#342: Empathizing with a War-Torn Family in ‘Giant’

Milica-ZecMilica Zec grew up in war-torn Serbia, but this was a part of her life that she preferred to just forget about and leave behind. After telling screenwriter Lizzie Donahue her story, she was encouraged to tell her story in a short film. Milica initially resisted and was eventually compelled enough to consider it, but she wasn’t convinced that film was the right medium.

She realized that the immersion that’s possible with virtual reality would be so much more effective in telling her story, and so she created Giant, which puts you in a basement with a family as there are bombs dropping outside. I had a chance to talk to Milica at Sundance about her personal story of growing up with war, the power of empathy in VR, how Giant went from an idea to having over 40 people collaborate on it, and finally how they blended live action 2D footage within Unreal Engine to immerse you within the scene.


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