As the first story-driven Civil War reenactment in virtual reality, My Brother’s Keeper takes us on an immersive journey through the lives of two estranged brothers who unknowingly reunite one last time on the battlefield at Antietam. Walking into battle with them, we learn the backstory that has led to this moment fighting on opposite sides, which pulls us deeper into the story and intensity of war.
The team at the Technicolor Experience Center (TEC) worked closely with PBS Digital Studios, StoryTech Immersive, and Perception Squared on My Brother’s Keeper. The TEC not only provided stitching services, editing, and VFX, as well as sound design by Scott Gershin, but explored the latest technologies and techniques for creating this cinematic live-action VR story. Pushing the boundaries of VR storytelling, the creative team worked together to invent new immersive narrative conventions. For example, they adapted aspects of traditional cinematography and editing to direct the viewer’s attention in VR. And they used surreal cinematic spatial sound design to heighten the emotional impact.
The project broke new ground on other fronts as well. It was the first official project shot on the Jaunt camera, which enabled true slow-motion sequences in VR. Combined with a new action camera rig built by filmmakers Connor Hair and Alex Meader, the production was able to achieve greater intimacy with its characters and maximize audience presence within scenes. You can watch a making-of on the piece , featuring the TEC’s Marcie Jastrow.
A companion piece to Mercy Street on PBS, My Brother’s Keeper will be available in head-mounted displays such as the HTC Vive.
Experience My Brother’s Keeper now in 360-video on the web and mobile devices.