Wieden+Kennedy Harnesses VR Technology to Bring MS Sufferers Together
Two films, captured using Virtual Reality technology, highlight Steve Bettis and Amy Meisner, each of whom have not been able to pursue their passions in the same way since their diagnosis of MS.
- "Off My Wave." Steve, a local surfer from Ocean Beach, CA, has been living that lifestyle for over fifty years. A few years after his diagnosis his ability to balance and ride the waves started to fade. His good friend, professional longboarder Robert “Wingnut” Weaver, took to the waves with a virtual reality camera so that Steve could once again experience the joy of being in the water again.
- "Exit Stage Never." Amy, a longtime professional dancer from NYC, was diagnosed in 1997. She now dances with her wheelchair and choreographs others, but is unable to perform like she once did. LaTonya Swann, a fellow professional and BET's Born to Dance winner, took to the stage with a virtual reality camera to share with Amy a whole new dance experience.
The campaign encourages individuals to connect and share their solutions and passions with one another by posting their own videos across social channels with #WeAreStrongerThanMS. See these experiences and find out how you can share yours at WeAreStrongerThanMS.org.
Joe Staples, Executive Creative Director, Wieden+Kennedy Portland commented on the project: “Each person we met was working around their specific symptoms with dignity and passion. But equally, each had at least one action or hobby that they still talked of fondly, something they could no longer do. What became clear as we worked was how VR allowed these people to experience some of the things MS had taken from them. We aren't doctors, we can't cure MS, but for a little while we might be able to make it disappear.”
Director John X. Carey added: "This project has really opened my eyes to the unique ways VR can help people affected by disabilities live their lives again. It was an incredible learning experience for me as a person and a director, with regards to both awareness of the physical and emotional challenges of people living with MS, and the power of 360 degree film making."
Oliver Fuselier, Managing Partner, Live Action, Tool of North America explained: "John was the natural choice to bring this project to life because we knew it required a beautiful and authentic aesthetic. With his innate ability to provoke and capture emotion, John used virtual reality to amplify the impact of the storytelling. He really enlightened all of us on how VR can exist within and enhance a more traditional marketing campaign. We’ve been working in the VR space for some time now, but this one really hit a cord with us because it very clearly demonstrates the medium's ability to affect human lives in a way we hadn't thought possible before."
ADVERTISER: National MS Society
CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Caio Lazzuri and Ashley Davis-Marshall
COPYWRITER: Ryan Nilan
ART DIRECTOR: Danielle Delph
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Patrick Marzullo
PRODUCER: (Art) Petrenka
CREATIVE AGENCY: W+K PORTLAND
BUSINESS AFFAIRS: Teresa Lutz and Brian Cook
PROJECT MANAGER: Carolyn Domme
ACCOUNT MANAGEMENT: Dana Borenstein and Virginia Mendes
STUDIO MANAGER: Amy Streger
STRATEGY: Hailey Marsh
EDITOR: Peter Wieden Smith / JB Jacobs
EDIT COMPANY: Joint
POST PRODUCTION / VFX
VISUAL EFFECTS: (TV) Mission Control , (VR) Luma Pictures
VFX SUPERVISOR: (Luma) Justin Johnson
EDITOR: (Luma) Faraz Abbasi
TECHNICAL DIRECTOR: (Luma) Andrew Kalicki
PRODUCER: (Mission Control) Catherine Liu / (Mission Control) Nathanael Horton / (Luma) Louisa Cartwright
POST PRODUCTION HOUSE: Luma Pictures
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: (Mission Control) Leslie Carthy / (Mission Control) Alex Thiesen
COMPOSITOR: (Luma) Garrett Wycoff
MANAGING DIRECTOR: (Luma) Jay Lichtman
PRINT / OOH
RETOUCHER: Frazier Goodbody
PHOTOGRAPHER: Danielle Levitt
PRODUCTION COMPANY: Tool
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Lori Stonebraker / Josh Hamilton
DOP: Hilary Spera and Chris Saul
DIRECTOR: John X. Carey
MANAGING DIRECTOR: Oliver Fuselier, Dustin Callif
LINE PRODUCER: Joshua Greenberg
Studio Manager: Amy Streger
Strategy: Hailey Marsh
Post Production / VFX
Compositor: Garrett Wycoff
Category: Charity , Corporate and social
Genre: Digital , Documentary , Editing , Experiential , People , Photography , VR , Visual VFX