CHICAGO (CBS) — We’re all familiar with the film of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. reciting his “I Have a Dream” speech in Washington, D.C. in 1963, but a new exhibit at the DuSable Museum will let you experience it as if you were there.
As CBS News’ Adriana Diaz reported, there were 250,000 people who were actually present for the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom as Dr. King spoke. Now, almost 57 years later, you can be there too.
At the DuSable Museum of African-American History, at 740 E. 56th Pl. in Washington Park, a new virtual reality exhibit called “The March” – created by Time Studios – allows visitors to time-travel nearly six decades.
Academy Award-winning actress Viola Davis is the narrator. Diaz asked Davis what her reaction was upon seeing the finished product.
“Oh my God. I mean, oh my God,” Davis said. “I felt like I was set on fire.”
Davis and her husband, actor Julius Tennon, are both executive producers through their company, Juvee Productions.
“You are there. You’re catapulted right there,” Davis said. “You’re not reading it from a book.”
“Listen, this speech has lived with me since 1968. I learned it when I was in eighth grade. I performed it my whole life,” Tennon said. “To come back around and us to be producing this, it’s just incredible. It was almost like a gift.”
Re-creating Dr. King took movie magic, with technology used in films such as “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” and “The Avengers.”
The animators used two men to create a virtual Dr. King, and a lookalike to build his face.
Actor Stephon Ferguson re-enacted every breath, word, and movement while wearing a motion-capture suit and helmet.
“I put myself in that place,” Ferguson said. “What was he doing? How was he feeling? What did he eat for breakfast?”
By making it feel as real as possible, the creators hope viewers today, like the crowds of 1963, are empowered by Dr. King’s urgent sense of service.
“Martin Luther King was a doer. He gave his life for it,” Davis said. “If I were to inject this seed into the young generation, it is that seed that you’ve got to do it. You’ve got to be the doers.”
The exhibit is up and running. It opened on Friday at the museum, and will remain there until November before moving on to other locations.