“The Crew” Wins Golden Award for Best VR/AR Sort Film

May 05, 2018

This year at the 6th annual DC Web Fest the Gold Award went to the Virtual Reality 360-degree short film entitled “The Crew”.

This short narrative 360° film with a powerful message is telling the story of a Filipino cruise ship cleaner who finally gets his chance to perform in the crew talent show. As part of the inaugural class of Google's Jump Start program for VR creators this film draws a parallel between the smiling crew member – who serves guests onboard – and the pain those smiles often hide.

dc web the crew award

The film is a human story inspired by Jason Ferguson, Writer/Producer of the film who experienced firsthand the life and sorrow of the crew. Told in a musical and fantastical way, he hopes the film will stir enough emotion to convince someone to dig a little deeper into the crew member’s issues onboard. And even more than that, Jason hopes that once the movie goes public online later in the year, crew members will be able to watch their own story reflected back to them and know that there are people out there who care.

“I worked as a production manager in the Entertainment department of Princess Cruises off and on between 2004-2006. Overall, I enjoyed my experience onboard, but the troubling part of my job was seeing how much more difficult life was onboard for the “lower rank” crew. I was told how in some cases, due to the logistics of how they are hired by agencies back home, they were effectively indentured servants who arrived on onboard already in debt and working in fear that if they were fired, they might not even be able to get home. I also heard from many crew that the medical care was almost nonexistent and most on-the-job injuries resulted in a prescription for painkillers so the crew member could keep working. There are numerous other stories like these, just do a Google search and you’ll find articles, but the important thing to remember here is that these crewmembers are full-time employees of highly profitable American corporations, in most cases.” Says Jason Ferguson.