«After Solitary» is a visceral window into the practice of solitary confinement. This groundbreaking journalistic experience is based off of years of FRONTLINE’s investigative research and marries cutting edge photogrammetry technology that places users inside of two photorealistic 3D scanned environments, including a solitary confinement cell, with a videogrammetry capture hologram that allows users to meet an actual former inmate, Kenny Moore, who was held in long-term solitary confinement at Maine State Prison.
Instead of remaining stationary as with many other VR experiences,«After Solitary» allows users to physically move within the environments created for this experience. By placing users at the center of the story and giving them a degree of agency, we felt that room-scale virtual reality would allow users to gain a deeper understanding of and more emotional connection to the experience of being in solitary confinement. In studies done in collaboration with the Media Impact Project at USC, we found that the volumetric version of After Solitary was far more successful than the 360 formats in using the virtual space to connect participants’ perspectives with Kenny’s physical state and emotional journey.
Using «After Solitary» as a case study, this talk will explore how cutting-edge technology can push the boundaries of immersive storytelling, while exploring what virtual reality can bring to journalism.