Artist of the Industry, in partnership with Come Unity, embarked on a journey to East Africa to capture the beautiful yet harsh conditions of the Ehtiopian and Kenyan communities living there. Come Unity, a nonprofit dedicated to seeking justice and better quality of life on a global scale discovered the emotional power of VR experience when they chose to partner with Artist of the Industry on this groundbreaking project.
AoftheI utilizes the latest in Ultra High Definition 360 Immersive VR to show people who may not be able to visit these regions how truly challenging a life is born to this area. This experience drops you deep into the heart of Kenya and Ethiopia exposing you simultaneously to the difficulties of an east African life and the similarities of us all as a community.
AoftheI took hundreds of hours of footage and pared it down to a succinct and humbling experience utilizing the Oculus Go headset as their platform of choice. The team debuted their final product at a donor event carried out by Come Unity. For some, this was their first experience in VR and to be brought to the doorstep of the very children they sponsor was a heartwarming and emotional experience.
With this new platform for documentaries the communities of Ethiopia and Kenya, and soon many more, can now share their life experiences, both tragic and hopeful, with people around the world.
Come Unity’s goals are simple, but the execution of them is extremely difficult. The groups number one goal is to provide the basics for a sustainable system starting with education and fresh water.
The AoftheI teams were lead by Come Unity leaders Kaitlyn Korber, vice president, and Duncan Sakimpa, project coordinator. On their first day of shooting, the film team was lead down the 10 kilometer path, well known to the Kenyan women who walk it everyday, to the small lakebed that provides their tribe with the necessity of water. The team then spent 4 days learning about this village and the tragedy that can strike them on a daily basis. Disease spread quickly in these conditions and the lack of basic medical care exacerbates its damage to the community.
Soon after, the team visited villages in Ethiopia where they were introduced to the Glow Academy. In this setting you quickly learn the exceptional value of education. Watching these girls and boys, eager to master every task and problem put in front of them emphasizes why donating to their education is the most valuable thing any one person could do
Artists of the Industry was honored to be included as part of Come Unity’s mission. The trust that goes into filming these people’s lives and homes is truly special and the team at AoftheI is exceptionally grateful for this experience.
Taking on a project of this significance while utilizing technology that is new and not yet tested in regards to file management, work flow and delivery method, presented many challenges. The East Africa VR would not have been possible without all of the previous research and development in concert with many recent projects that the AOFTHEI team completed in 2017 and 2018. The company’s core business with hotels and resorts throughout North America, creating ultra high definition 360 VR site visits for major convention properties played a large role in the ability for the team to deliver an Oculus Go experience in two weeks after landing back on US soil. The VR site visits, a platform called VTX was built with the same technology used in Africa. Ambisonic sound, full immersive 4K video with the feeling that you are living in the actual space and playing a game, gives the participant the experience that is almost like being there.