Zero Days VR
Based on Alex Gibney’s feature-length documentary Zero Days, Zero Days VR tells its story from a perspective that wasn’t possible before virtual reality. The true story of a clandestine mission hatched by the United States and Israel to sabotage an underground Iranian nuclear facility is told first from the point of view of a key NSA informant and then of Stuxnet, the sophisticated cyberweapon at the heart of the mission. The audience steps into the invisible world of computer viruses to experience high-stakes cyberwarfare at human scale.
Scatter is a Brooklyn-based immersive media studio pioneering a new genre of media called volumetric filmmaking, which combines the interactivity of game-engine virtual reality with the craft and sensibility of filmmaking. Made possible with DepthKit, volumetric filmmaking enables VR filmmakers to three-dimensionally capture real people and real stories and place them within an interactive virtual reality experience.
At Scatter we worked closely with Framestore and Jigsaw to capture and design a set of interviews presenting the anonymized testimonies of NSA whistleblowers. Our approach was intended to obscure the identities of the informants while still giving them a platform to speak. We used our reality capture tool DepthKit as a digitized veil, allowing us to obfuscate their identities while still retaining their gestures.
—ScatterIn October 2018, Zero Days VR was awarded a News & Documentary Emmy for Outstanding New Approaches: Documentary.
“The story in VR is told on two levels, from the perspective of Stuxnet itself and from the view of computer scientists, represented here by a holographic NSA informant. ‘We set out to answer Gibney’s question: How can you make a documentary where the lead character is code?’ said director Yasmin Elayat. ‘And by using custom tools we’ve been able to recreate the Stuxnet narrative in a new way, visualizing the invisible world of cyberwar with techniques native to the VR medium.’”