Project Syria: Premieres at the World Economic Forum

Nearly a third of the population has been displaced in the ongoing war in Syria and no group has been as severely affected as the children. According to a joint statement issued by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and UNICEF last August, one million children have already been forced to flee Syria since the start of the country’s civil war. Some news reports indicate that children are actually being specifically targeted in the violence.

The World Economic Forum has commissioned an immersive journalism piece to try to tell the plight of these children. Immersive journalism piece uses new virtual reality technologies to put the audience “on scene” and evoke the feeling of “being there.” This piece was requested to be displayed at the World Economic Forum by the Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab, in Davos January 21, with the idea of compelling world leaders to act on this crucial issue.

This is a two-part experience. Using first scene replicate a moment on a busy street corner in the Aleppo district of Syria. In the middle of song, a rocket hits and dust and debris fly everywhere. The second scene dissolves to a refugee camp in which the viewer experiences being in the center of a camp as it grows exponentially in a representation that parallels the real story of how the extraordinary number of refugees from Syria fleeing their homeland have had to take refuge in camps. All elements are drawn from actual audio, video and photographs taken on scene.

Utilizing the real time graphics of the Unity game engine and sense of presence evoked through high resolution virtual reality goggles and compelling audio, Project Syria takes the audience to the real events as they transpire.

Project Syria Written and Directed by: Nonny de la Pena – – 310 749 0010

Produced by:
Nonny de la Pena
Vangelis Lympouridis

Additional Producer: Michael Licht

Shelbi Jay

Executive Producers:
USC School of Cinematic Arts
Dean Elizabeth M. Daley
Professor Scott Fisher
Professor Mark Bolas

Executive Producers:
World Economic Forum
MxR Studio

Lead Unity Developers:
Michael Murdoch
Mikkel Rasch Nielson

Sound Design:
Vangelis Lympouridis

Unity Developers:
Bradley Newman
Cognito Comics

Additional Unity Developers:
Logan Ver Hoef
Fotos Frangoudes
Evan Stern
Shiraz Akmal
Animation: (same card as above)
Vangelis Lympouridis

Nicholas Palmer Kelly

Bradley Hiebert

Environment Modeling:
Michael Murdoch
Metal Rabbit Games
Alexa Bona Kim
Cognito Comics

Character Modeling:
Axyz Design
USC Institute for Creative Technologies
Matt Liewer
Arno Hartholt
Yehjean Kim
Joe Yip

Additional Textures:
Alexa Bona Kim
James Bowie-Wilson

MxR Lab:
Allison Aptaker
Mahdi Azmandian
Mark Bolas
Adam Jones
David Krum

MxR Lab:
David Nelson
Thai Phan
Ryan Spicer
Evan Suma
Rhys Yahata

Additional Sound and Video: Namak Khoshnaw

Additional Production Material:
Faisal Attrache
Heidi Hathaway

Motion Tracking Equipment:
Tracy McSheery

Hardware Development:
Steven Brown
Bradley Newman
Thai Phan

Original Music:
Gingger Shankar

Narration: James Hanes

Translation: Megan Reid

HMD Leep Lenses Provided by Fakespace Labs

Leep Lesnes Provided by Transpresence

Created on Unity 3D

Special Thanks to Mixamo

Special Thanks to:
Marientina Gotsis
The World Food Program
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Klause and Hilde Schwab
Brenda Kenny – AudioMix Nation
Russel McNeal – Biosyn Systems

Special Thanks to:
Holly Willis
Elizabeth Ramsey
Stacy Patterson
Carolyn Tanner
Jerilyn “Cookie” Clayton
Ingrid DeCook
Creative Media and Behavioral Health

Video Produced with the support of:
Media Arts + Practice Division
USC School of Cinematic Arts
Gabriel Peters-Lazaro
Michael Bodie

Then USC School of Cinematic Arts

2 Responses to “Project Syria: Premieres at the World Economic Forum”

  1. […] Syria in Davos” – The Daily BeastProject Syria: Premieres at World Economic Forum – Immersive […]

  2. […] – nonny dela pena’s immersive journalism project on syria […]

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