Psyop was brought on by Fathom Films and Jam3 to collaborate on the recent release of director Ann Shin's The Defector: Escape from North Korea, a first person interactive documentary experience that takes users through the harrowing journey of escaping oppression in North Korea.
Working with Jam3's and Ann Shin's overall vision for the project, Psyop created 3D environments, animations and transitions throughout the interactive story. As users progress through the linear narrative, decision-making points and panoramic 360° hotspot locations allow users to access additional video content, insider information and images.
"We used the footage shot by Director, Ann Shin, to keep the animation true to everything that Fathom Film Group had produced already," commented Psyop Creative Director, Jon Saunders. "We wanted to create an honest retrospective of the experience."
The result provides a compelling, visually rich experience while telling the difficult tale that so many defectors go through today.
"It was challenging to make this web project because of the scarcity of visuals and assets," remarks Shin, Executive Producer and Director at Fathom Film Group. "We had footage smuggled out of North Korea but the quality was very poor so we shot our own HD footage as well. It was up to Jam3 and Psyop to come up with an aesthetic that could combine the two and they ended up developing something really cool."
The project was selected into this year's South by Southwest Interactive and will be featured there March 8-16.