3D animation and VR studio TRICK 3D partnered with Make-A-Wish Georgia, Dobbins Air Force Base, OneOrbit and UP TV to grant the first-ever virtual reality wish.
Inspired by the imaginative wish of Zayden Wright, a seven-year-old Georgia native with lifelong congenital heart disease, TRICK 3D produced a VR short that takes the young astronaut on a fantastical expedition to outer space–all based on Zayden’s own creative vision.
Entertainment industry veterans and Zayden’s Wish executive producers Candice Alger and Veronica Sheehan, in partnership with Craig Heyl of Pinewood Atlanta Studios, conceived that virtual reality could be harnessed to grant wishes, and the three shared the concept with Make-A-Wish Georgia CEO Tim Earley. From there, Alger tapped TRICK 3D to bring Zayden’s space expedition to life using VR. Drawing from more than a decade of storytelling, world-building and filmmaking experience, including the Number One hit animated special, An Elf’s Story, Chad Eikhoff directed the Zayden’s Wish VR experience alongside a studio team of producers, developers and artists.
“This wish is huge, and it could only come from a brain like Zayden’s, which is so imaginative and inspiring,” said Eikhoff. “Virtual reality is inherently built for wishes and dreams, and this is a great example of VR making something
possible that was previously unattainable. For us at TRICK 3D, building a world and experience for such a meaningful use at such a high level of production is 100 percent why we create.”
Zayden Wright boarded his VR rocket ship and “blasted off” from Dobbins Air Force Base in Marietta to much fanfare from more than 40 U.S. Air Force air men and women, family, friends and volunteers. He was guided by former NASA astronaut Commander LeRoy Chiao along his journey. The on-site Zayden’s Wish VR experience took place using the HTC Vive virtual reality headset. Zayden and his family will be able to experience his wish again and again with a take-home version on the Samsung Gear VR headset.