Channel 4 has commissioned a 15 minute virtual reality film on Grenfell Tower, focussing on the lives of its inhabitants before a fire devastated the building in June last year.
The new documentary, Grenfell: Our Home, produced by independent production company Parable, will premiere at Sheffield Doc/Fest’s Alternative Realities exhibition from 7th June, almost exactly a year after the fire of 14th June 2017, which killed over 70 people.
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The film will combine documentary interviews shot in stereoscopic 360 with computer-generated animation, designed by the Tony Award-winning 59 Productions, to illustrate the poignant every-day moments of the Grenfell Tower residents’ lives. The contributors’ own personal photos and video footage will also be incorporated.
The film is being directed by Parable’s Creative Director, Jonathan Rudd, and the score composed by the acclaimed Icelandic composer, Biggi Hilmars.
David Wise, Parable’s CEO and the Executive Producer of the film, praised VR for its ability to “immerse” viewers in other people’s stories.
“Virtual Reality is often described as ‘the empathy tool’ for its ability to immerse and engage viewers so intensely in other people’s stories and other worlds,” he said. “The combination of 360 video and beautiful animation will enable the telling of this important story in a way that no other medium can match”.
Siobhan Sinnerton, Commissioning Editor, added: “Innovation lies at the core of Channel 4’s remit so we are delighted to be exploring new and interesting ways to deliver the very best storytelling, and journalism.
“We hope this piece will give our audience a truly unique perspective on what the Grenfell community was like before the fire.”
The film will be released on social media and made available for free in various VR stores this summer. There are also plans to enable Grenfell survivors and the general public to view the film in VR headsets.