Oscar® Nominated Director Jeffrey Karoff’s (Double-Wide) VR documentary short is an engrossing, uplifting journey about a New York City public shelter resident whose children, due to Robin Hood’s poverty fighting efforts, attend a world class preschool.

“Affluent parents would burn with envy,” says Karoff of ABC Preschool. “Yet all the children at ABC are underprivileged, a word that loses its meaning when you see the bright classrooms, brighter teachers, every contemporary tool and toy and leading edge educational strategies. These kids are being given a real chance. Talk about hopeful!”

Karoff had some doubts about conveying emotion in VR because of its fixed perspective and limited cutting options. “Yet it turned out to be a means to not only share Francesca’s family story, but also convey the feeling of their shelter lives and then literally surround you with the nurturing warmth of ABC Preschool.”

“VR was new to me, but not the surround concept. I had directed a 360° film for Mercedes using Disney’s nine-camera 35mm Mitchell rig, so I knew how to stage shots. My goal was to keep the camera moving and/or mounted in unusual places. You’ll even see a dolly shot in the opening scene (challenging in low budget VR). We did it with piano wire and a winch!”

The team had only one day to shoot the VR spot in five locations so the story is supplemented with flat images shot for a companion spot, COMMUTE. To get the full immersive impact of the spot, access this link through your smartphone.