It’s a fairly safe bet to say that animation in a few decades will be a different experience than the current one of passively viewing content on a screen. But you don’t need to wait decades to get a taste of that future. The Storyscapes showcase at the Tribeca Film Festival is currently presenting 10 virtual reality and interactive installations that hint at this not-so-distant future.
At least half of the projects in the showcase use animation, and each of them achieves a uniquely different type of experience. For example, in Notes on Blindness: Into Darkness, created by Arnaud Colinart, Amaury La Burthe, Peter Middleton, and James Spinney, is based on the audio-diaries of a person who lost their sight decades ago. Running on the Unreal engine, the VR experience allows the user to discover “a world beyond sight.”
In contrast to Notes on Blindness, there’s the completely dialogue-less experience, SENS, by Charles Ayats and Armand Lemarchand. Based on a graphic novel by Marc-Antoine Mathieu, the piece is among the first instances that an existing comic has been translated into VR. The enigmatic piece, which switches between first- and third-person, has a game-like component that requires the viewer to look in specific areas of the 360-degree space to progress forward. The project was backed by European broadcaster Arte.