Open Blue Cobia - VR Film

Open Blue Cobia – VR Film

Date: June 8, 2016

Client: Open Blue Sea Farms

Posted by: Jason Mascheri


Food & Beverages;

project image

Client: Open Blue Sea Farms

In February 2016, Koncept VR was invited by Open Blue to film its sustainable, open-ocean mariculture farm. Located off Costa Arriba, Panama, this farm allows cobia (also known as black salmon—though more similar to swordfish in flavor and texture) to live and grow in large, deep-water enclosures that float 12 kilometers offshore, far from sensitive ecosystems.

We were particularly excited about this opportunity as it was in line with our goal to create content that is both entertaining and educational—in this case, regards the living environment.

As an added bonus, the shoot afforded us the chance to innovate some new techniques: this was our first production that required filming completely underwater and recording with a hydrophone. The submerged footage we created necessitated new solutions during the fine-stitching step of our post-production process.

We worked closely with the founder of Open Blue, Brian O’Hanlon, who is the third generation in his family in the seafood business. He gave us an inside look at how the farm operates—showcasing everything from procedures within the nursery to where the cobia swim comfortably in large pens alongside whale sharks, 20-meters below the water level. The enclosures mimic their natural environment, as the waters are deep, clean, and full of oxygen.

Low-density, fully submerged enclosures allow the fish to swim in high-energy currents and never see the same water twice. These conditions help the cobia maintain the highest levels of healthy, stress-free living—which in turn provides consumers with a healthy, delicious product. Open Blue has also established a commercial no-take zone spanning over 10 square kilometers.

Similar to the process we developed while working with the United Launch Alliance , our team was involved with every stage of development for Open Blue—creative planning, consultation, production in the field, editing, all post-production, and assistance with distribution of the final experience.

The 6-minute video is available for view in an app that we helped design, via a custom cardboard, in addition to Littlstar and YouTube. We also built a 2-minute short for sharing at trade shows and with future Open Blue clientele. The video will soon be translated into 4 other languages.

While the footage was stunning, the shoot didn’t stop our crew from getting both serious sunburns and motion sickness on a boat with nearly 7-foot waves—which we were told is mild for the season. We’re thrilled to share the fruits of these labors, so be sure to check out Open Blue on one of the many available platforms. And be sure to visit their website for even more information on sustainable mariculture:!



Director: Adrian Vasquez de Valasco

DP: Uli Futschik

Sound Recordist: Jose Frias

Post-Production: Koncept VR

Sound Mix: Greater City Post

Tour Guide: Brian O’Hanlon

Chef: David Seigal

Divers: Paco & Alejandro

Chopper Pilot: Raimundo

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