The Multi-Screen concept began to not agree with our group, the more we tried to apply it to the Future Cinema, the more it didn’t seem to fit our goal of ‘sensor overload’. As a group, we kept returning to the immersive room – a way to immerse audience engaging multiple senses (sight, smell, touch).
Justine acquired a 360-Degree Camera, and suddenly everything clicked into place. What can be more immersive than 360 degrees of footage? We decided as a group, to explore this technology as our project. To use Virtual Reality and 360 footage, within a specifically designed room to create this sensory experience. Using the room to provide the senses the VR could not, like touch and sound, we then began discussing what we would shoot. In lieu of sensory overload, we pondered locations that feel immersive when you are physically there, thus giving us groundwork on how to make it immersive ‘ex situ’. I suggested a rainforest or bushland environment, as it is a rich location for sounds and sight as well was touch.
With a location and tool chosen, we began to move on from our previous research and concepts towards the relationship between virtual reality and cinema. Justine discussed that cinema is an intimate environment, a solitude experience and simultaneously experienced by many. Thus, with Virtual Reality, cinema will be even more intimate, as the camera becomes the eyes of the filmmaker, seeing exactly what they see (Scott 2014)
Less than 2% of the world’s theatres are equipped for immersive techologies, as it is still finding its ground in the cinema experience. It is a costly upgrade, and a major shift in the way we experience movies (Kridel 2016)
Steven Spielburg commented that VR and 360 technology risked diluting the art of film-making, and that it was dangerous to forget the story when we are enveloped in a world that compells us to make our own decisions without the guide of a narrative (Cutherbertson 2016)
We researched works like those of Jeffery Shaw’s ‘Legible City’, which enabled the viewer to ride a stationary bicycle through a simulated representation of a city as computer-generated 3D letters. We also viewed the works of David Haines and Joyce Hinterding. Haines and Hinterding developed an art installation, ‘Earthstar’ which promised you would, see, hear and smell the sun. The two artists created two different smells, one smelling similar to a bushfire and the other, ozone, similar to the air after a rainstorm (Anders 2008).
I drew upon my experience of Don’t Follow the Wind (2016) from the Biennale Exhibition. This was the installation that initally drew me to the topic of future cinema and VR. It consisted of the physical space and setting, that directly related and added to the footage within the individual headset. It was a good framework to guide us for what we could recreate with a rainforest setting.
At this point, we decided it was time to divide and conquer. We needed to incorporate as many sensory experiences as possible. Harry and Mitch decided to work on the physical space, Justine would record the visuals on her 260 camera, and I would be in charge of the audio component.
Cuthbertson, A (2016) ‘Is Virtual Reality the Future of Film?'<http://www.newsweek.com/virtual-reality-future-film-461829>