Have recently been working on a collaborative research project with folk from the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, FACT Liverpool, LJMU, Kinicho and Manchester School of Art exploring fictional storytelling in 360/VR.
The aim of the project is to develop a prototype scene from Kafka’s novel ‘The Trial’ as a way to explore the medium specific aesthetics and logistics of making films in immersive environments. The team comes from a number of disciplines including filmmaking, theatre, storytelling, new media and sound. We are exploring a number of questions related to using sound, cinematography, editing, agency, embodiment and dramatic staging and performing in a uniquely VR way.
The camera has kindly been provided by the Creative Camera Company in Manchester
It’s a rather exciting time at the moment working with a medium where the conventions are unestablished, and going in a number of different directions, regarding how an audience member is positioned when they are in a film. It feels a bit like it must of felt 120 years ago.
Here’s some pics from the rehearsals at LIPA
A poem by Sam Illingworth about the turbulent history of the Manchester Ship Canal. Narrated by Sam, James Redfern and Natasha Hall-McKenna, with audio recording help from Neil Cochrane.
Created in collaboration with Manchester School of Art, Manchester Metropolitan University, BBC R&D (who supplied the source footage that was re-conceived for this piece) and the Canal & Rivers Trust as part of the Beacons for Science Project with Salford University. Thanks also to Keith Myers for his support in developing this project.
You can also experience an immersive 360 degree version of this work by downloading the Beacons for Science Manchester app.
“As connected devices and services continue to develop, filmmakers will be able to place a story layer over the real world. Inanimate objects and physical locations will become an opportunity to extend stories and engage audiences in ways that propel 21st-century storytelling.” Lance Weiler
This project is exploring the possibilities for transmedia, augmented and virtual reality storytelling by creating a number of experimental films that fuse filmmaking, digital environments and creative technologies. I am particularly interested in the way that these immersive environments create new forms of embodiment and can help us to experience geographical space in new ways.
Many people argue that VR can lead to highly empathetic and emotional kinds of storytelling experiences, which could have a number of applications for the social sciences, humanities and the arts. They therefore have really strong potential for storytellers addressing issues related to personal, cultural, social and behavioural change.
Filmmakers and storytellers who are working in this area are also having to rethink the way that they design ‘story architecture’ around non-linear forms of transmedia engagement. It is therefore an inter-disciplinary project that explores a range of areas such as the behavioural and cognitive sciences, user-experience design, immersive performance and transmedia storytelling.
We are currently developing a number of projects, campaigns and teaching initiatives with partners and organisations under this banner, so stay tuned for updates as they develop…
In the meantime, follow the Immersive Storylab on twitter for updates and links to work that we think is really exciting. Or get in touch with me to discuss a project via: mail (at) petewoodbridge.info
I’ve been out and about the last few weeks getting my head around virtual reality 360 degree filmmaking for a few upcoming projects that I am developing. As part of my testing I’ve made this short video, called Virtual (anthropo) Reality , whilst out and about on the Wirral over the weekend.
I’m really excited at the moment by the potential of virtual and augmented reality as a highly empathetic storytelling medium, as well as enabling us to embed stortelling into the physical world. There’s a number of research projects currently happening around the world that show how VR/AR can contribute to peoples emotional and embodied understanding of other peoples experiences so this has enormous potential for those involved in the media, campaigning and communications industries.
Stay tuned for more updates as I develop some projects, but in the meantime please enjoy this short video…
Liquid-Cinema is a visual art/technology project that is exploring the potential of inserting fluid and manipulable layers into the visual imagery of film in the cinema. This technology will effectively enable film audiences to become part of the narrative imagery and story of the ‘mass-distributed’ film itself. Enabling filmmakers and distributors to develop new kinds of narrative experiences and database driven hyper-localisation for their stories and back-catalogues.
It is an attempt at creating a participatory cinema, one that is open to audience and contextual engagement in a number of fluid and dynamic ways. It builds on the practical and theoretical work in the broad area of the study, and practice, of transmedia storytelling and the digital arts.
It’s aim is to apply it to the creation of new narrative experiences, as well as enabling cinematic archives and back-catalogues to be reconceived and remediated and potentially resold as new versions. On top of this there will also be potential to integrate the hyper-localisation of advertising and product placement content in the background of film itself. A film that becomes aware
Here are some of the illustrations from the thinking behind the project so far (created by Illustrator Catherine Askew)….
Following on from our Open Class in Creative Activism, we’ve decided to think about how we can use some of the working practices we developed to explore other areas on our curriculum.
So this October we are launching the ‘Cine Collective‘- which is an Open Undergraduate Class exploring and experimenting with Digital Cinematography.
Over the course of 10 weeks we will be looking at a variety of approaches to studying, practicing and interrogating cinematography. Alongside this, the participants on the course will work on a series of cinematic responses to weekly creative briefs- that will contribute to form a showreel of work by the end of the class. Students are asked to openly post their response to each task to our community.
It’s an exciting time for ‘Open Teaching’ in Film, with a number of organisations and universities opening up their doors and helping to change the way that education is structured in the 21st Century. Surely it won’t be long until there is a very real prospect of undertaking a truly ‘distributed’ degree- choosing the best and most appropriate courses from around the world, to create some kind of educational playlist. There’s a lot of potential here for something truly digital, and radical, to emerge. It’s really exciting to see projects such as the Peer 2 Peer University, Coursera, OERU and Mozilla’s Open Badges gaining momentum in this area- each taking a different approach and model to rethinking education.
In the meantime here are a few other open classes that you might want to explore next academic year….
“Open Source Culture” taught by Mark Tribe (@marktribe on Twitter) Brown University
“Digital Storytelling -DS106” taught by Alan Levine et al (@cogdog on Twitter) University of Mary Washington
“Guerilla Film Marketing” taught by Randy Finch (@randyfinch on Twitter) Florida State Uni
“Building StoryWorlds: the art, craft and biz of storytelling in 21c” taught by Lance Weiler (@lanceweiler on Twitter) Columbia University
“Digital Media and Participatory Culture” taught by Melanie E.S. Kohnen, Ph.D (@_mesk on Twitter) Georgia Tech
“The Language of Hollywood: Storytelling, Sound and Color” taught by Scott Higgins at Wesleyan University
“The Camera Never Lies ” taught by Emmett Sullivan at Royal Holloway, London University
(List originally published by Sheri Candler on The Film Collaborative)
It was a practice based research attempt at making theoretical praxis, when I first started becoming academically influenced in my media practice in 2006.