You may know that filming content for virtual reality (VR) is different from a traditional video shoot. But beyond selecting the right 360 camera, what exactly do first-timers need to know?

Last week at NAB 2018 in Las Vegas, I interviewed content experts to find out.

“If you’re working with VR for the first time, you really need to think about who your viewer is,” said Lex Halaby, a director with plenty of VR credits. “That’s a lot of where the storytelling comes from. You want to be specific, but you still want to allow the person to bring themselves to the experience.”

One thing especially exciting about virtual reality is that it’s still very new in the entertainment and media industry. As a filmmaker, you might not be tasked with comparing content to how it’s always been done — and often, you get true creative freedom.

“We don’t have a script yet on what the VR experience looks like,” said Jason Thibeault, executive director of the Streaming Video Alliance. “We need filmmakers and content creators to really experiment with the medium.”

And as with any creative project, it’s not just about practice — it’s also about making sure you’re aware of what other people are doing and letting them inspire your process.

Brian Seth Hurst of StoryTech Immersive makes it part of his workweek to watch content on his Samsung Gear VR headset every Friday.

“You learn what not to do,” Hurst said. “And you can be inspired for some other things that you would do uniquely.”

For a deeper dive on shooting for VR, download our ultimate guide on 360 video production.