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Facebook debuts 360-degree, single-take film 'Here and Now'

Shot with Facebook's $30,000 camera rig, the movie gives you a 360-degree look at New York's Grand Central Station and the strangers roaming inside.

Facebook's film crew sets up its 360-degree VR rig inside New York's Grand Central Station.

A month after announcing its 360-degree camera rig at its developer conference, Facebook has debuted its first 360-degree movie, called "Here and Now."

The immersive, three-minute film is shot as a single take takes place at New York's iconic Grand Central Station. You, the viewer, stand in one single spot in the station as several strangers cross your path. Small snippets of dialogue reveal a family saying goodbye to a daughter, a couple arguing and a group of friends going out for the night.

The video was produced by Facebook's creative studio, The Factory. In an email to CNET, Facebook said the studio chose Grand Central because it fit the Factory's goal "to tell many stories of humanity in one take." The studio also "loved that the station could be a character in and of itself, since it's so iconic."

In addition to being a creative endeavor, "Here and Now" was shot to explore the challenges of producing a video with the Surround 360 camera rig. The crew shot 13 complete takes of the film over three nights before they were satisfied.

You can view the film on Facebook or on the Oculus Gear VR headset. Facebook is encouraging others to produce 360-degree films as well, and it will post the design for both the camera rig's hardware and software to GitHub later this summer.