How I approached the VR film medium.

…Left, Right, Left, Right… I am sitting alone on this remote island, closing and opening one eye after the other while trying to concentrate on the horizon. It is an ancient practice which pirates have mastered during their early travels across the Indian Ocean. The purpose of this technique their teacher had put like this: “to train the eye in a manner that enables it to see behind itself”. Funny, it reminds me of the opening lines of Johan van der Keuken’s film Face Value. Only that in his case he refers to the video camera.

…Left, Right… Pirates never really understood the precise meaning of the teacher’s words. For some of them it was about trying to see the way they used to. For me it is about learning over and over again. I see it as an invitation. A stimulus to “let go” and to forget everything I know. I claim it is, on the one hand, about regaining the ability to question everything I see, and on the other hand a way to come up with a different perspective. Strangely enough it makes me think of immersive cinema.

…Left, Right, Left… Flint used to lead these visual exercises but after he disappeared, the parrot of Long John Silver, who had memorized many of the captain’s phrases, was repeating it all the time. It was as if we had a new “ignorant master”.

…Left… I liked that. It made me think that such a master doesn’t force knowledge but rather helps you to find your path, your own way to it. What if this is applied in film?

…Right… If a film technique questions our very own cognition that would be a way to go.

…Left, Right, Left… A different use of the eye means a new condition of spectatorship and a profoundly different way to communicate and discuss knowledge. But every communication starts with an agreement and agreement is based on trust.

…Follow me and I will lead you to victory!… one of the parrot’s favorite quotes from Flint.

The old Captain used to say also one other thing: …Trust is like a building and a building is as strong as its foundations…

Thank you, Flint and thank you ignorant master. But what are the foundations? While asking this, both my eyes are open and focus on an approaching cruise ship that just appeared as a dot on the horizon. I wonder if the people on it will be interested in my interpretation of this old exercise.

Prewriting for dimensional film

Paintings such as L’Absinthe by Degas inspired me on the notion of exploring the canvas as space.

I firstly looked at the glass of Absinthe. Then at the absent look of the woman. Then I realised the tables she and the man are sitting on didn’t have legs., Suddenly the tables surfaces were floating.

In the process of working on scripts and stories for dimensional storytelling I enjoyed developing ambients and constructing places and spaces through text.

Dry wind

In a granite city far away live friendly people, passionate to sing and think and look for answers. A chain of mountains covers their horizon. They have as closest friends the city statues.
The statues are of human size and form, except the one atop the central fountain which has the shape of big and silent fish. The white stone figures decorate the city but also populate it. They often come to life and walk the streets to meet with young and old, to share ideas, laugh and talk.
The only wind that swirls the streets is dry and fast. Statues don’t like it and are always frozen while it lasts. That is also the reason this wind is left without a name. People believe it carries songs from city to city.
The bond between people and statues is of a particular importance to both. The first consider the second as their guides in understanding and loving existence and as protectors from the unknown. The second do not see, hear or feel one another and cannot communicate if not with the help of the first who transmit their messages. This is how ancient stories are never forgotten in this place.
One day a giant volcano in the mountain erupts and its lava splashes down through the streets and houses covering every corner of the stone city. People are caught by surprise and cannot escape. Fast dry wind bursts for two weeks.
When statues wake up and search for their fellow man all they find is frozen figures and silent faces.
Since then they wander the streets and on a windy day one can hear them sing.

Imagine being a spectator in the middle of this square.

Exploring Space

What I like about images in space is the fact that our brain needs more time to explore and understand them. There is literally a little cubic part in the backside of our brain that reconstructs through approximation the dimensions of the space we are in. This is an evolutionary function related to survival, i.e. defining what is the distance between me and a dangerous animal. It involves our peripheral vision in the exploration of the landscape, therefore it takes more time to understand than a flat 2D image. That is why if 3D image editing is fast, i.e. scenes change too rapidly, it will become incomprehensible. I connect this to the speed of learning and exploring, and the type and quality of knowledge that can be transmitted through film. I enjoy editing in the frame, revealing a mis en scene and building up notions through space, therefore the aesthetics of 3D mediums is very suited for people like me, who are also interested in theatre and performances.

An Introduction to Stereo 3D Cinema