Numok Festival: “Let’s create 360°” workshop (libraries of the City of Paris)

20 October 2018. Published by Benoît Labourdette.
Temps de lecture : 5 min  

Workshops for the production of films in Virtual Reality in three libraries of the City of Paris: Bibliothèque Historique de la Ville de Paris, Bibliothèque de l’Hôtel de Ville, Bibliothèque Arthur Rimbaud.

As part o fNumok, the digital library festival of the City of Paris (October 2018) organized by Bibliocité, I proposed three workshops for the public to make films in Virtual Reality, in three libraries.


  • Discovery of new media.
  • Development of creativity with digital tools.
  • Valuation of the architectural heritage of the City of Paris.

Problematic of Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality is an exciting and important technology to explore in cultural action, to build critical thinking. But it is not easy to implement:

  • in terms of broadcasting because the headset is an individual “screen”,
  • in terms of production, because the camera films at 360°, all around, so it is not possible to have a technical team.

But, on the other hand, what is at stake in the stakes of Virtual Reality seems very important to me, because these cameras lead us to look at the world differently, so they can lead us to rethink our relationship with the world. Just as with the Lumière camera in 1895, what seemed to be just another technological invention has totally changed the way we see and behave.

How, with a lambda audience, in three hours, can we propose an action that is creative, constructive and that constitutes a real discovery of a technology? As well as productive of an audiovisual heritage that can be enhanced.

An innovative workshop

I proposed and experimented with a method based on vision and creativity. The workshop was divided into four parts:

  1. Shooting tests : JPEG - 589 kb We introduce ourselves, we set the objectives of the workshop, I make sure, by group dynamics techniques, to create a cohesive group. Then, quickly, we “take action”, we go out to do filming tests. Everyone takes the camera and films a short shot. We don’t know what it will bring, it’s an adventure into the unknown and it will be a discovery when it comes to viewing. The participants are immediately involved in the gesture, in doing it.
  2. Collective design : JPEG - 720.2 kb We watch the results of the shootings together on the big screen: the surprise is great, we discover the world seen in “binoculars”, it is very stimulating on a creative level. These tiny little cameras produce images so amazing that enthusiasm is high. We consider the VR camera not as a technical tool that would serve to illustrate a previous scenario, but as a creative tool, i.e. a tool that can be diverted from its initial use, a tool that gives us inspiration by discovering what it allows us to do. From the joy of this discovery, I propose a collective conception of the film to be shot, by means of a collaborative mindmap: JPEG - 553.3 kb
  3. Shooting the film : JPEG - 937 kb We decide on a specific function for each person: camera, music, acting... each one is autonomous, fully responsible for his part. It is a moment of cohesion, of trust, where everyone takes the risk, I am the first one: depending on the project, I can run, sing, dance, throw paper planes... to open up to creativity you have to risk yourself, it is what allows you to allow fantasy, to overcome judgment to build and transmit a joyful, playful vision, so ultimately a generous film, that is to say a “good” film. The film is shot in sequence shot, hence the precise repetitions. My role is to be the guarantor of the framework (the good end of the film), but in this framework each person is free to create what he wants.
  4. Film viewing : JPEG - 677.4 kb I hold the watch so that we have time to watch the film, in large binocular vision (a very good way to collectively share films in Virtual Reality), as well as in the 360° headset. It was decided at the collective design stage that the film would have two versions: one for headphones and one for “flat” viewing (because very few people have headphones). This double “entry” into the film is very rich in terms of reflection on the image.

After this very dense session of work and creativity, the film is put online and the participants, thanks to a QR Code that we give them and a link that we send them by email, can access it to download and watch them, flat or in a headset.

The three films made

  • “Le bateau livre chaloupé” (collective film, 4’10s, 2018, shot at the Bibliothèque Historique de la Ville de Paris).
  • The sound of the book opening up. (collective film, 4’37s, 2018, shot at the City Hall Library).
  • Where the hell is Ornicar? (collective film, 6’32s, 2018, shot at the Arthur Rimbaud Library).
Where the hell is Ornicar?
Numok 2018 Festival Teaser
Le bateau livre chaloupé

Download the movies

The three films made can be downloaded here, in “flat” and “360°” versions for viewing in a Virtual Reality headset.

Direct link:


Article in “What to do in Paris?” : Let’s create with virtual reality!

Create with virtual reality!

Historical Library of the City of Paris (BHVP) / City Hall Library (BHdV) / Arthur Rimbaud Library

JPEG - 475.2 kb

In this tour of the NUMOK Festival dedicated to virtual reality and heritage, the BHVP invites you to make your own 360° film with Benoît Labourdette. An atmosphere of moonlight, you will discover the library like you have never seen it before!

Benoît Labourdette is a filmmaker, educator and expert in new media and cultural innovation. He has written numerous experimental and participatory works to explore the potential for the creation and renewal of audiovisual writing based on new creative technological tools (mobile phones, drones, virtual reality...).

During this workshop, participants will be invited to discover the library from a new angle by playing with 360° virtual reality production technologies. At the end of the workshop, they will have carried out a real collective work on the image, on the scenic composition of the space and on the narrative creation.

This workshop is part of a broader journey between libraries in the Marais (BHVP, BHdV, Bibliothèque Arthur Rimbaud) organised within the framework of NUMOK.

It is a question of learning about virtual reality from a perspective of cultural mediation but also of the creation and enhancement of the heritage.

Workshop limited to 12 people. On reservation with the library at 01 44 59 59 29 40 or on bhvp

Material used

  • Camera: LG 360 CAM version 2K. Of course a 4K version would technically produce better quality images, but the computer processing times would be 4 times longer and would therefore prevent the back and forth between creating and viewing the images that are the heart of the workshop’s operation. So, for a better “quality” of cultural action, we consciously choose a lower technical “quality”. And besides, it’s not so bad, the participants were all “amazed” by the image quality.
  • VR Headset: Samsung Gear VR + Samsung Galaxy S7 phone. It is the most practical “kit” for viewing RVs, because the software provided by Oculus is simple, ergonomic, and, unlike very simplistic headsets (such as the Cardboard), the headset allows you to control navigation in menus and videos.
  • It might have seemed more logical to choose a Samsung Gear 360 camera, but paradoxically it is more complicated to use with the Galaxy S7, technically speaking, than the LG 360 CAM camera.

Testimony on one of the three workshops

We tested a 360° camera shooting - The idea factory

The films called “VR” (Virtual Reality) are films, linear or interactive, shot with 360° cameras, which can be viewed either on screen by moving inside the image with the mouse or the finger, either with a helmet placed in front of the eyes while turning the head. The films you find here use or divert this production and broadcasting technology. Because a technology is not neutral and must be questioned. This is why I also gather here captures and restitutions of colloquiums, conferences, round tables, workshops... on the subject of Virtual Reality, to which I (...)