Facebook’s 'Stories of Humankind' Captures the Refugee Crisis in 360
Facebook launches the new 360 video series “Stories of Humankind: Searching for Home” created in partnership with Johnson&Johnson and Save The Children. Los Angeles-based post production company Therapy Studios collaborated with award-winning director Chris Milk’s virtual reality company Here Be Dragons to bring the emotionally stirring series to life.
The four episodes offer a glimpse into the lives of the millions of refugees who have fled their homes to seek safety from acts of violence, war and terrorism. Directed by Senain Kheshgi, “Stories of Humankind” focuses its lens on the more than 1,000 refugees currently living at the decommissioned Tempelhof airport in Berlin, Germany.
Despite the struggles the refugee families and children have to endure, the videos capture moments of joy at Tempelhof. Their humanity is revealed in simple yet precious experiences, such as flying a kite or going to school, where the children are provided with a safe environment to dive into learning.
Sound designer Eddie Kim crafted and mixed the audio to fit the Facebook 360 platform, integrating the sound elements into specific locations in a way that would transport the viewer. “The director wanted the audio to be very open,” explains Kim. “So I added a bed of air that was heavier, to really capture that feeling of a desolate airport hangar.”
Accompanied by the refugees’ first-hand accounts and a musical score composed by Mark Degli Antoni, the films showcase the potential of immersive storytelling to help people understand the reality that exists behind often unfathomable statistics. “This series was one of the harder projects to work on,” says Kim. “You can see the strength and resiliency of the children…in the face of this crisis, they remain playful and full of joy. It is an awesome thing to witness.”
Eddie Kim has repeatedly brought his talents to the VR realm, including creating the soundscape for Here Be Dragons’ series of VR films about global issues, which have been presented to the UN. The first film, Clouds Over Sidra, is a docu-piece about the life of a 12-year old Syrian refugee as she adjusts to the conditions of the Zaatari Refugee camp in Jordan. The second film, Waves of Grace, follows the journey of a young Liberian woman who survived Ebola and became a health worker to help others dying of the disease in her community.
Production Company: Here Be Dragons
Director: Senain Kheshgi
Composer: Mark Degli Antoni
Executive Producer: Joe DiSanto
Audio Post Production: Brandon Kim
Head of Production: Allegra Bartlett
Sound Design: Eddie Kim @ Therapy Studios
Category: Charity , Corporate and social
Genre: Storytelling , VR , Visual VFX