The World Health Organization (WHO) is having a Global Conference on Noncommunicable diseases (NCD) in the city of Montevideo, Uruguay in October 2017. The goal of the WHO during this conference is to highlight the critical links between reducing premature deaths from NCDs and enhancing policy coherence across areas that impact the governance, prevention, management and surveillance of NCDs. NCDs include cancer, diabetes, heart and lung diseases, together responsible for more than 70% of all deaths worldwide. These conferences often lose the connection of the impact policies can have on a personal level. Therefore a 360-degree video will be developed to hopefully answer the following research question:

How can 360-degree video storytelling be used for the noncommunicable diseases program of the WHO at conferences to create more awareness among policymakers (ministers, diplomats, etc.)?

To answer this question, the medium of 360-degree videos has been researched and how to apply it to the situation. The target group of this project are the policymakers of Uruguay, who will be attending this conference. Since policymakers are often busy people and not experts on every topic, the following things need to be kept in mind:

  • Present information in a short, easily digestible form
  • Use language that a non-specialist can understand
  • Summarize the information, and present clear arguments for a particular course of action

A 360-degree video is a video that records in all directions at the same time and when viewed you can look around in all of those directions freely. This medium is still very young and explored every day. It is very immersive, you can feel like you are standing in a place or situation where you normally wouldn’t be in. With content creators getting more familiar with 360-degree videos every day, more and more content is being created. Although there are no actual rules yet, there are similarities that increase the quality of a 360-degree video:

  • Keep in mind that the shots will last longer so you need to be prepared to work with longer takes.
  • Make sure you know where you want your audience to be looking. Even if you are not putting a specific shot on the screen, you need to know what you want your viewers to see. Be aware of what’s going on in all of the film’s sections.
  • It’s important that you take advantage of the 360 medium. Avoid having your audience looking forward the whole time because then you might as well be shooting regularly. Understanding why your story must be told in 360 is key to the process.
  • Make sure that you are telling a story even if your film is a documentary. Never do your work without intention.
  • Always work with a cinematographer that you collaborate with well. If you must work on your own, make sure your rig is right for what you are aiming to do.
  • Upload a few versions to the 360 environment before choosing the final shot so you can see what that looks like in a 360 space first.
  • Pre-production is very important with 360 so make sure you plan as much as you can out beforehand.
  • With 360, there tends to be a very long depth of field, so keep that in mind as you shoot, but try to use your limitations to your advantage.

With these things in mind some test videos were made using the Samsung Gear 360 and the Zoom H2n, equipment that can record 360-degree video and sound. After several consultations with the WHO, Young Professional Chronic Disease Network (YPCDN) and Socrates Kakoulides, a script was made for the final video. Followed by some alterations and some test versions, a final 360-degree video was made.

To show the policymakers what kind of influence policies could have on a personal scale, the choice was made to show how things are going in the Netherlands in the final product. In the video students are talking about smoking while waiting for a phone call from the doctor. To keep the atmosphere natural and authentic, it was kept unscripted. However, to keep a structure the topics were mentioned before filming.

The answer to the question question ” How can 360-degree video storytelling be used for the noncommunicable diseases program of the WHO at conferences to create more awareness among policymakers?” can be summarized as the following.

360-degree video can have a immersive impact on the viewer. It is an excellent way to communicate a personal and intimate message to someone on a human level, creating a human experience. Compared to the facts and figure, presentations and other information that will be given at the conference, a break from that with the 360-degree video will give the policymakers an insight and an understanding on what for an effect they can have on a local scale.

Unfortunately, the product could not be tested on the target group. It was tested on several other people from different age groups. The concept was received positive, but the video itself had room for improvement.