November 2, 2017
“Virtual reality is one of the revolutions of our time.” The assertion is made by Gabo Arora, VR creator and Creative Director at Lightshed, during the webinar on the power of VR to tackle climate change, livestreamed this Wednesday, November 1st, at the Connect4Climate Facebook page. “It allows you to feel something you will never feel with a flat image”, Arora enlightens the audience in the introduction dedicated to the explanation of this groundbreaking audiovisual genre set to establish new frontiers of creative experience.
According to the VR producer, this technique enables the viewer - or “visitor” as Gabo Arora prefers to say- to become more immersed in the subject matter. During his masterclass, ‘presence’ was one of the strong points made to describe the result of a virtual reality project: “It creates a form of empathy, it has a more dramatic effect. Virtual reality is very good at giving the sense of scale, of how big the problem is. It humanizes numbers. It’s not a storytelling. It’s story living."
Over the past few years, Gabo Arora has developed a number of issue based virtual reality projects such as the UN’s first VR documentary “Clouds over Sidra” recorded inside a Syrian refugee camp, and the viral video “keep the Oil in the Ground”, filmed in Amazonia. “There is an appetite for social good in VR”, the film director affirms while “How can we make some of this really abstract facts turn into a broader emotional way?”. The answer from Arora’s perspective is VR. “We need to understand that it is the people that it is being affected by climate change. If you give a face to the problem, it makes the difference”.
Gabo Arora, also jury member of Connect4Climate’s #Uniting4Climate VR Competition, introduced the contest speaking about the importance of turning climate change into an inspirational subject to the globe. “We need to focus on solutions to inspire people”, believes the VR creator when interrogated about the video pitch (an idea for a film that will be produced by Vulcan) requested to enter the Uniting4Climate Competition. Aman Singh, the Editor-in-Chief at Futerra, who joined the second part of this webinar, corroborates Arora’s argument saying that “we need to imagine better and have a vision to get there.” “Change the narrative”, Singh asks, adding that “there is a reason to be optimistic”.
“Climate change is a cross-cutting issue. It is linked with each one of the other 16 Sustainable Development Goals [SDGs]”, remembers Aman Singh. Talking about the importance of embracing subjects such as food, farming, gender equality, migration and other global themes stated on the SDGs, Gabo Arora reminds the audience that “every SDG goal is impacted by climate change. They are great stories because they are human stories”.