It’s Huddersfield’s John Smith’s Stadium like you’ve never seen it before.
Shot from many different angles – in the dressing room, from the stands and pitchside – the 360 degree video captured the drama of a Championship game from almost every perspective.
The fly-on-the wall footage was shot by Martin Walker, a virtual reality researcher and lecturer at the Breda University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands.
Martin, formerly of Huddersfield, has previously worked on developing video games – including the EA FIFA titles – and is looking at how VR – virtual reality – can enhance the viewing of sporting events.
“A big part of our research is to demonstrate and test how VR can immerse and engage viewers in ways previously impossible, through the use of 360 video and VR headsets,” he said.
“My son (Freddy, 14) is a die hard Town fan and we talked about how great it would be to record a ‘fly on the wall’ 360 video showing not the match, but behind the scenes action which I think is equally interesting to any fan of the club.”
After meeting club officials, Martin was given an access-all-areas pass for the Town versus Fulham game on April 22.
He found that recording remotely allowed him to capture great shots.
“With a 360 camera rig everything is in shot, so I had to place the tripod where I wanted to shoot, then run off and hide round a corner or behind some seats and then set it recording remotely.
“Also, we only have one rig, so it was very stressful shooting, stopping and then running to the next situation and starting again.
“360 video has to be in the middle of the action for it to work, so that in itself is a challenge.
“By far my favourite shot is when the ref and players walk out to a packed stadium. It really captures the great atmosphere at the club this season.
“The big benefit however with 360 cameras however is no cameramen, so no nerves; people tend to forget it’s there after a few seconds so then behave very naturally which makes for a great shot.”
Martin is hoping to return to the John Smith’s to do more footage.
“We would really like to go further with Town and film things such as boardroom meetings, the management team, training sessions, half-time in the changing room – all the interesting voyeuristic scenarios that are rarely documented, but extremely interesting.
“Our next big project will be hopefully at Breda NAC v NEC here in the Netherlands, the Dutch equivalent of the Town v Sheffield match last week.”
A spokesman for Huddersfield Town said the club liked the footage and wanted to see more.
Fans who watched the footage on YouTube said called it “amazing” and “fantastic.”