I recently began my PhD research journey exploring mixed reality storytelling in the smart city, as part of an AHRC Funded Collaborative Doctoral Award with McCann Manchester, the Virtual Engineering Centre and the Centre for Architecture and Visual Arts at Liverpool University.
My focus is looking at how immersive media technologies (such as mixed reality (AR/VR), internet of things, locative media, sensors and data) can be used to create imaginative interactions between people and place by connecting them to heritage and culture. My aim is to find ways to conceptualise and develop prototypes to make urban spaces more playful, imaginative & emotive through the use of mixed reality creative technologies and networked storytelling for visitors– which will hopefully be useful knowledge for future filmmakers, gamesmakers, advertisers, place marketers, placemakers, place hackers and urban designers.
The Practice-based PhD also involves a number of other collaborations within Arts, Culture organisations mainly in Manchester and Liverpool.
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.
Over the past few months I have been collaborating with a number of partners on the ‘Beacons for Science’ project in Manchester, which is aiming to create an innovative app to experience Science in the City through Augmented and Virtual reality. Using beacon technology to enable people to experience science in new ways as they navigate the city.
My role has been to co-ordinate the development of the virtual reality and augmented story content, produced with the support of a number of cultural partners, artists, scientists and co-creators from around Manchester, and to work with the developers to shape the mixed reality user-experience.
There are a number of cool features in the app, including virtual reality experiences that are triggered when walking around Manchester as well as interactive augmented reality content that we created. There are about 15 experiences in total that were created as a result of a series of hack labs taking place in Manchester as part of the European City of Science calendar.
We have also been involved in a series of public engagement events to showcase the Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality content across Manchester during the Euroscience Open Forum 2016 Conference, that has brought over 4000 scientists to the city.
Download the app here:
Here’s a short showreel of some of the 360 content and some images from the project:
“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…
Latitude is a satirical road trip film about two geeks who go on a treasure hunt to find the world’s ultimate technology, which they believe is hidden in a game called geocaching. It’s a bit of a metaphor, with the two lead characters being based on two very well known technology companies, and explores narratives of technological progress.
The film was made as a teaching project aimed at creating a low budget, and slightly critical, feature length film with undergraduate media production students. The script, funding and production was all conjured up over 4 months. It was produced across England, Wales and USA with a very small production team and tiny budget just to see if we could do it.
Well we did, kind of, here’s the film divided up into 12 chapters
In contemporary liberal democracies there is a polarisation between ideals of transparency – borne out in open government legislation, freedom of information, and confessionary culture – and what we might call a secret sphere, an institutionalised commitment to covert security operations that exist beyond the public view.
In the wake of the Snowden revelations about the surveillance capabilities of intelligence agencies around the globe, an interdisciplinary symposium at King’s College London** in 2015 gathered experts to discuss the place and implications of secrecy for contemporary cultural politics. Speakers addressed what was politically, ethically, socially and ontologically at stake in cultures of secrecy at the individual, national and international level.
Recordings from the event have been hidden across some of the darkest corners of the world wide web and will be revealed through a series of leaks and revelations.
#secrecymachine was a project of slow secretion, devised by Pete Woodbridge and Clare Birchall, to reveal the event’s secrets beyond the academy. It started on the 8th October 2015. Participants were exposed to a number of secret emails, each revealing codes and details for accessing content from the event.
All of the talks are now available and open to the public here http://immersivestorylab.com/secret/
Please share this secret with anyone you trust …
**’The Politics and Practices of Secrecy’ was a symposium organised by Clare Birchall & Matt Potolsky and funded by the Institute of North American Studies, King’s College London.
I’ve recently been working on the development of a BA (Hons) Degree in Digital Media at Coventry School of Art and Design. It’s a brand new degree exploring media design, storytelling, digital arts and digital culture.
Students will be working on convergent media projects in content production, moving-image, storytelling, speculative design and a number of related areas across the digital arts. Designed for learners who want to be hybrid-media artists, creative professionals and entrepreneurs in the increasing pervasive digital realm.
First year modules will explore digital culture, convergent multimedia production, digital publishing, storytelling and creative technology. The year will culminate in an intensive ‘creative hack lab’ project where students put their problem solving, innovation and design skills to the test with a live brief.
