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“Mother’s Day is coming up in three weeks. Would you like to set a reminder?” asks an AI assistant to a young woman at the start of this film. “Ignore,” she replies.
Dear Mom tackles the complexity of mother-daughter relationships in an innovative format—360° virtual reality. The short film is a VR narrative about the relationship between a struggling Chinese-American artist and her traditional Chinese mother and the generational and cultural conflicts they face.
The virtual reality film cleverly takes advantage of the 360° format to show the mother and daughter side by side, living their lives separately on opposite sides of a 360° sphere. As their relationship changes over the years, the viewer’s eyes are constantly pulled from scene to scene.
The core generational and cultural conflicts in Dear Mom were directly influenced by our team’s own experiences, as many of us have parents who immigrated to America from foreign countries. We wanted to show the tension of growing up between cultures, as well as how hard work from our parents could go unappreciated. With this in mind, our team created a relatable, realistic experience about the subtle dynamics in an immigrant family.
We hope that Dear Mom reminds people to reach out and reconnect with their family, especially during this time of separation from COVID-19.
As a team of cross-disciplinary storytellers, virtual reality enables us to tell our stories together in our own ways. It gives people a unique opportunity to empathize with our protagonists’ separation both emotionally and physically in an immersive experience.
VR cameras bring us closer to the ultimate vision of being fully immersed in the story with the freedom to go anywhere and interact with anything. By integrating 360° footage within the Unity3D game engine, we are able to make walkable renditions of our characters’ worlds and align them seamlessly within the 3D environments.
To learn more about AmaVR and Dear Mom, visit amavr.com/dearmom.