The United Nations (UN) has been one organisation that’s fully embraced virtual reality (VR), having created numerous experiences highlighting the plight of people all over the world. Specialist VR production studio Here Be Dragons has collaborated with the UN on several projects, and today its now revealed the sixth, Ground Beneath Her.
During April 2015, Nepal was rocked by a massive earthquake, killing almost 9,000 people. More than 3 million people were displaced by the earthquake, having to live in makeshift homes or camp-like shelters. Ground Beneath Her is a 360-degree film showcasing the struggle of 14-year-old Sabita. More than a year after the earthquake, Sabita must balance the pain of picking up the pieces after the devastation and fulfilling the everyday duties of a fractured home.
A collaboration between the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the SDG Action Campaign, the film was created by award-winning director Gabo Arora. “The physical and emotional pain of a natural disaster can shake lives long after the world forgets the immediate damage and hardships,” said Arora. “In Ground Beneath Her, viewers gain a better understanding of scars that remain after events like the Nepal earthquake.”
“Ground Beneath Her is our sixth experience for the United Nations VR initiative that tells a delicate yet urgent story about the human spirit and the world we all live in,” said Samantha Storr, vice president and executive producer at Here Be Dragons. “While VR technology has advanced and our understanding of storytelling within this new medium has evolved, it is still the bravery and resiliency of the human spirit that makes these films come alive with a timeless feel. Beginning with our time in Jordan for Clouds of Sidra – and now, with Ground Beneath Her – we at Here Be Dragons have been honored to witness such beauty, grace and bravery against odds and situations many of us could not imagine.”
Chiefly using sound and music rather than dialogue, with a score by Emmy-nominated composer McKenzie Stubbert, Ground Beneath Her has been released exclusively on the UNVR app today for Gear VR, iOS and Android platforms. And for further coverage of Here Be Dragons, keep reading VRFocus.