For Veterans Day, journalist and filmmaker Sarah Hill wanted to make a movie to honor her late grandfather, who served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. Her film, Honor Everywhere 360, is a virtual reality (VR) tour of war memorials in Washington, D.C.
As the CEO and chief storyteller for the Missouri-based VR film company StoryUP VR, Hill made a 10-minute VR movie for veterans who would like to visit their memorials but might not be able to travel to D.C. for health or financial reasons. "My grandfather never had the opportunity to see his memorial," Hill says. "When I look at those guys, I see his face. He would have loved something like that.”
Those “guys” to which Hill refers are veterans in D.C. visiting the memorials for the first time, seen by donning the VR headset. Viewers are not only up close to the expressions on their faces, but also immersed in a 360-degree view of the landscape -- the landed reality of the veterans' experience.
From journalism to VR filmmaking
Hill’s film is one of several being released today in partnership with the Palo Alto-based VR company Jaunt. Jaunt provided Hill's production company with a VR camera to film the project for free.
Hill had worked for 20 years as a broadcast journalist before starting her VR company. While fundraising for the project, Hill reached out to a friend of hers at Jaunt who agreed to partner with her.