FIRST-EVER HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR TESTIMONIAL IN ROOM-SCALE VR, THE LAST GOODBYE, WORLD PREMIERES @ TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL(R)
The Last Goodbye is a first-person testimonial of the Holocaust, for education and archival purposes, co-created by Gabo Arora and Ari Palitz and produced by USC Shoah Foundation Executive Director, Stephen Smith, premieres at Tribeca Immersive, in Storyscapes, presented by AT&T. Installation Experience Created by Emmy Award-Winning Scenic and Production Designer, David Korins.
USC Shoah Foundation, HERE BE DRAGONS, MPC VR and OTOY Inc., proudly announce the world premiere of the first-ever Holocaust survivor testimony in room-scale VR, THE LAST GOODBYE, Friday, April 21 at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival, presented by AT&T. Screenings will run daily, through April 29, from noon to 10 p.m., at the Tribeca Festival Hub at Spring Studio. Press access is available to select Festival badge levels and on a space available basis, by appointment.
In The Last Goodbye, powerful personal testimony of the Holocaust is preserved for the first time in poignant, room-scale VR, as survivor Pinchas Gutter takes audiences with him on his final visit to Majdanek, the Nazi German concentration and extermination camp where his parents and sister were murdered during World War II.
“Today when I see suffering of genocide victims and refugees, I feel their pain. I want my testimony to speak to the world to help avoid that pain. If my testimony can be a warning to the world, it would make my sharing of my own pain worthwhile,” Gutter said.
The photoreal experience presents an entirely new way of capturing truth for the future, encouraging viewers to explore the spaces depicted. USC Shoah Foundation will archive Gutter?s testimony in support of their mission to use testimony as a compelling voice for education and action.
Just as USC Shoah Foundation forged new frontiers by collecting the world?s largest searchable archive of video testimony from genocide survivors, so too are we proud to be a part of this pioneering project with HERE BE DRAGONS, MPC VR and OTOY Inc., USC Shoah Foundation Executive Director, Stephen Smith said. Every generation needs to bear witness to these atrocities, but our tools for learning and preservation change. We felt that doing the first Holocaust survivor testimony in roomscale VR, for education and preservation purposes, would engage our audience in understanding that the Nazi concentration camp system was highly developed where the SS authorities could kill targeted groups of real or perceived enemies of Nazi Germany. The consequences of such human behavior continue, and the best way to understand it and prevent it from happening again it is to gaze an unflinching eye upon it.
In late 2016, the team traveled with Gutter to Poland to capture hours of 3D video and tens of thousands of photos on site, to create an experience that enables viewers to virtually walk with Gutter as he revisits the railway car, gas chamber, shower room and barracks of Majdanek. The groundbreaking collaboration of the industrys top talent integrated a capture pipeline created by OTOY with HERE BE DRAGONS 3D video testimony, and brought to life with dozens of photogrammetry artists and engineers from MPC.
Tim Dillon, Head of VR & Immersive Content at MPC said, Our ambition has been to create entirely an entirely new grammar for whats possible within a narrative and room scale mix, in a documentary format. We’ve faithfully recreated the rooms of the Majdanek camp so you can inhabit them with Pinchas, you can feel his story by being there with him, eye to eye.
It was important that we go beyond spherical 360 video for this particular piece and allow viewers to explore Majdanek with real agency, said Patrick Milling Smith, president and co-founder, HERE BE DRAGONS. This freedom of movement contributes to an even more powerful sense of presence while heightening the emotional impact.
To transport the viewers to Majdanek, the experience will be screened within a custom installation created by acclaimed scenic and production designer, David Korins.
The ultimate goal of the experience was to build-in a contemplative pulse that people could naturally attach to their own personal landscape; to connect, not only with the atrocity of concentration camps, but grasp how inhumane man can be against man when hate is paramount and emerge as a more enlightened individual. said Korins.
THE LAST GOODBYE was co-created by award-winning filmmaker Gabo Arora and Ari Palitz, produced by Stephen Smith, Executive Director of USC Shoah Foundation, and co-produced by USC Shoah Foundation, HERE BE DRAGONS, MPC VR and OTOY. An original soundtrack was helmed by audio director Draen Bonjak of Q Department. Spatial sound powered by Mach1. 3D stereo stitching by 3D paint\FX.
