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“On the Morning You Wake (to the End of the World)” is a three-part virtual reality documentary that combines incredible visuals and compelling storytelling with state-of-the-art volumetric capture technology to depict lived experiences from the accidental “incoming missile” alert in Hawai’i.
As the people of Hawai’i went about their daily business on 13 January 2018, a ballistic missile SMS alert was accidentally issued to the entire state population, which read:
“BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.”
38 minutes later, state officials announced the mistake, as panicked citizens were left reeling by the real, urgent nature of today’s nuclear threat.
Experienced through the Oculus Quest 2 headset, ‘On the Morning You Wake’ combines first-hand audio testimonies, spoken word poetry, original music and volumetric capture technology to viscerally recreate the experiences of people who, for 38 minutes, had to make impossible decisions in the face of nuclear violence.
Chapter 1 “Take Cover” made its world premiere at the 2022 edition of Sundance Film Festivals and the full documentary premiered at SXSW festival with "Chapter 2: The Doomsday Machine" and "Chapter 3: Kuleana" – picking up the XR Experience Jury Award at the SXSW Film Awards.
The nature of this project required human assets that felt organic, authentic, and natural to maximise the emotional immersion in each scene.
We created volumetric captures of each character using our array of 106 cameras, 53 infrared and 53 rgb.
We prop replaced everything from tables and chairs to small objects such as tea cups and watering cans. By using the capture data as point clouds, we were able to capture more props than usual without fidelity being a concern.
The powerful VR experience, ‘On the Morning you Wake’ has been adapted for TV and is now showing on the BBC documentary strand ‘Storyville’. A perfect example of transmedia storytelling.
The multi-layered story of On the Morning You Wake was crafted by Archer’s Mark and Atlas V, and structured around the extraordinary spoken word poetry of artist/activist/scholar/storyteller Dr Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio.
Presented by the British Film Institute, Oculus/ Meta VR for Good, and Arte, the immersive experience features an extraordinary score from Bobby Krlic (The Haxan Cloak) and global nuclear threat expertise provided by Dr. Tamara Lilinoe Patton through Princeton University's Program on Science and Global Security.