SHAED - Once Upon A Time

FIVARS 2021 Spotlight – SHAED – Once Upon A Time

“SHAED – Once Upon a Time” is a beautifully choreographed and produced immersive experience playing the FIVARS in FALL 2021 Festival. We had the opportunity to ask the creators some questions about the origins and process around this exquisite stereoscopic 180-degree short film.

Morgan Embry, Keeley Turner FIVARS: What lead to the creation of this piece?

Listening to @SHAED ‘s, “Once Upon a Time,” in the midst of the most chaotic year in recent memory was like a breath of fresh air. The track is so human and accessible. We’ve all had a first love and felt the intensity that goes along with it. Even though those memories can be painful, “Once Upon a Time” invites you to explore them in a safe place, transported by a serene melody and fantastical instrumentation.

Aesthetically, we wanted to ground the video somewhere that matched our comfort while listening to the song. We developed a queer adaptation of the postwar, Ozzie and Harriet aesthetic. In this space, we revelled in the curl-your-toes excitement of young love and examined the pitfalls of trying to love someone while navigating the social constructs and identities.

The dancers and choreography shift between gender roles, combining ballet and contemporary dance with sharp, isolated movements and everyday gestures. This VR music video offers a level of intimacy not felt in traditional film and theater, so we played with that by juxtaposing moments of almost interactive closeups with more conventional choreography. All in all, this immersive experience, like the song, invites viewers to feel for something lost while still appreciating its beauty.

FIVARS: What was the production process for you and your team? What did you learn?

The production process utilizes a traditional theater setup in an all-new immersive capture technique.

We capture this piece with the latest Facebook / Oculus VR180 camera to max out the available resolution in 3D 6K 60fps. Then we recreate the metaverse environment with game engine and composite it in After Effects, with the live-action footage.

We learned that by using VFX environment in live-action, we can create an even more surreal immersive experience for viewers to better the quality of the VR video.

FIVARS: How did you become an immersive media content creator and why?

I am the Co-Founder and Creative Director for CreatorUp (, a digital media education company and production studio. I head up immersive media content creation and have produced VR content for numerous companies and organizations such as Samsung, the Special Olympics, Google, Oculus, MasterCard, Twitter, TikTok, RedBull Music, LACOSTE, Huawei, and the Los Angeles Police Department.

I also direct and produce Mixed Reality music videos. I have worked with musical artists such as I Prevail, Joyner Lucas, Cypress Hill, and SHAED. When not producing original VR videos & films, I dedicate my time to sharing my expertise in immersive technologies and VR filmmaking on the CreatorUp YouTube channel.

I truly believe that by sharing freely with the world through YouTube, mentoring, and consulting, more creators will join the immersive media family. My goal is to help the VR industry thrive and to improve the quality of VR filmmaking.

FIVARS: What is the VR/AR industry like in your region?

Very active. I am in Los Angeles.

FIVARS: What do you have planned for the future?

Continue creating more original VR content. We just launched Metaverse Stage (, a virtual LIVE stage on Oculus TV. All our current VR productions are featured on Oculus TV with millions of views.

FIVARS: What would you like to share with fellow content creators and/or the industry?

Our journey to become immersive filmmakers. We want to share our struggle and our experience to help others to succeed in this fast-growing industry.

FIVARS: Do you think VR festivals like FIVARS are important?

Yes! Very important.

FIVARS in FALL Runs October 15th to 17th in West Hollywood, and October 22nd to November 2nd Online.
Find tickets:

SHAED - Once Upon A Time