Greenpeace: How A VR-wielding NGO Safeguards the Earth
About: Greenpeace is a non-governmental environmental organization with offices in over 40 countries and with an international coordinating body in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Greenpeace Israel has been creating VR videos for about two years now. Greenpeace always uses innovative ways to win campaigns and to get to new audiences. VR tech fits perfectly to GP causes since it makes you see just how it looks like and feel like – to be in different endangered places all around the globe: Starting with the Arctic, to the Amazonas and the Northern forests.
The VR Narrative Is Its Key Strength
The strength of VR, says Elad Aybes, the Head of New Media for Greenpeace Israel, comes from the narrative. Similar to moviegoers sitting in a blacked-out theater and immersing themselves into the story of the movie, and sympathizing with the protagonists, VR offers viewers experiences of essentially the same nature but with a whole new level of engagement. When people put VR headsets on and begin to realize that they can see everything in 360, their mind focuses completely on the world of the video. For an NGO like Greenpeace with its environmentalist messages, VR becomes the new favorite in deliverance: Having established an emotional connection with nature, people are much more likely to respond strongly to it being ravaged and exploited.
What Greenpeace Does
“Our organization fights multiple fights simultaneously: Saving the Arctic (the fight against Shell for example), Saving the heart of the Amazon from the Siemens massive construction, creating huge marine reserve in the US, shiftng to renewable energy on a global scale, especially in Israel where all the bureaucratic obstacles are now removed, the fight against Nestle for stop using palm oil, the fight against Barbie for the same reason, fights for recycling, and much more.”
–Elad Aybes, Head of New Media, Greenpeace Israel
Having received wide acclaim with their VR documentaries, Greenpeace Israel is determined not to stop at carrying out its mission in Israeli alone. While creating VR videos in its local language to drive the Israeli public in raising their environmental awareness, the organization keeps creating content in English and will be releasing it in the following months.
Caveat About VR Production
The biggest caveat Greenpeace Israel would like to give to directors and creators new to VR is to always use a tripod (or a drone with stabilizer) in case of nausea and disorientation. The main key is to always give the viewers time to look around and fully take the scenes in. When picking a 360 camera, Greenpeace Israel suggests that one look for a 4K sensor, light, port for tripod screw, support of microSD card, and support of preview on your phone or tablet.