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B-Reel wins a Webby award for Our Planet

Published 2 months agoNews

The Emmy-awarded nature documentary series 'Our Planet' was quite the winner as The (digital) Webby Awards concluded. It had won no less than four awards, in various categories and for different components of the Herculean effort of telling the story of the challenges facing our natural world.

One of the awards was for the digital nature odyssey on Ourplanet.com that we built together with our friends over at WWF and with the breathtaking content shot by Silverback Films.

A heartfelt thank you to everyone involved in this project. We are so very proud to see its success.

To celebrate this occasion, we collaborated with the Webby's on their "Crafted With Code" which allows you to dig deeper into the making of Ourplanet.com. Take a look on the Webby's site, or read the interview below.

Q. Can you briefly describe your project and the concept behind it?

A. Ourplanet.com is the result of a long collaboration between B-Reel, WWF, Silverback Films and Netflix, and is the digital platform connected to the ‘Our Planet’ series. The idea was to invite people to dive deep into the seven habitats introduced in the series and learn about the importance of Earth’s habitats. The platform revolves around three major parts: the library, the Explorable Globe and Voice for the Planet. Combined, they take viewers on a journey that lets them see the world from a completely new perspective, while telling an important story of what we can actually do to make it thrive.

Q. What breakthrough or “a-ha” moment did you experience when concepting or executing this project?

A. One of the first things we realized was the huge amount of content, taken from the series itself along with extra material collected during the main shoots. It was a blessing, but also meant that we had to make some deliberate choices, and it wasn’t made easier by the fact that a lot was in production simultaneously as the platform itself. Working with several partners is always a challenge. In this case, WWF, Netflix and Silverback Films all had crucial roles, so seeing it work so well was a joy. Finally, it was important to be able to tell an intriguing and informative story using a lot of data. To do that, we worked hard to find a clear and appealing way of visualizing that.

Q. What influenced your chosen technical approach, and how did it go beyond past methods?

A. We had to consider different scenarios before deciding on what technical approach to take. For starters, we had to make it accessible and SEO-friendly in order to reach multiple countries, languages and audiences, while being flexible enough and simple to use for WWF to manage content. It also needed to be cost efficient and minimize server configuration and maintenance. Throughout the project, the client wanted to be able to use some components created for the site in other WWF-related activations, so it was important that we build it in a modular way. In the end, the approach used didn't differ vastly from other B-Reel projects, but it was for sure one of the most ambitious to date.

Q. What web technologies, tools, or resources did you use to develop this?

A. For the front-end, we used Nuxt.js, a framework that helps create Vue.js apps. We used it to create views and components as well as to manage routing and localization. For the “Explorable Globe” and “Voice of the Planet”, we used Three.js. We followed a JAMStack approach instead of using SSR or SPA in order to maximize SEO and minimize server configuration & maintenance. As the site is statically generated, we could leverage CDN capabilities to handle traffic load and minimize loading times. We created a bespoke CMS for WWF to be able to manage content. To preview changes before publishing, we simply used an SPA version of the site that consumed data generated on the fly by the CMS.

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