BBC Innovation producers, Charlie Newland and Owain Rich, shared the new Virtual Reality experience they have been producing for the 100women event with our students.
The documentary “Trafficked” sees the user become ‘Maria’, a woman trafficked into sex slavery from Central America (Nicaragua) to Mexico, where she was held for 8 years. Based on true events, Maria, and those involved in her rescue, were interviewed by journalist Lourdes Heredia.
Languages World Duty Editor at BBC World Service. The animated scenes which make up the experience are derived from their testimonies.
The Innovation producers at the BBC are given the freedom to create their own projects that they want to create. In this case, Charlie and Owain knew they wanted to experiment with Virtual Reality and create the first BBC in-house VR experience. As the BBC 100 women event was approaching, they wanted to combine the VR video with a story that could correspond with the event.
"For those experiencing the VR documentary for the first time, it was a surreal experience. “I felt like I really immersed in the story, I was the main character. I really lived her life”, said Hanna Liubakova, International Journalism MA student. Another student mentioned "I think it has potential; the journalism industry should definitely start to develop this idea. It is a revolutionary project for journalism as it’s very ambitious, but in the future VR could definitely be incorporated more in journalism.”