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Showtime Adds VR Content to ‘The Circus’

Showtime has added a virtual reality component to The Circus, its documentary series that has been following the U.S. presidential election this year and delivering to viewers extraordinary access to the candidates.

When the series began in January, its hosts—Bloomberg managing editors Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, and campaign strategist Mark McKinnon—had to balance the stories of a large field of contenders. Now in the home stretch of a particularly drawn-out and contentious presidential race, The Circus is focusing on Republican and Democratic nominees Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

From “Clinton Policy Speech 360” on YouTube

The extended content presented in a 360° immersive format shows the election process through the eyes of six candidate supporters. Showtime captured the 360° video on the campaign trail at Clinton’s policy speech in Orlando, Fla., and Trump’s campaign rally in Bedford, N.H., giving viewers a first-person perspective on what it is like to attend these events.

This project marks Showtime’s first application of virtual reality content for a series. The Circus’ documentary-style storytelling is particularly well suited for the effort.

The 360° footage is viewable on The Circus’ YouTube channel, Facebook, Samsung Gear VR, Oculus Video, Hulu VR app (on Gear VR and Oculus Rift), Littlstar VR apps, Zeality VR apps and PlayStation VR. The videos will be available on HTC Vive later this month.