The Lime Pictures digital team has launched a 360-degree virtual reality experience in the metaverse to coincide with the powerful Hollyoaks ‘Long Walk Home’ episode and its associated women’s safety campaign.
It allows users to experience the sights and sounds of Hollyoaks character Maxine Minniver on her lone journey back from a night out.
In the interactive short film, set in Hollyoaks village and featuring a voiceover by Nikki Sanderson, who plays Maxine, we hear her internal narrative as she navigates her way home after a night out.
The conceptual immersive experience was written by the episode’s writer Jayshree Patel. It does not feature an attack and Maxine gets home safely.
Users of the VR experience hear the sounds in different sets as Maxine makes her way to her home from nightclub The Loft. The interactions she experiences with people along the way highlight the misogynistic and threatening experiences for many women that instil fear and a need to avoid intimidating situations for many people in everyday life.
Patel said: “The VR experience is an exciting move for Hollyoaks. It allows us to reach a whole new audience who’ll get to experience life through Maxine’s eyes. We’re hoping that people will recognise some of the thought processes that Maxine experiences and appreciate how a journey home can be full of second guessing.”
The film was produced by Lime Digital, working with ARK immersive who provided specialist cameras and assistance to create the 360 view of Hollyoaks village as we’ve never seen it before.
It can be found on platforms including Meta Quest in the VR for Good section which harnesses the unique capabilities of VR to create human-centric stories that promote empathy and empowerment. It also launched in Must-See Immersive Entertainment and can be viewed without a VR headset on Facebook and YouTube.
The show also aims to highlight the disparities between men and women in the film and TV industry. ‘The Long Walk Home’ episode has been created by an entirely female team, including the writer, director, camera operators, engineers, and crew. The film also aspires to foster more female talent in the space.
Campaigner and content creator Danielle Lucy was a supporting artiste in the VR film. She said: “Taking part in The Long Walk Home was very important to me, as I don’t think this subject is spoken on enough or taken seriously. I wanted to be able to share my own experiences as well as educate my followers, friends and family, on the dangers women and girls face everyday. I think because Hollyoaks is such a respected show and how they tackled this issue and how it was filmed, it will make people of all generations and genders, stop and listen.”