May was Military Appreciation Month, and on May 21st of this year GMC launched a virtual reality video that allowed viewers to immerse themselves in a skydive experience, alongside veterans Staff Sgt. Stephen Valyou and Cpl. Todd Love. The video was part of GMC’s #enlistme campaign, introduced by actor Josh Duhamel, to raise awareness and donations in support of over 200 injured service members waiting for life-changing smart homes.
ReelFX, a local Golden Globe-nominated digital studio, handled the entire production for the campaign content. Shot in Perris, California, it included four teaser videos, a one-minute featurette, and the virtual reality skydive experience. The pieces were shot over four separate jumps and utilized multiple cameras in order to capture footage for both the live action video pieces. They were shot on a RED Dragon, and the 360 video, which was shot with custom GoPro rigs.
One GoPro rig was mounted on the head of an aerial cinematographer, and the other on a jump instructor during the jump. Additional VR cameras gathered footage in the plane prior to the jump and on the ground to capture the landing.
For the project, GMC teamed up with its national charity partner, Building for America’s Bravest, a program of the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation that aims to raise funds to build custom-designed, specially adapted homes for the most catastrophically injured American service members. The skydive represented the independence that these homes can bring to the lives of injured service members.
“We really love projects like this that use technology to raise awareness and grow support for great causes,” said Katherine Harper, ReelFX Director of Marketing/PR.
In 2015, ReelFX worked with AT&T locally on their “It Can Wait” campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving. Using virtual reality for causes like this is a trend they hope to continue.