Making a difference in Puerto Rico through VR filmmaking

– The film, in general, is based around virtual reality shots accompanied by interview voiceover. So, our philosophy going into it was we’ll get these VR shots of these artists and then we’ll get the
interview with the artists explaining, you know, their inspiration, how the piece is important to them, how the piece is important to Puerto Rico and, in general, how
they personally responded to Hurricane Maria. There is hope for the community and the people in the
community are very hopeful, especially the artists. The artists are so
important in the community. Puerto Rican art is so alive. Puerto Rican music, painting, sculpture, all of it is so vibrant. – Before this project, I did
some short films on my own but then this is the first time that I’m engaged in a larger production with professional filmmakers and for me it was like a
great learning experience. In a way, I think Puerto Rico Production really supplements my
education here at Penn because this is something that you can never learn in school, but this provides you with a
range of different perspectives and it kind of gives me new ideas about what’s happening in Puerto Rico. – It is very hard to sort of
know what the impact art has because it’s not something
you can measure very easily. I think going to Puerto Rico
and speaking with artists who were having impact that they were able to directly see because
it was so necessary was sort of re-instilled
in me a sense of purpose. We realize that actually even
though virtual reality seems like it’s all about being in a new space and having a new experience, you really only connect to
that environment through people and so this we decided we
were gonna focus more on individuals, artists, people. – This was partly an
attempt to tell stories about Puerto Ricans as individuals and one of the great things that VR can do is connect you to another person, to really put you in their
space, in their environment. One thing that I thought about a lot was the structure of the program. Last year, it was more of a class. This time, we ran it a little bit more like it was a professional production. I think education is changing. It’s less and less about students sitting passively in a
classroom taking notes. More and more we’re taking some of the passive elements of education, putting them online and trying to create more active experiences in the classroom and so the Making a Difference grant really makes that possible. (uplifting guitar music)

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