About USC Shoah Foundation
USC Shoah Foundation The Institute for Visual History and Education is dedicated to making audio- visual interviews with survivors and other witnesses of the Holocaust and other genocides, a compelling voice for education and action. The Institutes current collection of more than 55,000 eyewitness testimonies contained within its Visual History Archive(R) preserves history as told by the people who lived it, and lived through it. Housed at the University of Southern California, within the Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, the Institute works with partners around the world to advance scholarship and research, to provide resources and online tools for educators, and to disseminate the testimonies for educational purposes.
About HERE BE DRAGONS
HERE BE DRAGONS is a specialized experience studio that is comprised of the world’s leading creative innovators in virtual and augmented reality. The HERE BE DRAGONS collective utilizes custom built tools and technology to craft and curate original immersive experiences. Its creative team and production talent are industry leaders in short-form commercials, music videos, feature film, theatre, design, photography and fine arts with a proven track record in creating stories that inspire and truly resonate, collectively earning them numerous Emmys, Cannes Lions, Grand Prixes, PalmdOrs, AICP, D&AD, One Show, ADC, Tony, Webby Awards and a Grammy.
About MPC VR
MPC (Moving Picture Company) is a global leader in VFX for over 25 years with industry-leading facilities in London, Los Angeles, New York, Vancouver, Bangalore, Montreal, Amsterdam, Shanghai and Paris. In 2015, MPC established a creative and technology-led VR team – MPC VR. The division is focused on production and exploration across industries including Advertising, Original Content, Feature Film, Entertainment and Immersive Experiences. MPC VR’s mixed reality dance duet, HEROES, was also an official 2017 Sundance New Frontier selection. They have also recently created multiple music experiences for Sony Music including Kygo, Pentatonix and The Chainsmokers. Other projects include VR for John Lewis, The Nature Conservancy, One Republic, Suicide Squad and Goosebumps.
About OTOY, Inc.
OTOY Inc. is the definitive cloud graphics company pioneering fundamental capture, render, and streaming technology for virtual and mixed reality. OTOY provides an integrated toolset to create and deliver the highest resolution, photorealistic media for next-generation immersive and interactive displays. Over the past decade, OTOYs Academy Award(R)-winning technology has been used by leading visual effects studios, animators, designers, architects and engineers to achieve unparalleled levels of photorealism and creative freedom, as well as new economics in cloud-based media production and distribution.
About Q Department
Q Department studio was founded by composer, sound designer and inventor Draen Bonjak. In 2015 Bonjak launched Mach1 a spatial audio technology company. Together Q Department and Mach1 have worked on some of the most high profile Virtual Reality titles including Oculus Story Studios Dear Angelica, 20TH Century Fox’s The MartianVR, USA Network’s Mr. Robot VR, and The New York Times Great Performers. Mach1 recently launched their patent-pending VR sound format updating The New York Times NYTVR apps for iOS Android and Daydream. The Last Goodbye is powered by Mach1 sound technology.
About David Korins
David Korins is an award-winning scenic and production designer based in New York City. He is founder and principal designer of David Korins Design?a multidisciplinary creative firm that develops and designs innovative experiences.
As Creative Director, David has worked with Bruno Mars, Lady Gaga, Kanye West, Mariah Carey, and Andrea Bocelli. He has designed immersive installations for several music and arts festivals including Coachella, Lollapalooza, SXSW, Bonnaroo, and Outside Lands.
In 2014 he collaborated with the Gagosian Gallery and Sir John Richardson to design and curate the exhibitions Picasso and the Camera and Takashi Murakami: In the Land of the Dead, Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow, and most recently collaborated with Sothebys to design and co-curate their Americana Week.
As Production Designer, David received an Emmy Award for his work on Grease: Live! (Fox). As Scenic Designer, he has worked extensively on Broadway, off-Broadway and in regional theatre. Broadway credits include the Tony Award-winning musical, Hamilton, War Paint, Dear Evan Hansen, Misery, Motown, Annie, Bring It On, Chinglish, Vanya and Sonia, An Evening with Patti LuPone & Mandy Patinkin, Magic/Bird, Godspell, The Pee-Wee Herman Show, and Passing Strange. Opera credits include world premieres of The Gospel of Mary Magdalene at San Francisco Opera and Oscar at Santa Fe Opera.