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Alt.VFX Collaborates with Filmgraphics for Oxfam's Ground-Breaking VR Short Film 'Evelyn's Story'



Directed by Dave Denneen, the film shows the plight of the Turkana villagers through the eyes of 11-year-old Evelyn, who acts as the story's narrator.

Alt.VFX Collaborates with Filmgraphics for Oxfam's Ground-Breaking VR Short Film 'Evelyn's Story'

Australian creative studio Alt.vfx and production company Filmgraphics have helped create an emotional 360-degree docu-drama short film for Oxfam, highlighting the courage of the people of Turkana, Kenya. 

The 360 film breaks new ground in the way it marries film language with the relatively new medium of 360 story telling. Designed to highlight Oxfam's work in bringing clean water to remote areas, the team made a film that would translate to the viewer as more than just a sequence of shots, but as an emotionally resonating story, one that hopefully moves people to donate to a worthy charity such as Oxfam. A stirring soundtrack from sound specialists We Love Jam added the final touches to this wonderful film.


Says Anna Fawcett, EP, Filmgraphics: "When Oxfam came to us, we knew we had to find the right creative partners to develop this project to its full potential. Alt not only had the right people and creative approach, but also the drive to push new technologies. We Love Jam also brought a really inventive creative solution that helps add drama to Evelyn's Story. I'm very proud of all our team for producing such a beautiful piece of VR film-making."
Screen Shot 2017-06-20 at 11.14.09 am.jpgAlt.vfx developed a stereoscopic 360 camera specifically for the project that would resist the harsh terrain, and 45 degree temperatures.  This proprietary camera rig - The Don - offers live view, ambiosonic audio capture, stereo 360 at 4K, synchronized cameras with micro 4/3'rds sensors allowing for excellent low light performance, and all packed up in a custom designed carbon fiber lightweight casing for ease of use on location.

Says Tyrone Estephan, senior producer at Alt: "The exciting part of this project was right from the start the teams at Filmgraphics and Alt had one passionate goal, to break new ground in the VR world in the way it marries film language with the exciting and new medium of VR storytelling. Evelyn's Story is a touching, emotional story that will help change lives."

Says Steve Callen, on-set director for Filmgraphics: "The challenges of shooting in such a remote location were unique to us all, but thankfully we had built a robust and skilled team to cope with those challenges. Working with the Turkana people was unforgettable, and we captured so much of what life can be like for these remote communities."
Screen Shot 2017-06-20 at 11.14.26 am.jpgIn addition to the groundbreaking story approach and stereo camera, Alt developed a fully streamlined post-production VR pipeline. Editor Matt Bennett and VFX supervisor Raymond Leung developed programming language that allowed for a fully immersive 360 head set live interactive experience in editorial. The new system allows the viewer - be it director or client - to see the edit being worked on live in 360. The same experience has been developed for the grade suite, where live streaming of the footage in 360 allows for colorist and client to grade the film in 360 allowing for instant understanding of results.
Says Denneen: "Editing in a stream lined way such as this allowed us to experiment with different cutting techniques, camera angles and play in real time with the new film language that is VR. It's been a great experience to work with Oxfam and such a talented and technical team to tell this powerfully emotive story."

Says Scott Hignett, creative director, Alt, who was part of the on-set crew: Allowing the director and Oxfam to see the end result as the edit is being cut meant we were able to gauge the reactions of the viewer accurately. This helped us craft a film that optimizes the user experience and draws out the maximum emotion required for memorable film-making that hopefully moves people to feel compelled to support these villages and their quest for life. Bringing the story of Oxfam's work to screen has been a wonderful experience for us all, and I'm very thankful to have been part of this amazing team."

Says Dr Helen Szoke, chief executive, Oxfam Australia: "Oxfam is proud to have collaborated with Filmgraphics, Alt.vfx and We Love Jam Studios to produce this world-class VR film, which will be used by Oxfam across the world to bring home the reality of life for some of the poorest people in East Africa."

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Filmgraphics, Wed, 21 Jun 2017 03:24:01 GMT