THE JOURNAL

A 360-Degree Journey with Bradley Cooper

Award-winning actor Bradley Cooper, IWC and Google bring you a unique virtual reality experience.

On location in the Mojave Desert with Bradley Cooper and IWC
— On location in the Mojave Desert

For those who celebrate nonconformity, award-winning actor Bradley Cooper is the epitome of the word. The popular star of stage and screen was the choice to lead IWC enthusiasts on “The Road Less Traveled”, a VR experience available on Google Spotlight Stories. Wearing the Big Pilot’s Watch Edition “Le Petit Prince”, Cooper goes on a motorcycle journey from Los Angeles to the Mojave Desert in search of an off-road adventure.

 

Google Spotlight Stories, the search giant’s groundbreaking platform for interactive storytelling, allows you to go on the virtual ride with Cooper. “The Road Less Traveled” is innovative in that this is the first time an interactive VR story produced with an actor of Cooper’s calibre and a Hollywood crew has debuted on the platform. As the plotline is not linear, you control the narrative: the decisions you make during certain points in the story influence what happens next, making the experience potentially different every time.

HIDE AND (NOT) SEEK

The video was shot on location in Los Angeles and the Mojave Desert with a crew of over 25 people, including Swiss photographer Marcus Grob and German director Hans-Christoph Schultheiss. And it was as challenging as it was exciting. There is a lot to see during 360-degree experience, but keep in mind what you *do not* see: the crew. For a normal video shoot, making sure the crew is out of the shot is not difficult.

 

It is a different story for a VR production: a 360-degree camera, which looks similar to a basketball with 30 embedded lenses, captures scenes in, you guessed it, 360 degrees. This means that the crew had to hide well out of sight before the director shouted “action” – a daunting task in the open desert. Another 360-degree camera was attached head height to an actor on a motorcycle who rode next to Cooper for the viewer’s point-of-view shot.

Bradley Cooper in the IWC-Google VR experience "The Road Less Traveled"
— A scene from “The Road Less Traveled” featuring IWC Brand Ambassador Bradley Cooper
 A scene from the IWC-Google VR experience "The Road Less Traveled"
—The production was shot on location Los Angeles and the Mojave Desert. This is Cooper’s first collaboration with IWC.

CONTINUING A TRADITION OF STORYTELLING

And also unlike a normal video production in which a scene can be watched immediately after it is shot, for “The Road Less Traveled” production, each scene had to be edited in post production and then watched using a VR viewer for the daily scene reviews.

 

Our partnership with Google was a logical step. IWC is known not only for technical craftsmanship, but also the stories behind each timepiece manufactured. Those stories are fluid, allowing whoever wears an IWC watch to accent the story or create their own. It is in this spirit that we worked with Google on this storytelling venture. The key was to allow the experience to be accessible to everyone, whether a collector of luxury timepieces or a tech enthusiast excited about the latest in VR innovation. Google allowed IWC to do just that.

 

“The Road Less Traveled” can be viewed with a cardboard VR headset or viewer like Google Daydream after downloading and installing the Google Spotlight Stories app on your smartphone or tablet. You can find the app on Google Play or the App Store.


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