- Title: Mother 'reunites' with deceased daughter in virtual reality
- Date: 14th February 2020
- Summary: SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA (FEBRUARY 14, 2020) (REUTERS) POSTER OF DOCUMENTARY 'MEETING YOU' PRODUCED BY SOUTH KOREAN BROADCASTER MBC ON DOOR / SENIOR PRODUCER OF MEETING YOU, KIM JONG-WOO, EDITING VIDEO KIM LOOKING AT MONITOR KIM WORKING ON VIDEO (SOUNDBITE) (Korean) SENIOR PRODUCER OF SOUTH KOREAN BROADCASTER MBC WHO PRODUCED VR DOCUMENTARY 'MEETING YOU', KIM JONG-WOO, SAYING: "We thought about the ways in which people can meet their lost family members. If they were to meet, what can they talk about, what do they want to talk about? This is the biggest motivation of this project." NOTES ABOUT VR DOCUMENTARY FILM ON WALL (SOUNDBITE) (Korean) SENIOR PRODUCER OF SOUTH KOREAN BROADCASTER MBC WHO PRODUCED VR DOCUMENTARY 'MEETING YOU', KIM JONG-WOO, SAYING: "We didn't think we were recreating Na-yeon, but we rather thought we were remembering her. Of course it was necessary to (make her image), but we worked with the greater meaning -- which was to remember her."
- Embargoed: 28th February 2020 10:35
- Keywords: MBC Meeting You Nayeon South Korea VR daughter documentary mother reunion technology virtual reality
- Location: SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA
- City: SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA
- Country: South Korea
- Topics: Human Interest / Brights / Odd News,Society/Social Issues,Editors' Choice
- Reuters ID: LVA009C0L263D
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Wearing virtual reality (VR) goggles, Jang Ji-sung burst into tears as her seven-year-old daughter, Na-yeon, emerged from behind piles of wood at a neighbourhood park, her usual playground, until she died from blood-related diseases three years ago.
"Mom, where have you been? Have you been thinking of me?" Na-yeon said, prompting a weeping Jang to reply: "Always."
Jang tried to reach closer, only to see her hands pass through the virtual avatar donning her daughter's favourite violet dress and pink purse featuring Elsa and Anna, sisters from Disney's animated musical "Frozen."
"I really want to touch you just once," Jang said, her voice and hands shivering. "I really missed you."
The heart-wrenching reunion, aired last week in a documentary by South Korean broadcaster MBC, was made possible by VR technology which embodied Na-yeon in a digital avatar modelled upon a child actor using photos and memories from her mother.
The documentary, titled "Meeting You," struck a chord with many South Koreans while highlighting the growing scope of possibilities for the new technology beyond gaming.
"People would often think that technology is something that's cold. We decided to participate to see if technology can comfort and warm your heart when it is used for people," said Lee Hyun-suk, director of the Seoul-based VIVE Studios who led the project.
Kim Jong-woo, producer of the documentary, said he focused on "remembering" Na-yeon instead of recreating, so that Jang and her family would feel as if her daughter had lived on.
For Jang, her last wish was to tell Na-yeon she loved her and has never forgotten her.
"It's heartbreaking that her time has stopped at the age 7," Jang said, with a faint smiling. "But I was so happy to see her that way."
The second episode of documentary film, which will show the behind story, is scheduled to be aired on March 12.
(Production: Dogyun Kim, Minwoo Park)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2020. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None