Last week, we co-organized a conference for journalists, storytellers and creatives who are interested in telling their stories in an immersive way. It is that one day in the year where narrative pioneers, VR enthusiasts, journalists, interactive documentary makers, early technology adopters and other non-fiction storytellers meet to share experiences, seek inspiration and head back home feeling ‚virtually real‘.
The idea is to meet like-minded people and fellow XR creators to get inspired but also to discuss technical issues and storytelling techniques.
Vragments GmbH and Netzdoku have organized this annual event since 2015 (last year, it looked like this) and this time, we have also been able to get support by AG DOK, Filmuniversität Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF and Medieninnovationszentrum Babelsberg.
Our speakers have covered practical behind-the-scenes information as well as academic approaches to the impact of VR.
Anetta Jones is a multi-award winning documentary and VR producer. She has most recently been a part of the virtual reality team at the Guardian where she has produced five VR experiences and has been a key part of the team on a further three. In her talk, she shared her insights of translating journalism into immersive narrative experiences.
Gayatri Parameswaran and Felix Gaedtke, co-founders of NowHere Media, created “Home After War | Returning to fear in Fallujah“ which was presented during the Venice Film Festival and was created as part of the Oculus VR for Good program. In their talk, they gave us a glimpse of their making of and showed us: What does it take to create a room scale documentary experience from Iraq?
Matthew McGinity, who we re-invited after his amazing talk at our VR conference back in 2015, covered the topic VR and the battle for the environment. He examines how AR and VR might be used to address the destruction of the planetary ecosystem, from telepresence and immersive consumer “battle arenas” to collective hive-minds and virtual body snatching.
Ole Leifels, co-founder of award-winning digital production studio ‘Kubikfoto³’, is currently deleveloping a virtual reality technology which combines real interaction with life-action 360° video. The technology is based on WebVR and runs across systems on desktop and mobile devices and stationary and mobile VR-headsets.
Last, but certainly not least, Mandy Rose, from University of the West of England in Bristol, is an Associate Professor at UWE Bristol, director of the Digital Cultures Research Centre and co-convenor of the i-Docs Symposium. She is co-investigator of the EPSRC research project — Virtual Realities: Immersive Documentary Encounters. Her keynote was on challenges and opportunities for Virtual Reality in the Creative Industries.
In the afternoon, we always want to give everyone else the opportunity to talk to the speakers, try out new experiences and just mingle with like-minded people.