To survive, know the past. Let is touch you. Then let the past go. – Octavia Butler
Directors: Yasmin Elayat, Michèle Stephenson, Joe Brewster
The Changing Same: An American Pilgrimage is an Emmy-nominated immersive, episodic virtual reality experience where participants travel through time and space to witness the connected historical experiences of racial injustice in the United States. A haunting story infused with magical realism and afrofuturism, The Changing Same examines the uninterrupted cycle of the history of racial oppression, past and present. Episode 1 premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, won Best Immersive Narrative at Tribeca Film Festival (2021) and was nominated for a News and Documentary Emmy for Outstanding Interactive: Innovation.
Episode 2 & 3 are currently in development.
The Changing Same is a magical-realist immersive, room-scale VR experience where you travel through time and space to explore the last 400 years of American history of racial injustice (on the 400th year anniversary of slavery in US). The goal of The Changing Same is remembering and understanding our collective history to allow for our healing and growth. It’s a respectful, poetic, story infused with magical realism and afrofuturism.
You time travel on a non-linear journey to explore the past, present and future; it’s an American pilgrimage through our history.
The Changing Same will shift the paradigm of how America’s stories need to be re-told in the context of confronting the past. This projects enables us to not only memorialize this buried history but… to re-imagine it.
At the end of your 400-year time travel journey, you find yourself in an Afro-futurist world where we reimagine an equitable future for all, one that is attentive and accountable to the violences of the past. What would that future look like?
A Scatter and RADA Studio Production.
Directors: Michèle Stephenson, Joe Brewster and Yasmin Elayat
Original Music: serpentwithfeet and Brandon Juhans
Executive Producers: Opeyemi Olukemi, POV Spark, Diana Barret and Sheila Leddy, The Fledgling Fund
Producers: Yasmin Elayat, Joe Brewster, Michèle Stephenson
Writers: Joe Brewster, Michèle Stephenson
Co-Executive Producers: James George, Alexander Porter
Art Director: Rad Mora
Technical Director: Elliott Mitchell, Michael Allison
Cast: Daniel Rios Jr., Deanna Wright, Bianca Sanchez, Morgan McCloud, Carl William Garrison and Hunter Thore
Full list of credits
Watch the Making Of The Changing Same
The Changing Same is the most ambitious volumetric film to date. To tell this magical realist stories, we invented new workflows, created hybrid aviators using motion-capture and volumetric capture and a created a never-been-done before in VR time travel mechanic.