How to create awareness with cinematics storytelling?

Johana Riquier oversees strategic business development for Emerging Markets at Unity Technologies. She caught up with Kelechi Onyekwere, Unity Student Ambassador based in Nigeria. He used cinematics and storytelling in Unity for the first time to create a short fictional story to raise awareness of the pandemic, and encourage people to stay at home to save lives.

Please introduce yourself

My name is Onyekwere Kelechi Mark, and I am Nigerian. I am currently an undergraduate studying computer science and statistics at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, I am a software developer by career majoring in Game and mobile Development. I am also the Unity Student Ambassador in Nigeria, and very passionate about the school community and the tech-o-sphere at large.

What inspired you to create this story?

After the outbreak of the coronavirus, people have been looking for ways. They have also been coming up with ideas on how to create awareness about the pandemic, the proposed damages, and also means of staying safe, so I decided to engage in the public consciousness in my unique way.

What steps did you take from getting the idea and executing it?

Firstly, I thought about drafting a storyboard which was centred about the damages this pandemic could cause if not properly managed, hence the title “The Pandemic – A message from the future”.

I recollected a lot of movies storylines centred on similar storylines (virus attacks and infectious diseases to a city). I adjusted my story a little, made layout designs (quick sketch of how it should look like), while simultaneously creating the Voice overs, and went forward to choose a background theme song(a catchy one).

How easy was it?

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It is my first trial at cinematic storytelling, not that it wasn’t hard, I had to familiarize with a lot of new tools made by Unity Technologies, and it was all fun from the beginning to the end. From the camera animations (Cinemachine), the capturing of screens, all posed a threat, as I was somewhat new to these aspects of Unity, we face the challenge because we want to implement it and eventually learn it. The exciting part of it all is making the realistic cinematic effects, motion blur, depth of field, colour grading, vignette. They were all done with the Post-processing effects, I played a lot with the settings here to get my desired look, and I am quite happy I was able to achieve it. So in all, it wasn’t hard, I truly enjoyed my two and half-day of making it.

Why did you think this would make great content?

I firmly believe the world still need more enlightenment about this recent pandemic. I don’t think something of this nature has been done regarding this pandemic, taking another phase, it would serve significantly as a viable awareness medium on the internet since a majority of people are hooked up to it these days. The content targets both the old and the young, it is catchy, straight forward and purpose-driven, and could serve as a new direction to which we pass essential information to the world. In conclusion, it would stand firmly as an element in preserving world history.

Did you receive any help (music, tech)?

Yes, I got a few help, I needed information about some useful resource required to make this possible, I asked questions on twitter, and I got my answers, which saved me from much stress, from going into the web and digging out till I found. I also needed a unique background theme song to help foster and enhance the message I passed and was lucky to get one from http://feliyanstudios.com(A Royalty free music), other help I got from the unity asset store.

Watch Kelechi’s cinematic storytelling: The Pandemic – A message from the future.