The Defector: Escape from North Korea is an unbelievably timely and gripping online experience that serves as the interactive companion to the feature-length documentary film of the same name, directed by Ann Shin. The site was built to give users a first-person glimpse at what it's like to be a defector on the life-threatening journey to escape North Korea as they navigate a long and dangerous path toward freedom. All stories, images and footage are real and based on true accounts of North Korean defectors. The site draws attention to a crucial issue and the harsh reality of North Korea.

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Published
March 2013
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The Story

The Defector: Escape from North Korea is an unbelievably timely and gripping online experience that serves as the interactive companion to the feature-length documentary film of the same name, directed by Ann Shin. The site was built to give users a first-person glimpse at what it's like to be a defector on the life-threatening journey to escape North Korea as they navigate a long and dangerous path toward freedom. All stories, images and footage are real and based on true accounts of North Korean defectors. The site draws attention to a crucial issue and the harsh reality of North Korea.

Jam3 used real-time effects throughout the site, employing Pixel Bender to allow for unique animations that are not pre-rendered. They also used images not only for textures but also packing custom information into their shaders to encode extra information that manipulates the timing and overall animation, offering greater variety with the effects. A visual content management system was also created that overlays on top of the interface, which allowed Jam3's creatives to manage and pixel-push all of the hotspot assets and change everything on the fly without having to edit code.

The Technology

The Results

The Defector has incredible cultural context due to the current geo-political state of North Korea. It helps raise awareness of the struggle North Koreans are currently enduring. By creating a companion piece to a documentary film, you broaden the reach of the story. It helps make the film more well-known, as well as familiarizing a greater audience with the story we're trying to tell.

1

Switch over of NK dictators during the course of the project

100K

Defectors estimated escaped since the late 1990s

200K

Detained in over 180 work camps

Launch Date Feb. 19, 2013