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Queen + Adam Lambert VR Concert Wins Award

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Queen + Adam Lambert's first live concert virtual reality experience – VR The Champions – has been announced the winner of the IMAGO Award for Extraordinary Technical Achievement.

The award was presented to Jannicke Mikkelsen FNF, the film's Director, Cinematographer and Stereographer.

Created by Miracle Productions and Eagle Rock Films, VR The Champions was directed by Mikkelsen and stars Brian May, Roger Taylor, Adam Lambert, and the band. The VR film, which premiered at the 2016 Tribecca Film Festival's Tribeca Virtual Reality Arcade, provides viewers with an immersive concert experience. The video offers front row access to the ultimate on-stage experience with the band. With 'flying' 3D and 360-degree video, the viewer virtually hovers above the audience and even flies among the band members themselves, as they perform on the stage of Barcelona's Palau Sant Jordi.

Offering the complete experience of heightened reality, VR The Champions is filmed in stereoscopic 4K with ambisonic audio, a full-sphere surround sound technique, to provide an experience that virtually captures the live concert experience and which can be experienced on high end VR headsets as well as a mobile friendly version for cell phones.

Instigated by Queen's Brian May, as well as produced by him, May's passion for 3D led him to suggest not only flying a custom VR rig on wires above the audience at a Queen concert, but flying it above the performers themselves too, thereby giving an unique virtual reality view of the show, from the perspective of the stage. To direct the shoot, Brian invited Jannicke Mikkelsen, a 3D artist already experienced in directing 360 degree shoots for David Attenborough.

Commenting on the award win, Mikkelsen said: "I am humbled and honoured to receive this award. I would like to thank Brian May as he was the entirely behind the creation of the project. I only had two weeks to solve this seemingly impossible project brief, spending a lot of time with Brian working through the engineering of the camera rig, using 20 cameras to get the 3D, stereoscopic result Brian was seeking. Brian's background as an astrophysicist and photo historian specialising in Victorian stereoscopic photography was the main contributor in bringing this project to life."

Brian May added: "This is the fulfillment of a dream. Jannicke did a wonderful job – I can't think of anyone else who could have pulled it off so magnificently in such a short time. I think she made a milestone and she so deserves the award. Through this unique Virtual Reality creation, fans around the world are for the first time able to experience the excitement and energy of a Queen + Adam Lambert show in their own homes. Many of you have seen VR, but not VR like this."

VR The Champions is available on VRTGO, Universal Music Group's VR platform that is available for iPhone and Android and accessible through most web browsers, at a cost of $9.99/€10.99/£9.99.

The viewing experience is compatible with the OWL VR kit, designed by Brian May, and can also be enjoyed using any VR viewing system including Oculus, Google Cardboard, Samsung Gear VR and HTC Vive.

The OWL Virtual Reality Kit by Brian May is available from The London Stereoscopic Company here.

Image: Neal Preston © Queen Productions Ltd.

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