The Oculus Rift is a virtual reality headset developed and manufactured by Oculus VR, a division of Facebook Inc
The Virtual Reality technology is gradually and quietly making it’s way into the Nigerian movie industry. It’s a little disappointing that Nigeria always lag behind when ever a new technology is released. We always play catch-up to the rest of the world in terms of advancement. Virtual Reality (VR) is not really a new concept. It has been around for a long time now even in Nigeria. It’s just not too popular and the Nigerian movie industry for some reason has refused to embrace it. However, some major shopping malls have the technology where people pay to watch VR.
Nigerian blogger ELSiEiSY watching the VR documentary
One major pioneer of Virtual reality in Nigeria is Joel Kachi Benson. He is the founder and Creative Director of JB Multimedia Studios. He is the first film maker to produce a Nigerian Virtual Reality documentary film. The documentary focuses on life in Nigerian “Internally Displaced People’s” IDP camps and the terrible suffering of the people in the camps. For those who watched the documentary they said that “it felt so real, it was like they were in the IDP camps themselves.”
The suffering of the people are so severe that you would never believe government spends billions and billions of dollars to feed these people. Joel Kachi Benson says he was moved to tell their story of anguish to the world using Virtual Reality so people can know the extent of suffering these people are going through.
In a recent interview he explained that he had to travel to the United States to learn how to shoot VR videos. According to him, he paid $500 a day just to learn how to shoot VR videos. How long you want to learn depends on you. However, you must pay $500 everyday to continue learning. It’s a good thing he made that sacrifice to learn and he brought that knowledge to Nigeria. For those who want to learn can contact him via Twitter @KachiBenson and it will no doubt be cheaper.
I wonder how despite the billions allocated, there’s so much suffering and food shortages in the IDP camps. The people are suffering so much. Falimatu, a mother of 5 said “if we don’t beg, nobody will give us anything, not even leftovers.” The video is so touching.
However, it was fun watching the documentary. It also inspired Lagos based film maker to make her own VR documentary about life in Lagos. There was also plenty to eat and drink at the end of the day. I hope this will also encourage film makers in Nigeria to adopt VR technology in making films as it give a real life experience of the film itself.