The journey of ViMS from Concept to Pilot was a great one, filled with some milestones and many potholes. Our experimentation began with various versions and options of 3D. Initially it was difficult to choose which way to go: 3D, 360 or VR. All seemed equally promising in terms of impact potential. But the implementation was very very different.
To understand the technologies better, we visited Samsung Research Centre at Bangalore to understand how 360 and VR worked after signing a Non Declaration Agreement with them. The engineers there helped us understand various technologies, their effect, and impact on health of children.
Finally we decided to go the 3D way, because of its cost of implementation and replication, and no health hazards. The next step was to find people who had some experience in 3D Film making. The people we found and spoke about our noble initiative, expressed great interest, but showed immediate priorities.
Our search ended with two young professionals, who were experimenting with 360 and VR, and were as inclined as us, towards the cause. They agreed to experiment with 3D, and came out with exciting results. Then what? We decided to start the Pilot with them.
As novices to film production, we identified the topics and the exhibits, identified Teachers who could explain in Hindi, and started writing the script ourselves. We rehearsed many times, to find the right approach, that would make the classes interactive. The waste paper basket filled up, with dumped scripts on crumpled paper balls.
The day came, when our young video professionals arrived with their kit, and went on a recce of the location with us. They planned their shots, the close-ups, the pans, and made their own checklist. All our rehearsals were of no use. But the script worked well. Our Teachers worked very hard as well, beating the sun, waiting for hours for the right shades, and repeating their dialogues over and again for different shots.
Finally 3 days of outdoor shooting ended with a random rain shower, washing away all our tiredness. But that was just the beginning of another tiring round of post processing for our young professionals. They uploaded version after version asking for our inputs and corrections. They had immense patience to correct every small piece and include every observation.
Close to the final versions, a team of volunteers started approaching the Government and low-cost schools for the Pilot. Surprisingly they got a very encouraging response. Letters were exchanged and dates were scheduled. The Pilot in the schools started.