• Lucy Highton

Head Set: VR experience to change frontline journalist training

Updated: Nov 12

With over 30 years of experience as foreign correspondents, Aela and Kate had always

felt unprepared for the physical, mental, and emotional traumas they faced. The duo created Head Set with a desire to change the media industry for the better, and to develop something which would make a real difference for journalists, trainers, and the public whom they serve.


The challenge

To create a VR experience that could be used as a training tool for journalists to prepare them better for covering violent protests and riots. Having created a script based on real situations that journalists face in the field, Head Set founders Aela and Kate turned to Target3D for the performance capture and VR knowledge.

The solution

The rehearsal was captured at StudioT3D’s mocap stage in London, with the casting managed by Target3D Performance Consultant, Ryan Mercier (with the very 2020 challenge of commissioning performers from one bubble!)

Target3D hosted the Head Set team and provided all the performance capture and animation requirements – including blocking the piece to considering the VR participants position in the experience for maximum impact, through to capturing, cleaning and delivering the data.

A lot of forward planning, and even more fluorescent tape, ensured performers were in the right place relative to the origin allowing the choreography to move around the VR participant fluidly.


After his creative management of the shoot, Target3D’s Ryan Mercier shared, "We really enjoyed helping Kate and Aela with their vision of supporting the integrity of journalists, by directing the performance capture and communicating exactly what they needed from the performers. Although it provided its challenges, working against the backdrop of the pandemic actually helped the actors in some ways – we encouraging them to bring the performance to life from their current personal experience."


The result

Head Set's first VR training module for public disorder, released to major news organisations like Reuters, CNN and ITN to help prepare them for upcoming assignments like the US elections and anti-covid protests around the world.

Speaking after the project, Head Set’s Aela Callan commented, “Target3D are a dream-team. From the minute we started talking through our concept with them, they understood that we were aiming for a high quality product on an ambitious timeline. Despite this and the multiple challenges of creating a socially distanced shoot under Covid-19 restrictions, they rose to the occasion. Every single member of the crew went above and beyond to help our project reach its full potential. Their exacting standards, passion for what they do and good humour make them a pleasure to work with and we can’t wait to do more together.”


For VR solutions and consultation for your next project, speak to Target3D.




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London E2 8FE

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E-mail: info@target3d.co.uk

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