Challenge: Bring to life the stories of the dead.
The Greater Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust sought a creative partner to help ideate, produce, and deliver a self-guided app-based walking tour of Fawkner Memorial Park. GMCT has a desire to activate cemeteries as public spaces for people to enjoy activities other than just memorialising their loved ones. They also wanted people to come on-site to discover their history and heritage. Collaborating with their learning designers, the vision for the app, Discover Cemeteries, is to bring to life the extraordinary lives of the people they have in their care, such as Revel Cooper, Alfred Tipper, Marion Bill Edwards, and Bill Bull.
Response: Using the future of technology to explore the past.
GMCT sought out our studio because of our breadth of capability, not only in animation and live-action but also in immersive video; augmented reality production. Augmented reality production was a unique and highly engaging medium that would set GMCT’s walking tour experience apart from others like it.
There were so many stories and so much information. Where did we start? With the first biography, and then the next. We needed to take the time to discover the depths and richness of history at play, so that we could deliver an engaging digital experience that melded seamlessly with a real-world exploration of Fawkner Memorial Park and its people.
GMCT’s aim was to represent the diversity of the Victorian community and the experiences they had had over time, since Fawkner Memorial Park’s first burial in 1906. As a result, our combined team of researchers reviewed records to find stories that would best represent that diversity. Once these stories were found, the next step was to consult with the appropriate family members, historians, communities, cultural and religious leaders, or societies in order to undergo consultation and gain approval to tell these stories.
The chosen stories were then turned from biographies on a page into scripts, then into creative treatments, and finally, they became the final activations within the app. While this may sound straightforward, each final activation required a different production pipeline, as the final medium ranged from animation, to augmented reality.
Outcome: Activations as unique as their stories.
“We’ve managed to bring in all elements of our company, from developers to creative specialists, our editors, and scriptwriters; we’ve all had the opportunity to work on something very different. And I probably don’t think it has been done before in Australia. We’re really happy, but more than that, we’re really honoured because it’s such an important piece.” – Julie Snagg, CEO of Creativa
There was no visual style or storytelling convention that could be consistent throughout; the people we were including on the walking tour required a custom treatment as unique as their lives. Every activation, every story, every video – animation or live action – every augmented reality experience, becomes a universe unto itself.
Testimonials: From the client.
“The creative process was really fascinating . “Watching the biographies that we had as words on a page turn into scripts and then creative treatments from animation through to live-action through to augmented reality, really brought people’s stories to life in a way that I think will be very engaging and interesting for the users of the app.” – Rowena Morrow, Chief Strategy, Innovation & Performance Officer
“Now that it’s done, I feel incredibly proud to have been able to make stories come to life.” Everyone has a story, and I think it’s good to not just concentrate on the rich or the famous. The loved ones that are interred in our cemeteries have stories to tell and we’ve been able to do that. “” – Deb Ganderton, CEO of the Greater Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust (2019-2022)