our understanding of virtual reality's capabilities and its constraints, offering us new perspectives on immersive storytelling. We're proud to have provided visitors a distinctive experience that encapsulates Oman’s rich heritage and ongoing journey towards progress.

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