Terre des hommes Returns with VR Technology
Immersive 360-degree virtual reality film brings the harsh story of a 12 year old Kenyan girl to life for charity.
Following the success of the Cannes Lion Grand Prix-winning Sweetie from Terre des hommes – a campaign that managed to target and trace the identities of 1,000 online predators from 71 countries, the organization has made a return with another impressive and groundbreaking activation.
Once again utilising next level storytelling, this time the human rights charity, which focusses on rights of children, has brought to life an immersive experience via the virtual reality platform and a 360-degree interactive film.
Titled Amani, the state-of-the-art experience pushes the boundaries of storytelling and VR as never before. With an Oculus Rift and a pair of headphones, the powerful story of a 12-year old Kenyan girl is communicated in the first ever stereoscopic 3D film.
Created with a tailor-made 3D-printed camera rig, 14 cameras and a hands-on team, the ambitious campaign from the international human rights charity invites the viewer to experience a day in the life of Amani – a young Kenyan girl whose daily struggles include child labour, physical violence and sexual abuse.
The striking campaign, conceived by Terre Des Hommes and creative production house Revolver Amsterdam and executed in close collaboration with The Ambassadors, is the charity’s first high-profile activity since producing multi award-winning Sweetie. It aims to shed light on everyday child abuse which is often invisible to the outside world. In order to make the hidden visible and communicate a powerful message in an engaging way, the team had to push the boundaries of existing techniques.
"This has been an immensely exciting project for us. We have been seeing VR narrative experiences before, but they've still been iterative steps forward. With the Oculus Rift and other VR headsets, we finally have brand new tools to provide an immersive and emotional experience for the viewer, something that is able to be both familiar and totally new,” says Raymond van der Kaaij, executive producer, Revolver Amsterdam.
By offering the audience a 3D experience in a 360-degree environment, the campaign redefines cinematic storytelling for a new medium where the user takes a passive role at the heart of the action.
“We really had to redefine our approach to cinematic storytelling,” continues van der Kaaij, “basically we had to start from scratch and rethink how an audience experiences a story that is spilled out across their entire field of view. For this specific campaign I feel the VR view really add enormous value, the viewer can really feel and experience the story of the young girl, it creates a very strong extra emotional layer we probably would not have triggered with a regular film."
Every element, from the camera rig to the software, had to be prototyped and tailored, utilising cutting-edge technology and innovation.
“We designed, prototyped and printed a camera rig that holds 14 individual cameras that not only record 360-degrees around you, but also captures the entire scene in 3D,” adds Diederik Veelo, founder, The Ambassadors LAB.
“In order to record sound in 3D as well, we fitted the camera with 5 additional microphones. The sound was then mixed in surround sound to immerse the viewer into an even richer environment. Combining these tools with a cinematic approach, you create an emotional experience new to any audience.”
The virtual experience launched at a Dutch Liberation Day festival in The Hague and can also be downloaded as an app for users to view on their mobile devices. The four-minute film is also available online in both 2D and 3D formats and you can see how the immersive film came together below.