VR film company Jaunt is opening a rental program for its all-seeing, camera-studded eye of a virtual reality film rig. In what’s described as a pilot program with rental house Radiant Images, Jaunt will offer both the Jaunt One hardware and access to its software tools, which filmmakers will need for the elaborate stitching and editing process involved in 360-degree video. From there, creators can either upload the videos to Jaunt’s catalog or release them on platforms like YouTube.
VR and 360-degree videos have exploded in popularity over the past few years, but for a while, filmmakers had to rely on either wiring together a lot of wide-angle cameras and blending the footage together, or working with a company that could do it for them. Jaunt has been one of those companies for years, working on projects that include a VR miniseries featuring Paul McCartney and our own Michelle Obama video.
But that’s slowly changing. At the relatively low end, filmmakers can currently preorder the Orah 4i, which will cost $3,600 when it theoretically ships in August. For bigger-budget projects, they can look to the $15,000 GoPro Odyssey or the $60,000 Nokia Ozo, which Radiant Images also rents. (There’s also the Lytro Immerge, although its future is less certain.)
The Jaunt One, formerly known as the Neo, rounds out the high end of this selection. When the camera goes up for rental in July, it will start at $4,500 per day. That's more expensive than the Ozo, which rents for between $2,750 and $3,500, and an order of magnitude greater than many of Radiant Images' normal video cameras, although high-end standard camera setups can still cost thousands of dollars a day. It’s obviously not something that’s showing up in homes any time soon, but getting more VR cameras on the market is a step toward getting more good-looking VR movies — a vital part of making the medium succeed.