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UNIT9's MINI VR Experience Takes You on a Film Noir Adventure

UNIT9 London, 2 years ago

Agency KKLD pushes boundaries of VR narrative with films directed by Alex de Rakoff

UNIT9's MINI VR Experience Takes You on a Film Noir Adventure

Brands are leading the way in pioneering virtual reality experiences. MINI, with production studio UNIT9 and creative agency KKLD, wanted to push the boundaries of narrative in VR, and showcase MINI’s passion for innovative content. An ambition that led to them to create two pieces of Virtual Film Noir.

‘Real Memories’ is an exploration into psychological control, where all is not quite what it seems. ‘Backwater’ combines one last heist with a doomed love story. Both films’ key narrative moments take place in a MINI, taking the viewer on intriguing journeys, leaving them wanting to know more.

UNIT9 VR Creative Director Henry Cowling comments, “What we wanted to do was merge film and theatre together. VR posits a new filmic storytelling language and renders many aspects of the old one defunct. Traditional film tools like close-ups, inserts and shot-reverse-shot, even fundamentals like composing a frame - are either very limited or obsolete in VR. We had to find new ways to draw the viewer’s eye to what we want them to see.”

The films were shot in Barcelona in stereoscopic, captured with a customised 9-camera RED Dragon rig, in 6K. It’s the first time such a rig has been used in Europe, and the first time a rig has been used for a narrative VR film.   

The two pieces of VR content are complemented by 4 additional films, each highlighting a different feature of MINI Connected, such as Car Finder and Real Time Traffic, directed by Alex de Rakoff.

The VR medium, along with the high production values of these VR films, have allowed MINI to create compelling content, as well as give viewers the most realistic filmic experience yet of being in and virtually test-driving the car.


Brand: MINI

Creative Agency

Creative: Stephan Lammermann, Anna Nowok (Creative Supervision)

Creative Agency: KKLD

Digital Production Company

Executive Producer: Robert Bader, Stefan Bader, Rafa Montilla

Music and Sound

Sound Design: Box Of Toys

Post Production / VFX

Post Production House: Bipolar ID (VR Post Production)

Producer: Rory Mathieson, Sean Chung (Post Producers)

Production Company

AD: Carles Valero

Director: Alex de Rakoff

DOP: Pancho Alcaine

Executive Producer: Michelle Craig

Line Producer: Anahi Puig

Producer: Nick Sutherland Dodd, Aurelien Simon

Producers: Cathy Peng, Christian Grandi

Production Company: UNIT9

Production Designer: Ana Alvar Gonzales

Production Manager: Yolanda Gata

Technical Assistant : Rene Schulze (MINI Technician)

VR Specialist: David Crone (Custom VR Car Rig)

Category: Automotive , Cars

Genre: Action , Visual VFX