Disfellowshipped 360

360 Mini-Series on JW

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This story revolves around an ex-Jehovah’s Witness in McAlester, Oklahoma. With the 360 approach, we give the viewer a more intimate understanding of a character and her experience.

We have been working with the Center for Investigative Reporting on a first Fader use case. The outcome is incredible: A three episodes long mini VR series about Debbie McDaniel, a “woman with an extraordinary past.”

We were able to start working closely with CIR’s reporter Trey Bundy and senior supervising editor David Ritsher. Trey was working on an investigation into Jehovah’s Witnesses and child sexual abuse cases. This is the story, you can watch it on your Android device or on your desktop browser (try Chrome or Firefox). On mobile, open the link in a separate tab.

The reason why Trey was interested in experimenting with an investigative story in VR is because it can

give the viewer a more intimate understanding of a character and her experience. The technology allows us to put you in the reporter's shoes, to feel what it's like to sit with people as they look you in the eye and tell you their story, to visit their towns and the places that affected their lives. In some instances, it becomes a window into a person's emotional memory.

―Trey Bundy

During a cold winter weekend in February 2016, Trey met with Linda and Stephan to begin exploring what by now is the 360° episodical Disfellowshipped. They were digging through text pieces, images and audio snippets and trying to align all that into a visual 360° concept. That proved to be a challenge that Trey more than once quoted to be like creating a movie while never having been to a cinema before.