Photo above by Rebecca Hale/National Geographic for “Becoming Jane: The Evolution of Dr. Jane Goodall” exhibition organized by National Geographic and the Jane Goodall Institute.
Jane Goodall’s amazing and inspiring story is brought to vibrant life using several exciting multimedia experiences.
Client: National Geographic Society
Location: Washington D.C., USA
Falcon’s Creative Group proudly collaborated with the National Geographic Museum and the Jane Goodall Institute to provide six multimedia experiences for the “Becoming Jane: The Evolution of Dr. Jane Goodall” exhibition. The goal was to immerse visitors in Jane Goodall’s remarkable story of becoming the first person to live among and study wild chimpanzees, humankind’s closest living relatives.
A variety of storytelling techniques and new technologies are showcased throughout the exhibition. An introductory film that is part CG, part historical footage, shares Jane’s personal journey, beginning with her childhood desire for adventure and eventually revealing how she made it to Gombe Stream National Park, the enchanting but danger-filled jungle in Tanzania where she pioneered methods for studying animals in their natural habitat and discovered many surprising behaviors that changed the way the world viewed not only chimpanzees, but humans as well.
The 4K intro video is projected onto a flat wall, but the use of video mapping and effects lighting make it appear as if there are three separate dimensional canvases. Jane’s absorbing story springs to life in this space as she is joined by a photorealistic and curious computer-generated chimpanzee, who begins to explore across the screens, playfully interacting with the audience before eventually climbing out of the frame.
Another portion of the exhibition features a hologram-like projection of Jane, standing under twinkling starlight, sharing her most memorable recollections. Jane’s image is rear-projected and projection-mapped onto a custom, life-size mold to make it appear as if she is just a few steps away, enhancing the intimacy of the experience. The room is scenically treated with crates, a flickering lantern, and a jungle backdrop. Two large pieces of stretched fabric, placed on both sides of “Jane,” serve as screens for her memories - actual footage from her time in Gombe - which our media team stylized to help advance the illusion.
A stunning 3D immersive theater offers a unique opportunity to truly feel what it was like to be Jane as she trekked through the forest searching for the elusive chimpanzees. The film seamlessly incorporates CG chimps into footage of Gombe Stream National Park that was shot with a virtual reality 360° 3D camera specifically for this experience. The floor and walls of the theater’s space serve as additional projection surfaces (8K and 10K, respectively), further drawing the visitors into Jane’s narrative. Gombe’s natural sounds, an original score, and Jane Goodall’s voice were mixed together in 7.1 surround sound to bring the authentic and visceral experience to life.
In “Chimp Chat,” a fun interactive experience, visitors are encouraged to learn to talk like a chimpanzee, mimicking their common vocalizations to elicit a real-time reaction from a CG chimp. The system utilizes a touch screen, a 4K video monitor, point source audio, and an embedded microphone to allow the visitor to control, record, and compare their vocalizations in one of two seamless and intuitive stations.
Another interactive experience debuted Falcon’s Creative Group’s new Falcon’s Vision™ product, an augmented reality headset custom-designed for location-based entertainment that empowers users to interact and engage with virtual objects integrated into the real world. Visitors to the Becoming Jane exhibition became the first members of the public to interact with this revolutionary device, utilizing the Falcon’s Vision™ headset as binoculars and locking their focus on one of several targets to trigger computer-generated animations of chimpanzees acting out some of Jane’s important findings from her groundbreaking research. The engaging scenes are narrated by Bill Wallauer, a filmmaker with the Jane Goodall Institute who has spent many years in Gombe Stream National Park observing and recording the daily behavior of chimpanzees.
Near the exit of the exhibition, a large portrait-oriented monitor displays a video of Jane standing in front of visitors at actual scale. Here, she shares several powerful messages of hope and asks for individuals to pledge to make a positive impact in the world.
Jane used unorthodox approaches to study chimpanzees, yielding extraordinary results. Falcon’s took that same philosophy to heart as we brainstormed new avenues of storytelling to showcase her life in Gombe and how she chronicled these special animals. We wanted to involve the visitor as much as possible, giving them an opportunity to put themselves in Jane’s shoes as she made historic and significant discoveries. We hope visitors will leave with a deeper appreciation and understanding of chimpanzees and their relationship to humans.
Photos by Rebecca Hale/National Geographic for “Becoming Jane: The Evolution of Dr. Jane Goodall” exhibition organized by National Geographic and the Jane Goodall Institute.