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How using virtual reality can improve authenticity

WaterAid has managed to improve its authenticity by allowing donors an insight into the organisation’s daily work across the world by using virtual reality

WaterAid has launched a new strategy that uses virtual reality to improve authenticity and bring supporters closer to the charity’s work around the world.

Through virtual reality films with 360 degree cameras, WaterAid is able to allow its donors to get an insight into the organisations daily work around the world and see firsthand the positive impact and ripple effects.

Since 2015, when WaterAid released their first virtual reality film Aftershock which highlighted the devastating impact of the earthquakes in Nepal, the technology has become even cheaper and more accessible to use.

Film manager at WaterAid, Steve Melia, said: “When we shot our first VR film in 2016 we needed seven GoPros. We were in Nepal and it was hot and dusty, which made the shoot technically challenging. And the post-production was expensive.

“Fast-forward two years to when we started filming Everyday WaterAid, and the technology had moved on significantly.

“The cameras are a standard part of our kit now. They’ve opened up the filmmaking process and we’re getting 360 footage from remote places so we can report back to donors. We’re bringing people closer to our work, and that’s our job as communicators.”

This reduction in the barriers to making virtual reality films will allow more charities and NFPs to highlight the impact of the work being carried out.

Ernest Randriarimalala, WaterAid communications officer in Madagascar, said: “When I started my job with WaterAid and was learning about photography and storytelling, I had no idea a few years later I would be behind a 360 degree camera as part of a Virtual Reality film. I didn’t even know what it was, I had to Google it! It was an amazing and exciting project, and one of the best in terms of challenge and creativity.”

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