Canadian Labour Congress
As the global issue of refugees increases in importance and urgency, resistance to accepting them into Western countries is also escalating. Reasons for this are many, but a primary factor is the inability to truly empathize with people who have literally risked everything to secure safety for themselves and their families.
What if war came to North America and you were forced to flee with your family, as violence ripped apart your community? This concept seeks to create an intimate first-person experience from a western point of view. Using portable VR technology, we put the viewer into the shoes of a North American refugee. In this setting, they will feel the danger, emotion and drama of what it is to be a refugee in their own country.
The refugee crisis has been receiving international attention. Stories, documentaries and even other 360º videos, have been widely circulated. While we felt these all served the subject well, they also felt passive in the way a viewer interacted with them.
With a small budget and crew, we set out to create a short film that pushed the way virtual reality was being used as a storytelling device. Combining innovatively shot 360º video with practical and computer generated effects along side spatial audio, we created just that.
War comes to Canada
We transformed a Canadian city into a war-torn country with chaotic check-points and intense airstrikes, as well as massive refugee camps with the backdrop of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Next, we implemented practical effects and CGI and fine-tuned the virtual reality experience. Before launching the video online, we took the experience across Canada and filmed reactions – they were incredible and raw.
We couldn't be more proud
In just three weeks, our Refugee VR Experience garnered huge buzz. This was our ROI. We didn't have traditional campaign goals, where we were looking for leads and sales, but rather empathy, activism and engagement. We achieved our business targets with every share, retweet and view and still see the results increasing to this day.
3 Million Canadians
(Nearly 10% of Canada)