Step To The Line is a VR documentary produced in part by Defy Ventures which is an organization that helps prisoners rehabilitate through education and other programs. Presented through the virtual reality experience, the film has a whole different impact than watching it on a flat screen by comparison.
What makes it different is that the prison experience seems more humanized when you’re standing in the middle of it. I felt claustrophobic during the scenes inside the prison cells as the project is shot in a maximum-security prison in California. I also felt sympathy for the prisoners as being placed right next to them makes the experience feel more direct and certainly more emotional when some of them share their stories. There’s a segment during the doc when prisoners and civilians are placed on both sides of a line and have to step to the line whenever certain facts are mentioned that they have experienced. The results are sadly, not surprising, and very telling of our society.
The VR community and experience continues to grow as this film debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2017 and was acclaimed by Time Magazine as one of the best VR mobile experiences in the world. I understand why they say that, but just know that this experience isn’t about kinetics, it’s about emotion.
You can find Step To The Line on the Within app available through your virtual reality device including PSVR, Oculus, Vive and more!
reviewed by Sean McKnight