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TIME Recreates MLK’s Historic Speech in The March

TIME Studios is launching “The March” – a new immersive project that brings the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and Martin Luther King Jr.'s iconic “I Have a Dream” speech to virtual reality for the first time.

Co-created by TIME's Emmy-winning Mia Tramz and immersive storyteller Alton Glass, with executive producer and narrator of the project Viola Davis, “The March” features the most realistic recreation of a human performance in virtual reality to date, through advanced VR, AI, film production processes and machine-learning techniques.

Drawing on TIME's journalism, “The March” is meticulously created with the support of Intellectual Properties Management, (Licensor of the estate of Martin Luther King Jr.), which granted TIME development rights for this project.

“The March” will debut as an experiential exhibit on Feb. 28 at the DuSable Museum of African American History in Chicago, IL, the first independent African American history museum in the country. The exhibit will run until November.

The creation of “The March” has led to a special TIME project, digital destination and print issue on the abiding meaning of The March on Washington and the state of equality in America today, with reporting and reflections by writers, leaders and activists.

The TIME cover of this special issue, created by artist Hank Willis Thomas, features a stunning and historically precise 3-D rendering of Martin Luther King Jr. from “The March.” Visitors to the exhibit will see the same digital model of King in virtual reality, delivering his iconic "I Have a Dream" speech.

“Through thousands of hours of research, we have endeavored to be true to the history of that August day,” said Edward Felsenthal, editor in chief and CEO of TIME. “But we at TIME also see the project as a call to each of us for all that is yet to be done in the unfinished fight for equality, including in our own work. Our hope is that it will not only change the way we see history, but also help awaken in all of us an understanding of the power of our own voice to have a positive impact on the world.”

TIME’s cover image was created from a historically precise 3-D rendering of Martin Luther King Jr. from “The March.”
TIME’s cover image was created from a historically precise 3-D rendering of Martin Luther King Jr. from “The March.”

“‘The March’ is a very ambitious project that was over three years in the making,” said TIME editorial director of enterprise and immersive experiences Mia Tramz. “We, along with our production partners, are proud to bring this immersive, educational exhibit to visitors, who will be able to experience this iconic moment in history first-hand.”

“Built on the foundation of TIME's commitment to trust, and through the technological advancements that allowed this project to entirely transcend the level of reality that has been possible in this medium in the past, ‘The March’ demonstrates the visual storytelling power of TIME Studios. These are the types of ambitious projects that you will see from our innovative team in the future,” said president of TIME Studios Ian Orefice.

“We at JuVee are committed to using all forms of art to disrupt, to wake up, to connect and to evoke empathy. The intimacy and immediacy of VR has the power to do just that… and, in addition, to transport,” said Academy, Emmy and Tony-winning actor and producer, Viola Davis and actor and producer Julius Tennon, who, along with their award-winning production company JuVee Productions, serve as executive producers for “The March.”

To create “The March,” TIME Studios partnered with V.A.L.I.S.studio, Verizon Media's immersive media studio RYOT, visual effects and immersive studio Digital Domain and JuVee Productions. CAA orchestrated the deal on behalf of clients RYOT, TIME and Viola Davis, and also serves as strategic advisor on the project.

In addition to the VR experience, TIME has partnered with interactive technology company Storyfile to create a secondary installation. It features a voice-activated video that uses artificial intelligence to allow visitors to converse with civil rights activist, Joyce Ladner.

The exhibit was designed by experience design studio Local Projects. HTC's VR for Impact initiative provided VIVE Focus Plus headsets for the exhibit.

Learn more about “The March,” watch behind the scenes videos and find information on visiting the exhibition: time.com/the-march.

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