Supporting great creatives from around the world | Blend Media

Simon Brooksbank talks about joining Blend and how his team will support content makers around the world

I’m thrilled to join the Blend Media team as Head of Video. It’s an unbelievably exciting time to be a part of this rapidly evolving industry. According to reports from Digi-Capital, the market for VR/AR will be worth $108 Billion by 2021. Ultimately, this growth will be driven by the amazing experiences built by passionate creatives around the world. So… who am I, and what is my team aiming to do to support the community of 360˚ and VR video producers?

I am a true lover and appreciator of the art of video storytelling. I’ve previously worked at Shutterstock and Getty Images and with clients including AFP, Sky News, Bloomberg and Red Bull Media. I’m proud to have produced a number of commercials, brand films, entertainment programmes and music videos – from Faithless to Girls Aloud, The Streets, Stereophonics and Ronan Keating.

When the opportunity came along to join the team at Blend Media, it was a no-brainer. I’m excited to share our collective experience and, even more importantly, create ways for creators to get together and share with each other. We aim to work alongside our community of video content creators to develop immersive programming, formats and assignments.

Our Production team includes two new hires, Senior Producer Stelios Theocharous and Producer Oliver Greaves. Stelios has done an array of work in 360˚, including content for Arsenal Legends vs. Milan, Williams F1 driver Lance Stroll and for a major SEAT car launch. Oliver has worked with Brave Bison/ Rightster, CNN and MTV on a number of impressive projects. For us, the chance to work as part of a worldwide group of content creators is absolutely fantastic.

There’s an incredible amount of great work already being produced out there. It’s no wonder that a recent YuMe study found 63% of consumers who’ve tried an immersive experience feel it’s the “next big thing” in video. Hong Kong Airlines’ said its 360-degree ad was 35 times more effective than the same traditional 2D ad, while Lionsgate’s Blair Witch VR campaign elicited a 57% voluntary replay rate.

We’re going to be working alongside our creator network to continue to grow premium content for our library (currently 7,000+ videos), support new assignment work and help develop new programming ideas for the format. We’ll do this in a number of ways:

Identify existing 360˚video creators that we want to bring into the network.

Identify 2D video creators that we want to work with to help them shoot in 360˚, join the network and contribute to the library.

Work with creators together on producing 360˚ video content – what we call guided, or art directed content.

Find creators that are best placed - geographically, skills and experience - to deliver on assignments or original programming ideas (for example, our recent work with NASA on the solar eclipse) and work with them, alongside clients, on all logistics for shoots. See below for a 360˚ video of the eclipse by one of our creators, William Briscoe.

We’re honoured to be part of a global creative community, helping to bring exciting creative visions to life.