On December 14, Liverpool Screen School welcomed over 200 guests from industry and academia and over 30 speakers, including demonstrations, to discuss how immersive technology was impacting on storytelling. The day included over 8 panels, each exploring the diverse ways in which people are engaging with new technologies.
LJMU’s own work was highlighted on using immersive technology for storytelling about climate change and their use of mixed reality to create novel storytelling experiences with holograms in public places. It comprised work from the Arts and Humanities Research Council Immersive Experiences programme, including projects that enable people to experience a forgotten castle in Sheffield and a digital ghost hunt in London.
Speakers from BBC Research and Development, Digital Catapult's Creative XR Programme, Bristol VR Lab, York Creativity Labs, Institute of Creative Technologies, Liverpool Screen School and practice-based academics from a number of Universities from across the UK attended the event.
Pete Woodbridge, event producer and Senior Lecturer in Digital Media at Liverpool Screen School, said: “It’s amazing how immersive technology is bringing so many disciplines together. We had such a range of thinking and approaches being discussed on the day and it’s a really great time to be working in such a collaborative area of research and practice. There’s real desire to move media storytelling beyond the screen and put people inside of experiences, or to paraphrase Robin McNicholas, from Marshmallow Laser Feast, ‘it’s about taking things out of the rectangle and into the real world”’.
The occasion featured future projects to bring augmented reality to trains across the UK, a holographic theatre in a box, a development that used mixed reality to reconnect Somali communities with heritage and dance and performance projects that blend digital and physical space.
A demonstration also presented a 6 metre immersive dome from Igloo Vision and a new spatial computing device called a Magic Leap that blends the physical world with the digital. It explored how digital place is affecting physical communities and themes to tackle health issues and question gender norms.
The symposium showed how practice-based researchers, companies and creatives are approaching the emerging mediums of virtual reality, augmented reality, digital theatre, projection mapping and mixed reality for new kinds of storytelling experiences. It also explored research and development into languages of production, narrative mechanisms and approaches to engaging audiences in experiential media across the spectrum of immersive technology.