BBC – Vigil submarine
To promote the release of their police procedural miniseries Vigil, the BBC held a premiere at London’s BFI Southbank for the media, actors and talent in the show. The series was named after the fictional HMS Vigil submarine at the centre of the show’s crime plot.
Most of the series was filmed in a large set that was designed to resemble a real Trident submarine. The audience, however, would only be able to see inside the submarine from certain angles and therefore wouldn’t appreciate how large the submarine set actually was.
The BBC wanted an AR experience that would allow the Vigil premiere guests to understand the full size of the featured submarine and therefore the scale of work that went into building the set.
Furthermore, the BBC wanted to keep the guests engaged throughout the evening, which in turn would generate more awareness for Vigil by the attending media ahead of its television debut.
We teamed up with 8th Wall to create an elaborate combination of an image tracker and augmented world effect that was available as a WebAR experience. As the premiere was a private event, the theatre inside BFI Southbank and the avenue outside the building were cordoned to ensure that premiere guests only could access the experience.
In the cordoned-off areas, guests found lollipops stands with QR codes which they could scan with their phone cameras as they were waiting to be admitted into the theatre. After scanning a QR code, their mobile web browsers prompted them to point their cameras at a Vigil promotional banner outside the BFI Southbank building.
Once their phone cameras had tracked an image of the promotional banner, the augmented world effect was activated. In front of the user emerged a large 3D model of the HMS Vigil submarine from a projection of water on the ground, giving users a sense of how the submarine would have behaved if it truly was out at sea.
Sounds of alarms, sirens and crashing waves can be heard throughout to emphasise the realism within the AR experience, and guests also had the opportunity to walk around the submarine to grasp its magnitude. The experience ended with the submarine submerging into the sea projection, before guests were directed to watch the official trailer for Vigil on YouTube.
Vigil premiered at BFI Southbank on 23rd August 2021, where the WebAR experience was activated by 1,520 guests that evening.
The BBC was pleased with the way guests responded to the use of augmented reality at the event, whilst even one of Vigil’s main star actors, Suranne Jones, complimented the AR experience!
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