Producer Jonah Hirsch Developing Anne Frank Virtual Reality Film

By: May. 03, 2016
Enter Your Email to Unlock This Article

Plus, get the best of BroadwayWorld delivered to your inbox, and unlimited access to our editorial content across the globe.

Existing user? Just click login.

Jonah Hirsch, the producer from the acclaimed VR film "First," and filmmaker Danny Abrahms will build on the success of Hirsch's VR Wright Brothers film and are in production on a new virtual reality film entitled "Anne," announced Hirsch this week. The project is being financed by CGO Studios, a newly formed virtual reality production company based in Los Angeles, and the visual effects work is being done by Dilated Pixels, also based in Los Angeles.

"Anne Frank's story has kept the memory of the Holocaust alive and promoted tolerance for generations. She is an international symbol for the plight of persecuted people during the Holocaust and of all victims of senseless discrimination. We are deeply committed to sharing Anne's experience using cutting-edge modes of storytelling so that her story can live on and reach as many young people in the world as possible," said Abrahms, writer/director of "Anne."

Early design render of Anne Frank's room, one of 7 rooms in the "secret annex" in which she and 7 others hid for two years (July 5th, 1942 - August 4, 1944). It includes her bed (with the Teddy Bear) on the left, the door and windows leading to the shared bathroom, the desk at which she wrote her diary, the diary itself sitting on the desk, and the bed for Albert Dussel, another "annex" member.

"Anne" will recreate history and give users the opportunity to walk through that history, walk through that annex, and feel like they are there. To experience this film will be to immerse oneself into a place and time, to move about a room, amongst the people, and sense the moment in a way never possible before VR.

Location: Kitty Hawk, North Carolina
Date: December 17th, 1903
Time: 10:35 am
This is the moment when the photographer takes the one and only photograph of the Wright Brothers achieving the first powered human flight. There were a total of 7 people at the first flight, including the two Wright brothers. Left to right: Johnny Moore, Will Dough, W.C. Brinkley, Adam D. Etheridge, Orville Wright (on the plane), Wilbur Wright (Next to the plane), John T. Daniels (photographer)

"VR to me is this new, amazing tool that can allow viewers to connect with people and events like never before. I wanted to create a VR experience that connected viewers with arguably the most significant event in human history [World War 2 / The Holocaust] and I couldn't think of a better way to explore this subject matter than through the story of Anne Frank," said Abrahms.

Virtual Reality can bring history, entertainment, and technology together and be used to create worthwhile films that mean something, enlighten, and entertain too. The producers will use virtual reality to transport viewers to the "hidden" annex circa 1942 with photorealistic visual fidelity.

"Like Wilbur and Orville's first flight, I look for specific moments in history that have universal appeal, are significant in subject matter, and lend themselves well to a virtual reality experience," added Hirsch.

Viewers will be immersed in the presence of Anne Frank and the other members in hiding. By allowing the user to witness history this way, VR can create more powerful and lasting memories that will further spark interest and awareness of the subject matter. The images from "First," which are actual screen grabs, show how far "Anne" will go from the early render to the final version to become immersive VR.

A recreation of the famous photo taken of the Wright Brothers achieving the first powered, manned flight. Orville Wright is piloting while Wilbur Wright is running alongside. The flight only lasted 12 seconds but it solidified the Wright Brothers' names in the history books forever.

Hirsch, the producer of the Wright Brother's "First" VR experience, brought together the Smithsonian's two leading curators form the National Air and Space Museum, as well as tech partner Advance Micro Devices (AMD) to provide cutting edge graphics cards and hardware to create a truly memorable experience.

"Recreating history is really kinda cool, much more fun than reading about it in a textbook," added Hirsch.


To post a comment, you must register and login.

Vote Sponsor