In February 2016, Koncept VR was invited by Open Blue to film its sustainable, open-ocean mariculture farm. Located off Costa Arriba, Panama, this farm allows cobia (also known as black salmon—though more similar to swordfish in flavor and texture) to live and grow in large, deep-water enclosures that float 12 kilometers offshore, far from sensitive ecosystems.
Koncept VR was particularly excited about this opportunity as it was in line with their goal to create content that is both entertaining and educational—in this case, regards the living environment.
As an added bonus, the shoot afforded Koncept VR the chance to innovate some new techniques: this was their first production that required filming completely underwater and recording with a hydrophone. The submerged footage they created necessitated new solutions during the fine-stitching step of their post-production process.
Koncept VR worked closely with the founder of Open Blue, Brian O’Hanlon, who is the third generation in his family in the seafood business. He gave Koncept VR an inside look at how the farm operates—showcasing everything from procedures within the nursery to where the cobia swim comfortably in large pens alongside whale sharks, 20-meters below the water level. The enclosures mimic their natural environment, as the waters are deep, clean, and full of oxygen.
Low-density, fully submerged enclosures allow the fish to swim in high-energy currents and never see the same water twice. These conditions help the cobia maintain the highest levels of healthy, stress-free living—which in turn provides consumers with a healthy, delicious product. Open Blue has also established a commercial no-take zone spanning over 10 square kilometers.
Similar to the process we developed while working with the United Launch Alliance , Koncept VR’s team was involved with every stage of development for Open Blue—creative planning, consultation, production in the field, editing, all post-production, and assistance with distribution of the final experience.
The 6-minute video is available for view in an app that Koncept VR helped design, via a custom cardboard, in addition to Littlstar and YouTube. They also built a 2-minute short for sharing at trade shows and with future Open Blue clientele. The video will soon be translated into 4 other languages.
STUDIO: Koncept VR