For Remembrance Day 2016, we helped Chelsea Pensioner, Frank Mouqué, became the first World War Two veteran to use virtual reality technology to return to a town in Northern France that he helped liberate. We decided to use virtual reality because it is a technology with almost limitless potential, but we wanted to look beyond thrills and entertainment and use it to achieve something truly profound.
I felt this campaign would be a great opportunity for Twine to give people an insight into the positive impact the Twine community can have on people’s lives globally through the projects they work on.
We posted a project brief on Twine and found the London based video production company, “Mutiny Media”, to film the 360 video. We knew that they specialised in making cutting edge and highly immersive virtual reality films and would be great to work with on this project.
The production company travelled to Armentières in Northern France to shoot the film, which consisted of shots of a war memorial in the centre of the town, a tribute by two residents who were children when was the town was liberated, a class of school children singing the well known song, ‘Les Mademoiselle De Armentières’ and Bernard Haesebroeck, Mayor of Armentières, giving Frank a specially minted coin for his bravery in helping to liberate the town.
After Mutiny Media stitched the 360 video together, we visited the Royal Hospital Chelsea and gave Frank a virtual reality headset to wear whilst we filmed his reaction to it. Mutiny Media then combined the 360 video with the film of Frank watching it, so that you can see Frank’s reactions as the video unfolds. We also worked with the London based composer, Paul Saunderson, who provided a really evocative soundtrack, which really complemented the film.
The project has made it into both national and international news, with Frank’s story and Twine’s involvement covered in digital and print media including Fox News, BBC, The Huffington Post, Upworthy, The Telegraph, ITV and many more. This campaign reached millions of people and the feedback and goodwill we’ve received has been fantastic.
It was really humbling to see Frank’s reaction to the virtual reality film and we’re delighted that we could give him such a special and unique tribute, let Frank experience the gratitude of the people of Armentières and see first-hand the enduring legacy of both his service and the sacrifices of so many friends.
If you have a VR headset, you can see what Frank saw here: