L.A. Noir

The New York Times has done it, again! Over the last year they have consistently released some of the classiest and most immersive 3D/360°/VR media around. Features like Takes Flight and Seeking Pluto’s Frigid Heart set production and content quality standards exceedingly high, but this time they have truly outdone themselves.

The New York Times Magazine yearly “Great Performers” feature was framed in “film noir” style and then, much in the same way as last year, re-imagined to go beyond a traditional photo shoot to also encompass a fantastic set of 360°/VR movies. Here’s the gist of what they have done this year in their own words.

“Kristen Stewart, Natalie Portman, Don Cheadle, Ruth Negga and others star in classic film-noir scenarios, with a virtual reality twist. In each short, the stars were instructed to play their scenes with the V.R. camera as a character, speaking to it, singing to it, firing a gun at it. The result is a strange and thrilling new experience that places you, the viewer, within each scene.” — The New York Times Magazine

Here is a 360° YouTube video of all of the performances — press and hold to explore it.

You can also see individual performances on YouTube.
Great Performers: LA Noir (The New York Times, YouTube Channel)
Best of all, there is a special feature article written by the Editor of The New York Times Magazine giving a bit more background about the production.
Behind the scenes of ‘Great Performers: L.A. Noir’ (Jake Silverstein, The New York Times Magazine).

Given the quality of this new feature relative to last year’s Take Flight, it is hard to imagine what they will do for next year’s “Great Performers” special feature. Best guess: they will outdo themselves, yet again, and it will be well worth the year long wait.

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