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Educating young people about concussions using virtual reality.

Every year, more than 2.5 million young people in the United States suffer from a concussion. Existing concussion education has been seemingly ineffective in reaching young athletes and breaking the stigma around the seriousness of a concussion injury. TeachAids, a world leader in health education, came to us with the idea to create an engaging, effective concussion curriculum in both traditional HD, and most importantly, in virtual reality, to reach today’s generation. We were honored to partner with their incredible team and set out on one of our most ambitious projects to date.


Palo Alto, CA


There were so many things that were uniquely challenging about this project.
  • The world of live-action virtual reality is the wild wild west with ever-changing technology and best practices.
  • Casting an entire high school football game with players who weren’t actually high schoolers (due to league restrictions about tackling), but looked like them, were great at playing football, and were available for two night shoots.
  • Filming identical football plays in both HD and VR and making them look authentic.
  • Bryce Love, Stanford’s running back, was responsible for memorizing many pages of text and engaging and educating the viewer throughout the ten-minute curriculum.
  • And…many other things.

TeachAids wanted the end product to be fully immersive for the viewer, to feel like the championship game was on the line. And that really pushed us to explore beyond what we thought was even possible in VR.

Joel KrogmanCreative Director, Tectonic
Production took place in two main locations. We shot a choose-your-own-adventure style, immersive football scene in Atlanta, GA, and we filmed Bryce Love and his teammates in the Stanford football stadium in Palo Alto, CA. In Atlanta, we stuck with practical stadium lights because additional lighting not only would have broken the budget, but would have been too difficult to hide in 360 VR. In California, we had to get creative to achieve the look we wanted while keeping all equipment and rigging behind the camera so we could remove it in post for a clean 360 environment. We created a pool of light in the middle of the field using a large menace arm and shot plates of the stadium that we used to remove the menace arm during post-production. Shooting every take in both VR and HD was a slow and tedious process, but the result was a versatile curriculum that can be widely shared and experienced.

CrashCourse Curriculum: Football

After many rounds of thorough user testing and revisions to the curriculum, CrashCourse HD launched in fall 2018 and the VR version followed in winter 2020. It has been featured in the Oculus store, where it is available as a free download. It was recently nominated for Best 360-Video: Branded in the 2020 Webby awards. USA Football has adopted CrashCourse in their coaching certification program, and PopWarner is using it to teach over 325,000+  young athletes about concussions. Through engaging storytelling, immersive technology, and the voices of key role models, we hope CrashCourse will be a true game-changer in sports education.

CrashCourse: Behind the Scenes

Johanna Beach

Johanna is a producer and editor at Tectonic Video. She loves helping nonprofits grow by telling their stories.