Coming Soon to Oculus Quest 2

Synopsis

THE CALLING, a one-of-a-kind immersive musical experience, transports you back to Memphis’ famed Beale Street on March 28, 1968 — the date of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s final march. With the guidance of a mysterious Shoeshine Man wielding sage-like wisdom you march with Dr. King and the thousands who journeyed to Memphis in support of 1300 sanitation workers, striking for higher wages and better working conditions. Along the way you discover The Calling, an ancestral power to change the world resonating inside every person. This is a story about the audacity of hope, the challenges we overcome, and the choices we can make along the way.

Set Design

Toward the end of the Civil Rights Era, Beale Street was a bustling center of business and entertainment heavily divided along the lines of race and class. This division was felt by none more than the Sanitation Workers who, by March 28, 1968, had submerged Memphis under more than 10,000 tons of trash, as their strike for better working conditions, health benefits, and union recognition entered its 57th day.

Animating businesses such as A. Schwab and the Memphis Meat Company alongside historic landmarks such as W.C. Handy Park and the statue erected in his honor, were important to creating an authentic interactive experience. Additionally, each building is textured with the color palette, stone lined/brick façade, awnings, signage, and grime accurate to the period.

Character Design

In populating the interactive experience, the focus was on animating the protestors and law enforcement officials who were present during what would become Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s final march. Made up of local religious leaders, high school teachers, college students, and sanitation workers, protestors are outfitted in their Sunday best to march alongside Dr. King. Dressed in dark blue uniforms, black knit ties, gas masks, and gold badges, our police officers offer an ominous juxtaposition to the steady pace of the protestor’s peaceful demonstration.

Making strides to accurately represent each of these predominantly BIPOC characters with dignity, the characters carry the anatomical detail of animated films such as Pixar’s Soul with the softer artistic gaze of Pearl VR.

Sound Design

The sound design of THE CALLING greatly revolves around the creative use of music and spatially specific sound FX to incrementally reveal, over the course of the experience, The Calling—a powerful composition made up of traditional and contemporary instruments, vocals, and environmental sounds. 

Music

The music in THE CALLING replicates the sonic experience of walking down Beale Street as you pass by clubs and street performers, each with their own distinctive sound, combining to create a symphony dripping with history and culture. In VR, the viewer can have that same experience, encountering distinctive sounds at specific locations in the environment fusing together to create a score.

Creative Team

Alani iLongwe

WRITER / DIRECTOR

Allyson Cikor

ENVIRONMENT MODELER / TEXTURE DESIGNER

Amanda Thompson

CHARACTER CONCEPT ARTIST

Tim Kashani

PRODUCER

Ren Casey

COMPOSER / LYRICIST / MUSIC DIRECTOR

Miranda Hubbard

3D CHARACTER MODELER / ANIMATOR

Brian Moreland

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

Christopher Sepulveda

PRODUCER

Tyler Heaton

LEAD DEVELOPER / SOUND DESIGNER

Kenny Kong

CHARACTER CONCEPT ARTIST

Pamela Winslow Kashani

PRODUCER

Ido Gal 

ASSOCIATE PRODUCER

Cast

Nicole Cowans

PERFORMER

Sterling Sulieman

PERFORMER

Arthur Romeo

PERFORMER

Jaquita Ta’le

PERFORMER