The second year will explore the creative and critical side of the digital arts, along with modules in digital advertising, transmedia storytelling and opportunities to undertake professional experience. There will also be options to develop skills in other areas of media production, including photography, experimental media and short film as well as opportunities to undertake visits with international partner organisations.
The final year will focus on critical digital research methods, exploring how to use creative technologies for research and the creation of new forms of knowledge, products and artistic expression. Students will then use their skills to develop a final research project, aimed at creating cutting-edge experiences and speculative possibilities for the future.
The degree is underpinned by an interdisciplinary approach to the design and analysis of digital culture and media, drawing on a range of methodologies from the digital and media arts, sciences, business and creative computing subject areas. It will be addressing the implications, challenges and possibilities of living in a world of disruptive innovation, peer 2 peer collaboration, connected devices, augmentation, pervasive storytelling, automation, big data and the internet of things and exploring this through projects that challenge and critique it.
Students will be involved in live projects, real industry and cultural briefs and working simulations that are informed by problem-based, activity-led and challenge-based learning methodologies. This will be supported by technology-enhanced learning approaches in a department that is internationally recognised for its innovative approach to learning design.
To find out more about the digital media research work in the Department of Media please visit the Centre for Disruptive Media website.
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)….
This is a research-led teaching project to develop a micro-budget feature film experience working with students and a number of collaborators:
‘Latitude’ is a satire about two technology fanatics whose lives are about to change, a tiny little bit, as they descend into a bizarre reality in their geeky hunt to find the world’s ultimate technology, which they believe is hidden in a game called Geocaching.
It is currently in production in the UK and USA and deals with issues around technology, reality and sanity. It hopes to go beyond-the screen, so expect some innovations and experiments as the film progresses.
Stay tuned for updates as the film progresses. We will also do a proper trailer once we get closer to releasing the movie, alongside a ‘Making of…’.
Starring – Jonathan Leinmuller, Andy McGillan, Christopher Dunne, Rachel Adams and Josh Ubaldi.
Production – Mick Le Mare, Rebecca Pittam, Richard Neal, Jake Humbles, Ross Varney, Adam Davies, Sam Soane, Alex Hacking, James Colley, Suzi Globe and many many more marvellous people who have helped us along the way.
Music used – ‘Reversed Reality – Igor Dvorkin, ‘City Streets’ – David Michael, ‘Wilderness’ – Philip Guyler available at audionetwork.com/
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)
You can now access all of the content from the Creative Activism class in iTunes U.
This includes lecture notes, podcasts, videos and all of the tasks from the course.
Please visit the Creative Activism Class in iTunes U to subscribe to the class.
Was checking out the camp and taking some shots yesterday outside St Pauls Cathedral and was fortunate enough to catch this inspiring speech by retired labour politician Tony Benn at #OccupyLSX during my break.
Rushed an edit together last night, let me know your thoughts, i didnt have a tripod so its a bit shaky. Song is called Mercury Fingerprint by Dan Skinner (from Audio Networks)
This was featured on Adbusters TV
The second episode in the series takes as its focus Gilles Deleuzes short essay Postscript on the Societies of Control. While this episode is being made available for the first time in an issue of Culture Machine: An Open-Access Journal of Culture and Theory culturemachine.net/index.php/cm/issue/view/22 which has the theme of creative media; and while Liquid Theory TV could be described as a creative project, to the extent it is concerned with producing alternative, rival, or counter-desires to those currently dominant within much of society (at its simplest, a desire for philosophy or more broadly theory, rather than for the creations of Richard Branson, Simon Cowell or Rupert Murdoch, say), this does not mean that either the series, or this particular episode, should be regarded simply as an attempt to perform Deleuzes philosophy. The critical and interpretive aspects of scholarly work remain important to us here, even if they are being undertaken in a medium very different to the traditional academic journal article or book.
It’s been used in various websites and e-learning platforms as a network resource, and seems to have captured people’s interest on YouTube
Liquid Theory TV is a collaboration between Clare Birchall, Gary Hall and Peter Woodbridge. It has been widely cited by a number of publications, journals, elearning repositories and blogs.
Here are some links :