Now Is The Time

Directed for Time Studios and Meta

A VR project aiming to reintroduce Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s most famous speech. Using a hands free mechanic, audiences can reach out to engage with some of the basic demands presented by Dr King, and see how those demands are being experienced today. The project uses body gestures to move the player throughout the virtual enviornments.  Through this interaction, we hope to bring attention to the ongoing struggles for justice, equality, and freedom in our society.

Experience Site︎︎︎

Process and purpose.

The project began as a revisiting of the March on Washington in 1963, where the audience is placed in the crowd of the event. However, I was more interested in the intimacy of the crowd and less in the spectacle of it. I wanted to tell the stories of the people who gathered, perhaps motivated by Dr. King's words and ideology for a more equitable America. The more we looked at the demands and themes in his speech, the more we realized that these same demands are still being cried out today.

Connecting the March on Washington in 1963 with a modern gathering in 2023 was tricky. We did not want to transport MLK and superimpose him on a modern gathering. Instead, we used his image as a statue that is breaking into pieces, stones that can be grabbed to transport us to these stories.

Grabbing a stone became an important mechanism for traversing the experience, and we leveraged Meta Quest's 2 hand tracking. The sense of presence and understanding "who" we are in the experience was an important ingredient in the project. VR can be dissociative, but I wanted to make sure the audience was invited to experience and see a point of view of others' lived experience, but as themselves. The takeaway is that your experience is shared.

We focused on three vignettes that helped communicate the demands of the speech and the connection to the world we live in today.

SXSW 2023 XR Showcase - Audience Award / Spotlight Award
EMMY Nomimation 2023 - Outstanding Emerging Media Program