Entering the Frame -Expressing Concepts in Immersive Cinematic Production
I am studying a PhD in Architectural Space and Computation at the renown Bartlett School of Architecture at University College London which I am due to complete in 2027.
Film is one of the most powerful and pervasive artistic mediums in modern cultural history. It allows us to see ourselves and our world in ultra-high definition, to experience moments in time, and to express, share, and re-tell imaginative stories. Film is typically an audiovisual translation of three-dimensional real-world environments into two dimensions.
Though content can be recorded and exhibited three-dimensionally, it may not be considered ‘fully immersive’. A viewer watches a film frame by frame, sequence by sequence, scene by scene, from its beginning to its end, usually seated, their gaze pointed towards a screen for the duration of the experience. By their very nature, filmic experiences are markedly linear even if the story that is presented is not. And this could be said to extend beyond a single film piece. An episodic season or series also conventionally tends to be linear in its nature – episode one is followed by episode two, episode two proceeds episode three, and so on. This trait is largely attributable to the nature of the medium through which these stories are experienced. Audiences are, in effect, passive observers, outside the world that has been created. Thus, any feeling of being immersed is likely linked to their attention to the unfolding drama that they are observing.
Conceptually, immersive cinematic environments are non-linear. They provide an experiential environment, where a spectator can explore, are embedded in the environment, and have greater control of their perspective and experience.
About the research
(2023 — 2027)
The process of creating a singular film can be incredibly complex. The nature of ‘Immersive Cinema’ or ‘Extended Reality Cinema’ (XR Cinema) and by extension ‘Extended Reality Films’ (XR Films), further adds to this complexity. Given the great technological leaps that have emerged more recently in cinematic history, the primary use of screenplays, storyboards, and previsualisation to convey these concepts and environments, and their interplay with elements such as movement, action, and dialogue throughout the production cycle, poses a significant challenge for immersive productions, and this may be further exacerbated by the fact that audiences may themselves inhabit the worlds that filmmakers are creating. The extent to which both immersive technologies and generative Artificial Intelligence are disrupting creative workflows may necessitate an entirely different approach to communicating these conceptual ideas in this nascent field. This research seeks to develop new workflows and approaches to creating immersive films.