When we were getting started – my cofounder Xiaoyu Hugh Hou told me: “I’m going to start the first VR 360 Film School – and it’s all going to be online, and it’s all going to be available to anyone.” I looked at him and said – that sounds awesome. There was only one catch; he was a web designer, and not a filmmaker. That did not stop Hugh Hou or CreatorUp from driving forward with our mission to help the next generation of creative professionals learn the creative skills they need to work in a rapidly changing media landscape.
Fast forward to 2020 with CreatorUp – and not only has Hugh produced over 100+ video tutorials on VR/360, but we have been hired as a company to produce meaningful VR content for some of the most impactful non-profits and to the most innovating brands, ranging from the Special Olympics and Supima Cotton to Kauai Coffee – with Hugh at the helm of bringing together some of the most talented creators in the VR space. Not to mention that Hugh has recently landed some of his own creative work right next to the biggest publishers with his extraordinarily beautiful travel series (The Tokyo Sights and Sounds series was selected as Best of VR by YouTube VR and a Mozilla Top Pick; the Dubai Sights and Sounds is featured on Oculus TV, and the Sao Paulo 360 Experiencefeatured on Samsung’s VR front page).
One of my favorite series that we did with our partners was the behind-the-scenes stories of Special Olympics athletes from over five countries. Step into the life of Lily, a tennis star from the UK, and see what it took to get ready for the Special Olympics in Abu Dhabi in 2019. Hugh helped to tell the story of Lily and so many of the incredible Special Olympics athletes in 2019 by bringing together our own CreatorUp team members including Christina Fitzpatrick VR 360 producer, Sean Graham, managing director of CreatorUp UAE, and Camille Mallat, Director of UAE Operations, as well as our trusted network of VR industry leading pros: Dirk Wallace VR Director Extraordinaire, Leading VR Cinematographer Sebastien Hameline, filmmaker Alex Tafreshi, and our editors Shelby Baldock and Mark Simpson.
While I went to film school – Hugh is self-taught – and I couldn’t be more impressed by his innovation and tenacity. When I graduated in 2008 USC Film School – VR wasn’t a thing, so if I hadn’t started watching Hugh’s tutorials and listening to his advice and learning from him as a producer – there’s no way I would have any idea about how to create VR content.
There’s a lot that’s exciting about Hugh’s story – but what I love to talk about most, are the people that he’s helping by sharing his knowledge. His vision and the vision of CreatorUp are one and the same: to increase access to media education, and thereby – to all the new and exciting opportunities for content creators to collaborate and create with their new skills.
If you are a brand or organization wanting to create VR videos or VR livestreams – tell us more about what you are looking to make here! We hope to have the opportunity to collaborate with you on our next VR project; tell us how can we work together to push the envelope with new VR stories that haven’t been made or even thought of.
As a creative professional – what can you do to get involved with CreatorUp and become the next VR creator to tell your stories? What incredible ideas do you have? What stories do you want to tell? If you are a professional creator interested in producing VR with us, please tell us. And Keep an eye out in 2020 for our VR training programs which we will be launching this year – where creative professionals can gain skills to work for clients on VR projects.